The festival of lights seems not-so-resplendent for otherwise booming casino industry in Goa as people tend to spend much time with their families for the festivities.
The picturesque coastal State has 6 offshore casinos besides a dozen other land-based gambling houses which record about 1.5 lakh footfalls during peak season.
The industry feels that footfalls are low during Diwali as less people travel to the State.
“The response is low during Diwali because people have religious rituals. Also businessmen have pujas in their factory premises,” said Shrinivas Nayak of Casino Pride.
The offshore betting house has a sister concern comprising land-based casinos, which also witness lull during this time.
“People want to spend time with the family so mostly they don’t travel,” Mr. Nayak said, adding the footfalls will increase after Diwali season and the upward trend will continue till New Year celebrations.
“Once Diwali festivities are over, the response will increase four times,” he said.
Casino Royale run by Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt Limited, also backed this assessment.
“We respect people’s choice of being with the family during this time. Although our place is also for those who come with their families, we have seen that the response is not much,” a spokesperson of Casino Royale said, adding the current lull will be reversed post Diwali when New Year celebratory tone sets in.
The offshore casinos, the concept which was first time introduced in India through Goa, has a space for family. Few of the betting joints have made special arrangements for kids to play while their parents are gaming.
According to sources, Goa government is mulling over the possibility of banning entry of locals to the offshore casinos and has also toying up with the idea of banning entry of customers below 18 years of age.