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Casinos Reopening In Goa From November 1st and Here Are The SOP Guidelines For Entering The Casinos

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Casinos Reopening in Goa
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After being shut for 7 months, casinos have been given a green signal to start their operations again, at fifty percent capacity, and the state Government has set up the SOP guidelines for the people planning to visit the casinos. Here they are…  

Until March 22 2020 casinos operated in full swing bringing in revenue to the state treasury of about 300 crores through license fees and about 90 crores via state GST, per year, while they themselves made a turnover of around 300 crores per year. But the closure of the same for more than 7 months has brought huge losses to the business and state government alike. 

CM Pramod Sawant’s decision to reopen casinos is in view of ‘promoting tourism activity in the state’. Casino owners themselves urged reopening of the operations to the government so as to help generate state revenue while also help promote tourism, as the tourist season begins. 

Goa is the only state in India having floating casinos draws in a huge number of tourists all year round to these gaming vessels. This 19-year-old industry began with one casino and now has increased to 6 floating casinos in a one-kilometer stretch on the Mandovi River while other offshore casinos operate from multiple five-star resorts and hotels. 

The SOPs will be directed by the State Home Department to the Casinos. They include casino operations starting with 50% of its whole capacity. The State Government has given relief to the Casinos with respect to their licenses. They are to pay the fees on a monthly basis instead of the regular yearly payments. 

Goa’s economic reliance on tourism took a dip when the lockdown was imposed. In order to revive the state economy, commercial and tourist activity have been resumed following the unlock procedures. 

Casinos were said to draw in 600-700 people, per weekend, during tourist season.  With the onset of tourists coming to Goa and the beginning of tourist season, the casinos opening for revenue may work. 

However, the reopening of casinos may be pushed further as there is a lack of staff. Due to being shut, casino staff were left jobless and thus returned back to their native places. Even if casinos are to start at 50% capacity, they will require their full staff to ensure safe and smooth operations. 

The question of how much revenue will actually be generated is to be answered with time. Another concern is the closed AC environment of the casinos that could increase Covid-19 cases, even if it is only 400 people visiting, considering the 50% capacity rule. 

People are known to enter the Casinos in hoards. With no requirement of a negative certificate to enter Goa, only temperature checking can be relied upon for some sort of security against transmission. 

The casino will have to utilize all its space and open its entire space while only being able to entertain half of its clients. Whether this will be practical in terms of monetary investment is questionable as the turnover risks not even amounting to equal of the expenditure, to cover for it. 

Domestic tourists have started to arrive while charters and foreign tourists have been kept on hold. With lesser tourists due to this and the virus scare, one has to wait and watch for the outcome for the casinos. 

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