The Casino Goa is India's only live casino located offshore in Panaji in Goa. September 2008 saw two new live offshore casinos open; the Kings Casino and Leelas Rio. Both offer an enhanced gaming experience, superior service and easy entrance ticketing policies, obviously to compete with its more well entrenched neighbour, the Caravela. October should see two new and impressively large offshore casinos open in Goa, the luxurious and large Casino Royale and the Pride of Goa, both stationed alongside the other three floating casinos.
It should be a good choice for punters who thus far had to make do with the take it or leave us attitude of the Caravela who seem to have let their 'only live casino in India' status go to their heads and particularly to the head of their Australian casino manager. The casino is located on a yacht, the M.V. Caravela, anchored in the River Mandovi. The casino vessel worth is 110 million Rupees (or 11 crore ) and is owned by the Advani Pleasure Cruise Co Ltd as a joint venture between the company and Casinos Austria.
It has around eleven tables of American Roulette, Blackjack and Paplu (Rummy) besides a few electronic slot machines. The yacht is 215 feet long (65.5 m) and can accommodate 300 people. A boat ferries passengers from the shore to the yacht. Themed restaurants, barbecues atop the deck and a swimming pool are some of the facilities on board. The ship is named after the first Portuguese ship that visited Goa in the 16th century. The company has to pay a licence fee of Rs. 500,000 (or Rs. 5 lakh ) annually.
Entrance fees are high at Rs. 1,600 for the morning sightseeing cruise (10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.), Rs. 3,000 for the sunset cruise (5.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.), and Rs. 4,000 for the dinner cruise (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.). Its high fees are meant to deter casual punters and target the foreign tourists. Players are dealt to by dealers specially trained to conduct sessions with accepted international standards. The government hopes to lure Indian citizens who travel to neighbouring Nepal to gamble. The setup of the casino was controversial as gambling is outlawed in India.
This was partially circumvented by hosting it off the mainland. The Congress government in Goa is promoting Offshore casinos in Goa by granting new licences to more companies. A casino is, in the modern sense of the word, a facility that houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. Some casinos are known for hosting live entertainment events, such as stand-up comedy, concerts, and sporting events.
The term Casino originally meant a small villa, summerhouse or pavilion built for pleasure, usually on the grounds of a larger Italian villa or palazzo. There are examples of such casinos at Villa Giulia and Villa Farnese. In modern day Italian, this term designates a bordello (also called casa chiusa, literally closed house), while the gambling house is spelled casino with an accent. One of the first known casinos was established in Venice around 1638.
During the 19th century, the term casino came to include other public buildings where pleasurable activities, including gambling, and sports took place. An example of this type of building is the Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island. In most jurisdictions worldwide, gambling is limited to persons over the age of license (18 or 21 years of age in most of the United States and 16 to 21 in most other countries where casinos are permitted). Customers gamble by playing slot machines or other games of chance (e.g., craps, roulette, baccarat) and some skill (e.g., blackjack, poker) (for more see casino games).
Games usually have mathematically-determined odds that ensure the house has at all times an advantage over the players. This can be expressed more precisely by the notion of expected value, which is uniformly negative (from the player's perspective). This advantage is called the house edge. In games such as poker where players play against each other, the house takes a commission called the rake. Casinos often give out free items, known as comps to people who are gambling. Often, in most casinos, the more money a player uses the more benefits or comps the player get.
In 2007, State of Goa officials finally decided to expand the number of licenses for off-shore boating casinos tenfold in Goa to attract foreign tourists from the Arabian peninsula, and attempt to recreate some of the success of Macau, another former Portuguese colony. The state also has an eye on the large number of Indian gamblers flocking to neighboring Nepal, where gambling is legal. Visitors are expected to climb 20% this year, approaching 3 million.