Bengaluru: Tourism Minister C.T. Ravi has said that he has not announced the opening of casinos in Karnataka. However, he said casinos are common in foreign countries.
Yesterday morning he had stated that there was a proposal before the Tourism Department to open casino parlours in Karnataka to rake in revenues and also to retain tourists who otherwise escape to Goa or Sri Lanka for casino games.
Soon, the news was flashed by Media and the Minister was widely criticised for the move, C.T. Ravi did a volte-face in the evening. “People from Karnataka spend money in casinos in Goa and foreign countries, generating good income for them,” he said, adding that casinos play a big role in developing tourism.
“The money is Indian money and they are taking it abroad. Casinos in Singapore and Sri Lanka have large number of patrons of Indian origin and at the end, it is Indian money that is going abroad. India is losing out on foreign exchange revenue. If there is any option to stop this, I will extend all help. We need to create jobs her. But I have no plans to open casinos in Karnataka,” he added. “Though I had mentioned village and heritage tourism, media highlighted only the casino aspect. There are no plans to set up a casino or a pub. Our Department has not taken any decision in this regard. It needs permission from the Home Ministry too,” he clarified.