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Unlock 4 guidelines issued but casinos in Goa still shut

by Manthra Koliyer Posted on 02 Sep, 2020

The central government has announced its Unlock 4 strategy. According to the announcement, Unlock 4 will be applicable through the month of September. In the Unlock 4 guidelines, the Central government paved way for opening up of more activities in areas other than containment zones. 

Despite the easing of lockdown, hotels and casino owners in Goa still wait for their industry to open up. Casinos, cruise ships and pubs are not yet allowed to open and this has majorly affected the casino industry. Across India, Goa, Sikkim and Diu and Daman are the only places where gambling is legal, which has a major tourist attraction. The hotels generate massive revenue for the state government but due to the coronavirus induced lockdown they have remained shut since March. Therefore, hoteliers in Goa are demanding rebates in income tax as their business has been on record low this year.

Shrinivas Nayak, owner of one the casinos said that, “With all indoor entertainment activities closed, the tourists will find it hard to spend quality time here. The casinos and cruise ships are the icons of Goa. It’s not like the government allows for people to visit and tourists will start pouring in. The process will take time. To help the hotel and tourism sector, the government must provide rebate in taxes.”

Like casino owners, hotel and pub owners have also expressed similar concerns. Praveen Vashist, owner of a prominent hotel in Goa said, “We are following all kinds of precautions for the guests. Last month there was an occupancy of 10-15 % and this month it is likely to cross 25 %. We hope that the government eases the traveling restrictions and allows the bars to open so that more tourists can come to Goa.” Goa is currently in an unprecedented situation. With minimal tourists and empty beaches, tourism has fallen majorly in the state.  It remains to be seen whether government provides any relaxations to help the hotel and casino industry battle with the losses due to COVID-19 situation.

For more updates about easing of lockdown and the effect of lockdown on the casinos, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com 


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