Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Thursday said he would be writing to the owners and Managements of Casinos to ensure precautions in the backdrop of the global coronavirus outbreak. “The rules that apply to all will be applicable to them (casinos). The airports already have started showing a decrease of tourists. But since many people come to casinos, I will be personally writing to them to ensure hygiene practices are put in place. As a government, we cannot directly stop people from coming, but indirectly we can hint to them,” he said.
Goa’s tourism industry relies heavily on foreign charters and on domestic tourists visiting casinos.
Most gaming in casinos involves a high level of contact with others — playing cards, handling chips and slot machines as well as using the furniture. The industry is expected to be the severely hit by the outbreak.
When contacted, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said “Precautions are in place at Goa airport and we are ensuring that all guidelines are followed. In that sense, we are ensuring quarantines are in place. We will be ensuring we look into casinos and ensure the rules are followed.” No restrictions have been placed yet on any casino.
There are now seven offshore casinos anchored in the Mandovi river, and nine onshore casinos in the state, functioning out several coastal resorts.
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