Ban women working in casino, demands Goa Congress

The Goa Congress on Thursday demanded that women be stopped from working in the state's casinos, citing safety issues.

Addressing a press conference at the party's state headquarters in Panaji, Sunita Verenkar, who heads the Congress womens' wing, also demanded instant stop to the practice of women working in night shifts until proper safety measures are taken.

"We want casinos and all forms of gambling must be stopped and till then women must not be allowed to work in casinos due to safety reasons," Verenkar said.

The state has five operational offshore casinos and nearly a dozen onshore casinos housed in the many five-star resorts which dot Goa's coastline. The casino industry employs nearly 10,000 workers, of whom around 20 per cent are women.

"Women are unsafe in Goa and the recent gang-rape of two women from Delhi earlier this month has proved this fact. Unless the government takes steps to improve security for women at night, things will not improve," Verenkar said, adding that crimes against women had risen in the past few years.

The Congress has accused the state BJP of going back on its promise to stop casino operations in Goa, while the ruling BJP has accused the Congress of granting licences for casino operations in Goa during its stint in office from 2007 to 2012.