The Goa And Sikkim States Are Allowed To Reopen Casinos

Image by Viraj Rajankar
Article by : Helen Nov 10, 2020

Like in all the other parts of the world, the casinos in India have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2019. Considering that the situation with the virus is easing in many parts of India, Goa Chief Minister said, “Casinos will start from November 1. We have given them permission.” This is an obligation for them to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) released by the Home Department. Both land-based and shipboard casinos are allowed to reopen, but they can’t work at their full capacity. Any casino must adhere to the principle of 50% capacity. Talking about SOP, it is worthy to note that the government hasn’t released it yet. The Home Department has received no decisions from the General Administration Department.

Sawant highlighted that despite being closed for more than seven months, the casinos must be charged license fees – $27.5 million before they can resume work. The casinos usually pay the fees annually, but now it must be done on a monthly basis. This was allowed to help operators because they have some other fixed costs, and, despite their closure, those costs must be paid. The Home Department was eager to reduce the license fees, but some cabinet members set this decision.

Sawant also noted, “We need to promote tourism activity.” Because of the pandemic lockdown, the Indian tourism industry has felt some decline, and the casinos reopening is a so-called kickstart or an effort to make things better. The casinos are the second most lucrative industry in Goa, and 10 casinos here operate in the five-star resorts.

There is a large operator in India called Delta Corp, and it has one land-based and three floating casinos in Goa. This casino operator was allowed to reopen its properties in Sikkim on November 1. The next day the authorities in Goa also announced that gambling venues in this state can restart their work.

However, not all casino operators in Goa have been ready to reopen their properties immediately after the Government informed them about its decision. The reopening process may take up to several weeks as far as lots of employees aren’t currently at their workplaces.

Business will be very low because we don’t know how many people will actually visit casinos. We are a little concerned about that.

Jaydev Mody, Delta Corp Chairman

Anyway, the stock price of Delta Corp has increased by 6% right after the news about reopening was announced. Though this company has been staying afloat thanks to its online gambling operations, the revenues from the land-based casinos were more significant in times when they operated at full capacity.

Delta Corp subsidiary company has agreed to buy a 45% stake in Waterways Shipyard Pvt Ltd, and this deal will cost the company $2.1 million. Delta Corp Casino Royal is one of the vessels built by Shipyard, and it is used for casino halls in Goa. Delta Corp commented on the purchase as follows “This investment is expected to bring strategic benefits and a long-term partner to support Delta Group’s vessel building and maintenance requirements.”

Talking about the company’s total income received in the second quarter of 2020 it is INR11.38m, while in the same period of 2019 it was INR133.27m. Anyway, the expanses have also decreased from INR70.63m to INR 31.15m. There can be seen significant changes in the company’s net sales so in the Q2 of 2019 they were INR119.91m


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