Each of Goa’s twelve casinos will halt their gambling operations for Gandhi Jayanti, a day of memorial for the “father of the nation.”
Indian gambling laws are notorious strict, the coastal state of Goa and the remote Himalayan state of Sikkim are the only areas hosting legal casino gambling. Goa is the undisputed casino center of the country and attracts gamblers from Arabia to the Philippines.
Goa casino operators, however, decided to close things down for a day to show respect for Indian resistance leader Mahatma Gandhi. To be fair, the temporary shuttering did come at the urging of state Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who gave the following statement to reporters:
As part of the move, playing games in the casinos has been prohibited. However, people would be allowed entry into the casinos only for the purpose of attending other entertainment programmes and events and for availing the restaurant facility.
Gandhi Jayanti is a big day for India
While this move made gambling news, Gandhi Jayanti (the anniversary of Gandhi’s birth) is one of the most important days of the year in India. Gandhi remains a divisive figure for some, but this day is one of respect and deep reflection for hundreds of millions of people in India.
Prayer rituals are held throughout the country and a special ceremony is held in New Delhi where Gandhi was cremated following his death in 1948.