Goa casino gamblers flout COVID-19 rules

Casinos in the Indian state of Goa have only just resumed operations but have already raised the ire of local residents who fear a pandemic resurgence spurred by reckless tourist gamblers.

Goa casinos – both the floating and land-based kind – were given the all-clear to resume operations as of November 1 following seven months of COVID-19 lockdown, but only at 50% capacity to minimize the likelihood of further pandemic spread among customers and staff.

Clearly there was significant pent-up demand, as the onshore offices and embarkation points of the floating casinos have quickly become a sore spot with local residents.

Horrified locals report scores of gamblers clustering in groups on the streets outside the ships, most without wearing face masks or maintaining appropriate social distancing measures.

Uday Madkaikar, mayor of the city of Panaji in which locals board the floating casinos, said this past weekend that he would convene a meeting with casino operators on Monday (23) to discuss the lack of adherence to medical safeguards the casinos are supposed to be observed as a condition of their reopening.

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