Goa Casinos in 2020
Goa is one of the only states in India that both land and water based casinos operate legally.
In 1991 the first casino opened and since then there have been 14 more that followed; 5 of these are offshore ships stationed at the Mandovi River.
Goa has been praised about this legalisation move, as it earns about INR 1.35 billion in taxes every year and it has completely eradicated unregulated gambling. The larger area as a whole has largely benefited from the above move, as there are 15,000 guests daily at these casinos, who tend to spend money in many other businesses too.
Nonetheless, what’s happening during the current situation with gambling in Goa Casinos?
Did Goa Casinos Close?
Like most business, schools and movie theatres – the Goa casinos have also remained closed during the pandemic. The Government was still considering which aspects of social life could go back to normal until a few months ago, without being certain how to move forward.
Nevertheless, during October it was reported that offshore casinos and river cruises should start planning to re-open. The hit to the tourist industry in Goa was big and the government seems to want to highlight that they are back and open for business to attract tourists at similar rates like in the previous years.
Tourism in Goa is also prevalent amongst Indian people, who are looking to gamble and experience that aspect of life in a legal fashion for themselves; this is why the hit was even bigger than the tourist ministry expected.
Measures to be taken by Goa Casinos for their Reopening
Opening up for business without a Covid-19 vaccine is indeed a risky move, but many measures have been put in place to protect the stuff and the visitors at Goa:
· Regular sanitization of the boat premises
· Weekly cleaning of all premises
· Touch points, such as doors, tables and railings to be regularly sprayed with disinfectant
· CCTV cameras to trace people’s movements and a separate area to be kept for potential patients
· Masks to be worn by all staff, while everyone will undergo medical screening
These SOPs have been set for all Goa casinos, in an attempt to establish a space for safe gambling.
Goa Previous Gambling Plans
Goa and Sikkim, are the two states that allow land-based casinos in India; even in these two exceptions though, there are many regulations that have to be followed to get a casino permit – namely, to either be within a 5-star hotel or in offshore assets.
This is why the number of casinos in Goa is so small, but it was rapidly increasing until 2020. There were plans in place to attempt a rebranding of Goa to become a true gambling city – such as Las Vegas and Macau.
However, there has been a stop to the above plans of Goa’s casino industry in 2020.
Gambling Online in Goa
Gambling online has been growing every year all over the world during the last 20 years, but most in most Indian states (except Goa & Sikkim) it is the only way that people can play casino games; in Goa, online casinos gambling is still a very-much grey area, although the physical gambling industry there is thriving.
This is due to fact that Goa gambling is allowed in orderto attract tourists – and this is also the primary reason behind the banning of locals are from these casinos.
Nevertheless, being a grey area does not actually mean that people don’t play online casino games. All websites that are licensed and based outside India are protected under the current law as they operate there – and this is where most of Goans and other Indians can find relief.