When it comes to Goa, the casino lifestyle is a big part of what makes the tourist state thrive. Goa is THE destination to be at- not just for partying, but for checking out the casino industry in India. The state has a range of great onshore and offshore casinos, each of which can add volumes to your next Goa trip.
In 2018, the brokers Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd described the rise of Goa's casino scene as the "Midwest riverboat transition story on steroids", and predicted a surge in gross gaming revenues. Goa has since launched a string of land-based casino resorts, most of which reopened their doors in November 2020, to supplement its offshore operations.
Most casinos are situated within hotels like the Grand Hyatt Hotel, giving opulent surroundings to travellers. Live casino operator Evolution Gaming has launched a string of Bollywood-inspired live dealer tables for roulette and blackjack for partner sites like Betway as well.
For those interested in experiencing the essence of Goa's casino industry, it would be a good idea to sample the state's riverboat-based casinos. This is now a world-class casino entertainment for the smallest state in India in terms of area. The following six offshore resorts are the perfect starting point for an authentic Goan gaming experience.
The Deltin Casino Royale is the closest you will get to a Las Vegas-esque gaming experience. Hop aboard the Noah's Ark which meanders up and down the Mandovi River and check out some of the best-loved table games- American roulette, blackjack and baccarat. There's also Teen Patti, which is one of the most popular card games of Indian origin. The smart casual dress code also takes things up a notch here, creating a feeling of class and character.
Casino Pride 2
Overlooking the banks of the River Mandovi, Casino Pride 2 is a popular hub for poker players, with half-a-dozen active tables here running Texas Hold'em cash games, with buy-ins ranging from 50 to 10,000 INR depending on demand. The entire gaming facilities span 30,000 square feet, with specialist Indian games like Andar Bahar and Paplu available for players as well.
The Casino Pride resort is a floating casino located on the Captain of Ports Jetty in Panjim. Open 24/7, Casino Pride operates with a great choice of card games, including Teen Patti, Andar Bahar and Casino War. There's also a popular Money Wheel game which attracts newcomers looking to take a spin and try their luck. Casino Pride is also home to some of Goa's most lucrative Texas Hold'em poker tournaments.
Deltin's additional offshore casino, the Caravela Casino, is another hugely popular Mediterranean-themed experience among tourists, inspired by Goa's Portuguese heritage which has long influenced the state's cuisine. The Caravela contains its very own "floatel", alongside a wealth of table gaming options. Some of the boat's most lavish "suites" even offer their own private casino gaming areas, managed by your own personal dealer.
The Deltin Jaqk Casino Ship is the biggest offshore casino in the country. It's taken things to a whole new level with up to 300 gaming tables to choose from. The Jaqk specializes in helping beginners to get to grips with the dynamics of new and traditional card games, with dedicated learner tables. At the other end of the spectrum, the Jaqk also stages some of the most prestigious poker tournaments in India. All on-board guest packages at the Jaqk contain unlimited food and beverages throughout your stay.
Maharajah Casino AKA Big Daddy
The Maharajah Casino opened its doors back in May 2019 to tremendous fanfare. It was designed to compete directly with Deltin's Casino Royale boat. The so-called "Big Daddy" resort consists of three floors of gaming areas, sporting 900 slot gaming machines as well as 110 live table games. It is also an entertainment resort with live music, sun decks and a gourmet restaurant catering for all tastes in Panjim's Captain of Ports Jetty.
India has two other legal casino gaming jurisdictions- Sikkim and Daman, but there is no doubt that Goa is the premier destination for casino experiences, adding an extra dimension to its famed nightlife on the Arabian Sea coastline.