Kerala Government has decided not to give permission to Casinos in coastal areas on Wednesday. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Kerala excise minister TP Ramakrishnan said that the government has decided that no permission will be given to coastal casinos. He also added that the Kerala government will issue licenses to low alcohol-producing units.
"Kerala government to issue licences to units which produce low alcohol liquor. Government has not yet decided to give permission to Casinos in coastal areas," said Kerala excise minister TP Ramakrishnan in the Assembly.
He also informed that the closing of bars in the state did not reduce the consumption of alcohol. In 2015-2016, 220.58 lakh cases of alcohol sales had been recorded but in 2018-2019 the sale of alcohol in the state was 216.34 cases. The Excise Minister TP Ramakrishnan was answering the question raised by United Democratic Front (UDF) MLA's in the assembly.
The Minister also said that the government will open de-addiction centres in all talukas of the state.
"Government will open de-addiction centres in all talukas. Will increase the number of beds in existing de-addiction centres," he added.
Earlier in the week, Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant announced that people of the state will not be allowed entry into the casinos operating in the state starting 1 February. Sawant said the Commissioner of Goods and Services Tax, who is also the gaming commissioner, will implement the ban.
A large number of Goans and several political parties, including the Congress, had been seeking a ban on the casinos in the state, alleging that these establishments were against the local culture and causing financial devastation for families. The coastal state is home to six offshore and a dozen onshore casinos that witness a heavy footfall of tourists and locals alike.
"I had assured on the floor of the House during the last Assembly session (August 2019) that Goans would be banned from entering casinos. We are going to implement the assurance from February 1," the chief minister said.
(With inputs from ANI)