UPDATE (30 OCT): Two of the six casinos will open on Sunday, 1st November while the rest are yet to be announced. The two casinos set to open are Big Daddy Casino and Deltin Casino.
The super long wait is finally over! Just weeks after the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) had requested the government to open offshore casinos, they are now slated to start on the 1st of November according to the latest decision made by the cabinet.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the casino operations in Goa had been suspended since March of this year. With the latest announcement made by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, these casinos will now be allowed to operate with 50 percent capacity. “Casinos will start from November 1. We have given them permission,” Sawant told a post-cabinet press conference on Wednesday.
“They will have to follow all the SOPs as issued to them by the Home Department. They will have to operate with 50 per cent capacity. We need to promote tourism activity,” the Chief Minister said. In another announcement made by Sawant, the casino operators could now pay their license fees on a monthly basis instead of paying the annual fees.
Gutshot spoke to Vasim Rozani, who manages operations at the Spartan LIVE! poker room onboard the Big Daddy Casino. He said, “It’s good news for the hospitality industry overall as it was among the hardest hit with the onset of the pandemic. We intend to follow the state mandated guidelines in order to make this restart as smooth as possible. Looking forward to welcoming back players to our poker room and situation to slowly but steadily get back to normal.”
Goa has six operational offshore casinos, which are anchored in the Mandovi river off Panaji and around 10 onshore casinos operating from the numerous five-star resorts located in the state’s coastal belt. This announcement will be the best news heard over the last 6 months for all casino operators in the state of Goa. Some of the biggest casinos in the water like Big Daddy, Deltin Royale and Casino Pride will start preparations to resume operations soon!
This is also good news for poker and rummy enthusiasts and even operators in the country. Since the pandemic, all major live tournaments that take place in these Goa casinos have been cancelled or shifted online, including the WPT India 2020 series which is slated to take place between 5-22 Nov 2020.
This is a developing story and for more updates, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com.