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INDIA: Casino “super spreader” events put into the spotlight by health professionals

Despite imposed curfew on residents in India, the government is still allowing casinos to operate

According to the data gathered from a medical professional by Herald a new wave of COVID cases "has been emerging from casinos. It is also spreading fast as they come in contact with so many people.

Shutting it down temporarily can help reduce cases to a certain level rather than thinking about economic activity. If there is life, there will be business and earning.”

In Goa, the average daily cases has been rising uncontrollably. The government's decision to allow land-based casinos to operate despite the night curfew has not been well received by residents. Last year, casinos were the last to reopen, bearing witness to the fact that casinos are prone to super spreader events.

India Captain Viriato Fernandes said “They (casinos visitors) have become carriers and if Maharashtra and Karnataka have imposed restrictions on people traveling from Goa, it means Goa is turning into a super spreader”.

According to Roland Martins from the civic and consumer group, no establishment should receive partisan treatment at the cost of the residents. “Nobody should get any preferential treatment because it creates an imbalance in the economic activity. Small businesses feel the pinch, and to avoid that, the government should rethink the strategy.” Despite the curfew - casinos are continuing to receive an influx of visitors.

Some points being raised are that the casino industry contributes to these super spreader events - these gaming halls and restaurants can significantly contribute to the risk of spreading the virus.

In other related news, India’s biggest operator, Delta Corp, along with Casinos in Goa has requested that the license fees be waived for the period of time that the properties were put into mandatory closure due to the pandemic.

Due to the surge in cases, Delta Corp has forewarned that a further shutdown may be imminent due to the national health crisis gripping the country.

Delta Corp reported a profit of Rs 57.65 crore in the final quarter of the fiscal year to end March, 2021, as sales rose almost 17 percent.

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