What will happen to Goa's casinos in a post-COVID-19 world?
Gambling, both online and offline, can be a tricky process for most Indians. Since gambling laws are a state subject in the country, the rules regarding the regulation and legality of gambling vary depending on where you are.
Goa has been a safe-haven for gamblers in India as it is one of the few states where physical casinos are legal. Currently, there are around 15 physical casinos in the state with many of them based on riverboats.
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on casinos in Goa
As the COVID-19 pandemic started getting its grip on the country, all casinos had to be shut down in accordance with the national lockdown that lasted for 51 days.
While the restrictions have been gradually eased over the last few weeks, the number of cases is still rising and most venues remain closed, including the land-based casinos.
It is estimated that the land-based casinos in Goa serve more than 15,000 customers every day and the lack of revenue in recent times has put a financial burden on most of them. As the future remains uncertain, it is fair to say that the coming days can be gloomy for the casinos located in the state.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the only thing taking away business from the land-based casinos as online casino sites in India have been also been steadily on the uptick over the last few years.
Online casinos, strict regulations, and other problems for land-based casinos in India
As mentioned earlier in this article, land-based casinos in India were already forced to work under strict government regulations in the country. The majority of states do not permit land-based casinos to operate legally which means that the vast majority of Indians cannot access them.
However, due to the vague laws governing online casinos, international casino sites such as Royal Panda are allowed to legally operate in most parts of the country. Online casinos also offer a lot more convenience by letting people experience the thrill of gambling from their homes and along with heavy regulations, they are contributing to the decline of land-based casinos in Goa.
The future for casinos in Goa?
Even though it is extremely unlikely that all physical casinos will be disbanded in Goa, a lot of them will face severe financial problems in the new normal. Some of them just might have to be shut down if the effects of the pandemic and other factors keep driving business away.