Casinos have always played an important role in Goa’s tourism, drawing huge crowds of tourists to its flashy and thrilling atmosphere. However, the casino industry took a major hit this year due to the pandemic, forcing them to shut down all operations, deeply affecting the state’s economy.
When October rolled in, exciting news from the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) came through when they announced that the casinos would be permitted to open from 1 November, provided they functioned at 50 percent capacity while following the standard operating procedure (SOP) dictated by the government.
But even as the restart date for the casinos passes, the state government has still not released any SOPs for the industry. The home department informed that they had not received any news or cabinet decisions from the general administration department (GDA). Without these guidelines, the reopening of the casinos would have to be delayed until operators are able to take the right steps to ensure the safety of their staff and guests.
A senior official from the department assured that they were working on an SOP, keeping it ready so that when the cabinet decision is released, the SOP would be issued at the earliest. Srinivas Naik, Casino Pride director, told that he has not received any information from the state government yet but is waiting for the official order and for SOP to start operations.
Locals and tourists are eagerly waiting for the opening of these casinos, as they are a significant part of the culture and economy of Goa. The recent news of their potential reopening has created an excited buzz among the people, who are now expecting the industry to get back on its usual money-making hum, maybe not immediately but gradually.
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