Citizens’ rights group urges Home Ministry to thwart move to start casinos

Citizens’ Pulse, a citizens’ rights group, has urged the Home Ministry to thwart any move from Puducherry to start casinos under the pretext of boosting tourism.

In a memorandum to the Union Home Minister, Citizens Pulse said it was deeply concerned by the demand by an influential legislator to permit casinos as a measure of promoting tourism and of a proposal to introduce lotteries in Puducherry.

These moves come at a time when the citizens are already suffering from the proliferation of liquor shops on a scale disproportionate to the population, memorandum said. This had led to a large number of young women seeking widow pension, alcoholism, absenteeism from work, reducing levels of productivity, domestic violence and law and order issues, S. Ragothaman and Thanigai Thambi from the Citizens’ Pulse said.

In such a scenario, allowing casinos would drive many to gambling, where loss of money could eventually lead to suicides and law and order problems. While a few licensees stand to benefit from any such move, it would be detrimental to the public good, the memorandum said.

It also said a similar crisis would follow any decision to allow lotteries and the worst affected would be daily wagers and informal economy workers.

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