Although the Casinos in Sikkim have already resumed the business, it will not happen in the case of Goa until the situation improves in the state, said CM Dr. Pramod Sawant. Casino generates a big chunk of revenue in the tourism industry of Goa and in the absence of mining that is one of the major sources of income for the state government.
Shut owing to the lockdown for a while now, the casinos of Goa were hoping to reopen business now in the time of phased easing of restrictions. But going by CM Pramod Sawant’s recent statement, it looks like they will have to wait a little longer.
Since March last year, with the imposition of the nationwide lockdown most entertainment and recreational establishments were shut down, included among them were the casinos of Goa. Now that restaurants and salons in the state have been allowed to reopen, casinos were hoping for some relief too.
Moreover, Sikkim, India’s only state other than Goa which has casinos, has now permitted their casinos to reopen. Following this, when reporters asked CM Sawant if he had similar plans chalked out for Goa, he denied it saying that the casinos will have to wait until the state curfew is lifted completely.
“The State curfew is in force in Goa …… Currently, the state government has permitted reopening of only a few economical activities in Goa …… as of now the government is not thinking of reopening casinos,” stated Sawant.
India’s largest gaming company Delta Corp has confirmed the reopening of its Sikkim casino after the government of the northeastern state eased restrictions this week. In a company filing, Delta Corp – which operates three offshore casinos and the Deltin Suites hotel and casino in Goa – said it reopened Casino Deltin Denzong, located at the Denzong Regency hotel in Gangtok, Sikkim, on Tuesday.
The government has allowed the reopening subject to safety norms being followed. The Group commented this week, “The casinos operated by the Company and its subsidiaries in Goa will remain closed during this period. We are unable to estimate the quantum of potential losses on account of this temporary closure and the pandemic at this time.”
The casinos in Goa are reflective of its fun and vibrant nightlife. For many years n0w, they have been significant tourism grossers but for now, Goa’s 6 off-shore and 12 inland casinos will have to remain shut.
In November last year, the casinos were allowed to reopen briefly. Casino operators promised a great revival of the tourism industry of Goa eventually. But these developments had to be reversed with the terrible second wave hitting Goa in the months of April-May and causing severe damage, with the state positivity rate going as high as 51%.
The Goa government on Friday extended the state-wide curfew till 7 AM on July 12 amid the looming possibility of a third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. The curfew which was initially imposed on May 9, has been eased significantly over the last month, with even salons and other outdoor establishments being permitted to reopen now. They can operate from 7 AM to 6 PM daily.