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The Big Game, Goa’s Offshore Casinos receives 15000 visitors every day – BBC Report

The Chairman of Delta Corp, Jaidev Modi claims to create the destination like Singapore and Macau into Goa in another 10 years time by creating more resorts and casinos to fill the space. BBC one of the biggest news channels in the world has recently claimed that Goa’s offshore casinos get around 15000 visitors per day, which seems to be a very big number of the big game running in the state of Goa. The report further says that...
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The Chairman of Delta Corp, Jaidev Modi claims to create the destination like Singapore and Macau into Goa in another 10 years time by creating more resorts and casinos to fill the space.

BBC one of the biggest news channels in the world has recently claimed that Goa’s offshore casinos get around 15000 visitors per day, which seems to be a very big number of the big game running in the state of Goa. The report further says that there are total 15 casinos in the state out of which only 4 are offshore, taking this into the account you can estimate the total turnouts per day in all the 15 casinos in Goa.

There is no doubt that the casinos are the major source of income for the treasury of government in the state at the moment, and that is the reason Goa is one of the three places in India that allows the legal casino operations. Goa is the only state in India that has the live gaming facilities in offshore casinos. The meaning of live gaming is, the person deals with the cards instead of machines and at the moment this is allowed only on offshore casinos and the land based casinos make use of electronic machines.

The BBC news reporter Sameer Hashmi from Mumbai made a detailed report of the operations of casinos in Goa and he also conducted the interview with the head of the Deltin Casinos Jaidev Modi. According to him, the major chunk of visitors are the domestic tourists visiting Goa for the holidays and take their turns to the offshore casinos. The casinos are filled with the visitors in age groups of 25-40 which includes the working professionals from the multinational companies and businessman from major cities in India, especially from North India.

Earlier the casinos were considered as only the gambling dens, but the offshore casinos have changed that trend. They provide live entertainment with unlimited alcohol and food with the gaming onboard. The chief of Deltin Casinos, Jaidev Modi who runs two offshore casinos in the state have claimed that they target the mass market instead of high rollers. According to him, an average player spends anywhere between 12000 to 18000 rupees while only the 20% serious players who come here just to gamble like Senthil from Bangalore. In fact, the people who used to travel to Macau to play in casinos twice a year now comes to Goa every two months.

Jaidev Modi claimed that the business of casino is growing at the rate of 30% per year and it will be difficult to sustain the business on offshore casinos for the longer time due to the lack of space on the ship. “I think it will be short of capacity if we stay offshore for another 4 to 5 years from now, it can be substituted with adding bigger ship into the fleet but the huge growth of 5 to 10 times in another 10 years will be a major challenge in front of us,” Said Jaidev Modi. The only solution to this according to him is to create the destination like Singapore and Macau in Goa and create the multiple resorts and Casinos here to fill up space.

Although this dream of Mr. Jaidev Modi seems to be very distant as there is the huge opposition which is rising amongst the Goan populations and the opposition parties in the state. The licenses of the 4 offshore casinos are also expiring by 31st March 2016 and the ruling government facing the stiff resistance from Goan people and opposition parties to not to renew the licenses of casinos anymore and push them into the deep sea.

Ironically, the campaign to remove the casinos from Mandovi River was initiated by the BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) while they were in the opposition and it is now ruling the state.  Now the Congress who is in opposition demanding the removal of casinos from Mandovi calling it an evil, apparently they were behind the existence of the casinos in river Mandovi. On the other hand casino, owners are claiming that it is generating huge revenue to the government coffers and creates the employment for the people of Goa.

On the one hand, the government officials claimed to be scouting for the alternate location for the offshore casinos while on the other hand the casino owners are positive of getting their licenses renewed. The government is in a dilemma with the situation in front of them stops them from publically acknowledging the contribution coming from casinos to the government treasury, while at the same time they cannot create the unfriendly environment that will harm the casinos.

As of now the Casino owners are considering that the voice of the opposition will die soon and that will make their road clear for further expansion. What will happen in the future that only the time will tell but as of now the casinos are not going anywhere and they are busy planning their future expansion strategies? Please do leave your honest comments and suggestions on this issue.

Watch the video here

Source: BBC News

Original Article was written by Sameer Hashmi

Re-written and Edited by Goa Prism News Desk

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