Betting in Goa

The debate on legalizing online casinos rages on in the US. Even other western nations like Australia are outlawing foreign operators. Where will online gambling enthusiasts look towards? According to popular website RightCasino, ‘India is heavily tipped to be the next major player’. In the following paragraphs, we discuss all the reasons why this is so, and we will zero in on the online gambling scene in the state of Goa.

Indian Gambling Laws at a Glance

The 1949 Indian Constitution grants rights to each state to formulate its own regulations regarding betting. This is similar to the US, where each state has its own policies on both online and offline gambling. That is why there is a lot of disparity. In fact, only 3 states in Indian (Sikkim, Daman, and Goa) grant rights to casinos to operate freely. In other states, like Maharashtra, gambling is a punishable offense. But even earlier, in the late 19th century, the Public Gaming Act of 1867 enacted by the British made the establishment of ‘gambling houses’ a crime.

As we can clearly see, none of these laws have been updated to take into account the rise of online casinos. In 2011, the Federal Information Technology Act as passed which blocked any gambling website that hosted real-money games to appear on Indian ISPs. However, this has not stopped million of Indians from accessing online casinos. However, laws pertaining to real world gambling reflect on online casinos as well, so that Goa, Daman, and Sikkim don’t prohibit their citizens from accessing these websites.

The Gambling Scene in Goa

Despite being one of the only 3 states in India to legalize gambling, Goa has a vibrant gambling scene. It has the highest number of casinos in the country, total 10. Some of the best casinos in Goa are as follows:

• Casino Paradise (owned by the Pride Group)
• Casino Pride (the games are standard, but this casino is famous for hosting grand poker tournaments and also offering larger-than-life entertainment)

However, the most popular of Goa’s casinos are the floating ones. Examples include Casino Goa, which is located on the M.V. Caravela yacht. It is a joint venture of Casinos Austria and the Advani Pleasure Cruise Co Ltd featuring games like American Roulette, Rummy, etc. As live gambling is largely outlawed in the country, these floating casinos offer people a change to engage in casino games off the mainland. Other amazing floating casinos in Goa include:

• Casino Carnival (now known as ‘Casino Pride 2’)
• Deltin Royale (the newest and largest luxury floating casino in Goa)
• Deltin Jaqk (previously known as Casino Royale)

Future Trends

The way technology is flourishing in India, especially in regards to mobile internet usage leads many onlookers to predict a vibrant online gambling in the country, provided proper regulations are made. Considering the current online gambling and betting uptake in the presently regulated markets, governments of other states may follow behind Goa and Sikkim in legalizing online casinos.

2 Comments

  1. This article on the so called activity or business ‘Gambling’,indicates that laws can be as flexible as required depending on the location,purpose and popularity of a location.
    If it is so that how can it be promoted in the films who censor unwarranted scenes or undergo a certification process of Adult and Universal Viewing.
    A number of U and UA certified films show this as a pretty normal.It means viewing is acceptable but actually performing the act is punishable.
    the saying “seeing is believing” means what is seen needs to be followed and acted upon.
    Regards
    Shabbir

  2. Since 2007, I have travelled to Goa many times and I feel it is a peaceful state and a tourist attraction. It is anyday better than Karnataka, Gujarat, U.P. and Bihar. If you have friends and relations in Goa, then one can save a lot of money by spending judiciously and by hectic bargaining, which I used to do.

    However, one has to be careful with money. Most restaurants are run by Shetty community (from Mangalore) and Goans. North Indians and Keralites too have eateries. They know most of the clients who come to Goa are tourists coming there to have a good time and splurge and these scoundrels rip them off. When I go to Goa, I avoid going to Udipi restaurants and if I go there, then I check their menu. Some of them charge as much as Rs. 55/- for a plate of idli. I asked a restaurateur, “Hey, Are you running a restaurant in New York or London,” and he laughed and replied,”Sir, this is Goa.” I told him, “Thank you for enlightening me and I am aware this is Goa and can tell you more information about this place and its history, then you are aware of. You have no business ethics at all, because in Mangalore I had a plate of idli for Rs. 7/- with chutney and sambar (in 2013) and I am sure that their quality is far superior to yours. Would you sell your idli for Rs. 55/- in Mangalore or face the prospect of putting your shutters down?” I said loudly, so that all customers could hear me loud and clear.

    Goa is a tourism-oriented state and though alcohol is flowing like milk and honey, there are no drunkards and one can go to a restaurant and bars for tipple. If one does not buy bottles from a liquor outlet, then one can go to a bar and have a peg of home-made feni for Rs. 10/- which is cheaper than having tea.

    There are two ships conducting casinos at any given time on the Masndovi river. For law and order sake, permissiveness is better than enacting strict or vague laws which only enrich corrupt politicians, police and excise.

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