The operator behind three of the six floating casinos in Goa has reportedly called on the government to provide his firm with financial assistance so that it may better weather the downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Casino Pride Group is responsible for the riverboat-based Casino Pride, Casino Pride II and Casino Paradise venues but was forced to temporarily shutter these enterprises on March 15 as part of a government-led campaign to counter the spread of the potentially-deadly ailment.
Shrinivas Naik from Casino Pride Group has now penned a letter to officials in New Delhi asking that they help firms such as his by granting them a three-year income tax holiday alongside a six-month waiver on business loan interest charges. The executive also purportedly called on the government to provide operators with free electricity and Internet access for the next six months and cover all employee pension contributions for the duration of the nation’s coronavirus-related lockdown.
Naik’s letter reportedly read…
“In order to reduce the overall cost of operations and increase funds for disposal in the hands of the industry, the government should provide tax holidays for at least three years beginning from [the first day of April].”
The communication from Naik reportedly moreover urged the government to ‘allow the industry to pay a minimum sustenance allowance to employees during the lockdown period and the post-lockdown period of six months’ and require such workers until April of next year to stay in their current posts for at least six months.
It was further divulged that the six boats once home to Goa’s casinos have sat empty along the banks of the Mandovi River ever since the implementation of the lockdown. The source furthermore cited the southwestern state’s Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, as recently divulging that his government has no immediate plans to allow these venues to re-open. The Casinos have been out of commission for more than six months already.