On Friday, 6th November, the Goa government issued a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for the casinos so that they can function safely in accordance with the COVID-19 regulations. The SOP directs the casinos to strictly not let anyone enter the premises without a mask. Other requirements stated in the document include sanitising hands, temperature checks, and strictly observing 50% capacity of a facility. According to The Times Of India, the SOP states that if anyone is carrying a handbag or a purse, the bags need to be sanitized properly before entry.
Amarsen Rane, the state’s additional home secretary also said,
“A sufficient number of hand sanitising dispensers should be placed at multiple spots and at gaming tables… for frequent use by guests and staff, (who) shall be encouraged to do so.”
The SOP also mandated: “regular cleaning and disinfecting of licensed premises, tables, chairs, railings, slot machines, common areas, employee rooms, front and back offices, etc.”
Casinos in Goa and Sikkim were given the permission to operate from November 1st. But the SOPs were not delivered to the casino on time, as the date passed. Now that they have received the guidelines, we all can expect to see the casinos reopen for the first time since March. The state government in Goa also recently gave some financial relief to the casinos in the state by allowing them to pay their annual fees for the year 2020-21 on a monthly pro-rata basis!