Finally, Goa Government has granted permission to the 6 offshore casinos in Goa to resume their business from 1st November 2020, but it looks like the resumption might take more time due to the lack of staff that has left Goa due to the Covid crisis.
The Casinos in Goa that are shut since March 2020 due to the pandemic and due to no job most of the staff of Casinos have gone back to their native places in different states in India. The notice of government is too short for the resumption and it might take a couple of weeks to be up and running.
According to the reports, CM Sawant had granted permission to start the operations of Casinos from 1st November with 50 percent capacity and restrictions of following the SOPs which will be issued by the state home department.
“From November 1, we have given the casinos permissions to start. They will have to follow all the SOPs as will be issued to them by the Home Department and with 50% capacity, they can start. We need to promote tourism activity,” Sawant said.
Announcing the decision, Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday that the decision was taken with a view to “Promote Tourism Activity in The State.”
The Casinos owners were persuading the CM for a long time to allow the reopening of the casinos that will do a significant contribution of revenue to the state government treasury and also help to promote tourism in the state.
The CM has also given some relief to the casino operators by allowing them to pay the fees on monthly basis instead of a time payment that was applicable earlier.
Goa has a total of 6 offshore Casino boats anchored in the River Mandovi that flows by the capital city and these are the major attractions for the domestic and foreign tourists visiting Goa since Goa is the only place in India that has a floating casino. The other Casinos are located inside the five-star hotels.
According to the reports, the 19-year-old Casino industry is contributing whopping Rs 300 crores to the state coffers in a form of license fees and around 90 crores per year as state GST.
The Journey of floating casinos that begin in the year 1999 with just one vessel now has ballooned to 6 gaming vessels spread across the one-kilometer stretch of the river Mandovi. According to the reports, each gaming vessel makes a turnover of 120 crores per year and draws around 600 to 800 people per vessel on weekends.
The News of the reopening of casinos in Goa on November 1st shot the share prices of Delta Corp up by 11% this shows the popularity of the Casinos across the country.