Goa is perhaps the only state in India that has floating casinos, but before the offshore casinos came into existence, Goa had many land-based casinos. These, however, didn’t create the number of ripples that floating casinos did, and in what was a very short space of time. In fact, a couple of players entered into the offshore casino arena, looking at the lucrative margins. But do Casinos really help tourism in the state? Yes, we guess they do.
If you take a look at the number of people who flock to Goa to play in casinos, you will be surprised. There is no doubt that floating casinos became a centre of attraction in the state, and major crowds from North India – besides tourists from all over the world – started coming down to Goa to check out the casinos.
The entire economy of Goa was majorly based on tourism and mining, but following the closure of mining in the state, casinos became a major source of income to many co-existing businesses, besides the state Government, whose big chunk of revenue started coming from them.
What simply began with a single floating casino on the river Mandovi, this has now turned into a bunch of ships floating in the middle of the river. Although gambling is considered to be illegal in India, casinos are allowed in Goa due to its unique economy, which is dependent on the tourism industry, and casinos invariably help with the growth of the same.
According to a BBC report, Goa’s offshore casinos receive a whopping 15,000 visitors every single day. As aforementioned, the figures are according to the BBC, one of the largest – and most trusted – news channels in the world. These numbers appear very large, for major players running in the state.
Presently, there are half a dozen casinos floating on the river Mandovi, and more than a dozen land-based casinos are also in the state. Major five-star hotels in Goa have their own in-house casinos.
BBC news reporter Sameer Hashmi, from Mumbai, made a detailed report of the operation of casinos in Goa, and he conducted an interview with the chief of Deltin Casinos, Mr Jaidev Modi. This particular company operate three offshore casinos in Goa.
According to Jaidev, the major chunk of visitors are domestic tourists visiting Goa for the holidays, and they take their turn in visiting the offshore casinos. These casinos are filled with visitors, ranging in age from 25-40, which include working professionals from the multinational companies, and businessmen from major cities in the country – especially North India.
The State Government is planning to set up multiple casinos within the upcoming MOPA airport in North Goa, and this will further boost tourism in the state. One thing is for sure; despite the huge amount of opposition from the locals and some political leaders – the Casinos are here to stay.