Betting in Goa

Published: 02/04/2013

Although Goa is India’s smallest state in terms of land area and fourth smallest by population (under 1.5 million), it is also the country’s wealthiest state, sporting a GDP per capita that is 2.5 times that of India as a whole. Famous beaches, renowned places of worship and world heritage architecture draw large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. The state economy is also bolstered by gambling revenues from a dozen casinos—more than any other Indian state.

In the capital city of Panaji (aka Panjim), two major resort hotels feature their own gambling spaces. The 180-room Goa Marriott Resort & Spa at Miramar Beach has the Casino Carnival, open 24 hours a day with 29 gaming machines and six table games, while the Crown Lounge & Casino inside the Crown Hotel is open daily from noon to 6am with a 2,500-square-foot gaming space. The latter offers 12 gaming machines, 75 seats for Bingo and ten table games plus on-site dining at the Harbor Café & Hanging Garden Restaurant.

South across the peninsula from central Panaji are half a dozen beach areas lined with resorts. One of them is Vainguinim Beach, where the Casino Goldfinger (formerly Chances Casino) can be found inside the luxurious 210-room Cidade de Goa. The Casino features 35 gaming machines available daily from 11am to 2am. Also on the premises are five restaurants, two bars, a spa and two swimming pools.

Panaji is the home port of several floating casinos. The Pride of Goa, for example, is a cruise ship that’s open for gambling on the Mandovi River 24/7 with a gaming space covering some 30,000 square feet. Its tables have minimum bets starting from Rs 50, and machine games require a buy-in of Rs 100 minimum to play. Flush and Poker have regular tables running, and the minimum age for admission is 21 years old.

Similarly, the Kings Casino sets sail each day with high-limit Blackjack tables, American Roulette, Baccarat, Pontoon, 3-Card Stud and 5-Card Draw Poker on board as well as the state of the art slot machines, video poker and more. Open from 5pm till 10am daily, this massive catamaran anchors on the River Mandovi with the picturesque backdrop of the hills of Reis Magos on one bank and the bustling waterfront promenade of Panjim City on the other.

Two other cruise ships with gambling facilities berthed on the Mandovi River are owned by the Delta Group. Capable of accommodating 300 guests, the iconic Casino Caravela (formerly Casino Prime) was the very first vessel to obtain an offshore casino license, and today it offers 105 gaming machines and 16 tables for Blackjack, American Roulette, Stud Poker and Pontoon. Its sister ship, the Casino Royale, is open weekdays from 6pm to 8am and weekends from 6pm to 9am.

North of the capital in Bardez, the Casino Palms can be found inside the La Calypso Hotel on Calangute Baga Road. It is affiliated with the Pride of Goa, open 24/7 with a Roulette table and a limited number of gaming machines.

South along Goa’s coast in the Salcette district are three casinos of note. In Altomonte Margao, the Winners Casino and Hacienda de Ora is open daily from 11am to 2am inside the 171-room Holiday Inn Goa; the gaming space features 150 gaming machines. Then at the 130-room Majorda Beach Resort, operated by Eastern International Hotels Ltd, there are 15 gaming machines available for play 24 hours a day.

The third noteworthy casino of South Goa is Las Vegas – The Gaming Club inside the stunning 137-room Leela Palace resort at Mobor Beach. Set within 75 lush seaside acres with a 12-hole golf course, seven bars and restaurants, and an on-site spa, the gaming space is open 24 hours daily with three gaming machines and six table games.

Published on: 02/04/2013

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