In a further boost for the embattled casino industry in Goa, the state government has issued a notice allowing casinos to pay their annual fees for the financial year 2020-21 on a monthly pro-rata basis.
"The annual recurring fees for the financial year 2020-2021 shall be calculated on monthly pro rata basis and the payment thereof in respect of the month of November, 2020 up to March, 2021 shall be made on or before the 5th day of such respective month. The schedule of payment of the unpaid annual recurring fees in respect of the month of April, 2020 up to October, 2020 shall be as specified by the Government by an order published in the Official Gazette", the notification says.
The government has declined to increase or decrease the annual fees from the previous year. Fees are calculated on the size of land-based casinos, and by capacity if it's an offshore casino vessel.
For example, at the top end, a casino with an area above 1,100 square metres pays Rs. 40 Crores. A vessel with a passenger capacity of 440 or more also pays Rs. 40 Crores.
Having been forced shut since March, casinos in Goa were given approval to open on November 1 under strict new coronavirus guidelines.
Casino boss Shrinivas Naik had previously called for the government to step in and offer financial and economic concessions to help the industry survive lockdown and its lingering effects on leisure and tourism.