Citizens’ rights group urges Home Office to thwart move to set up casinos

Citizens ‘Pulse, a citizens’ rights group, urged the Home Office to thwart any decision by Pondicherry to set up casinos under the pretext of boosting tourism.

In a memorandum to the Union Home Secretary, Citizens Pulse expressed deep concern over an influential lawmaker’s demand to allow casinos as a tourism promotion measure and a proposed introduction lotteries in Pondicherry.

These measures come at a time when citizens are already suffering from the proliferation of liquor stores on a scale disproportionate to the population, according to the memorandum. This has led a large number of young women to apply for widow’s pension, alcoholism, absenteeism from work, reduced productivity levels, domestic violence and public order issues, said S. Ragothaman and Thanigai Thambi from Citizens’ Pulse.

In such a scenario, allowing casinos would lead many people to gambling, where the loss of money could eventually lead to suicides and public order issues. While a few licensees may benefit from such a move, it would be detrimental to the public good, according to the memorandum.

He also said a similar crisis would follow any decision to allow lotteries and that those most affected would be daily wagers and workers in the informal economy.

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