Bengaluru/Mysuru: To facilitate industrialists to explore newer business avenues and at the same time to enable the State to rake in more revenues, the Tourism Department is considering opening Casinos, following the model of Las Vegas.
These Casino Centres (Gambling Centres) will help the State retain tourists who otherwise escape to Goa or Sri Lanka which have such Casinos.
Fifteen such Gambling Centres will be set up and the proposal prepared by the Tourism Department mentions six Centres in Bengaluru, three each in Mangaluru and Belagavi, one each in Mysuru, Davanagere and Hubballi.
Tourism Minister C.T. Ravi is keen on establishing such Casino parlours in the State to generate more revenue and also provide an avenue for industrialists to expand their business.
C.T. Ravi, who spoke about the project to a section of media, however, said that gambling will be allowed only for international tourists and the common man’s interest will be protected.
Citing the example of Las Vegas — one of the most popular destinations for gambling — as a model which the Department wants to replicate, Ravi said, “We need to learn from cities like Las Vegas to attract and entertain tourists. Even today, international tourists who visit Karnataka fly away to Sri Lanka or Goa just because they allow gambling.”
Though the project is still in a conceptual stage, the Minister hinted that these Casinos will have facilities on par with cities best known for gambling.
“Our idea is to promote Las Vegas’ model of gambling and it will be a restricted entry and will be set up in such a manner that it only attracts tourist crowd,” the Minister added.
The Minister clarified that the Tourism Department would not invest in the Casino projects but would be investor-driven. The
State Government will just make policy and monitor the operations, he added.