Casino Blues: Are Goa Boat Casinos Losing Their Shine?

Casino Blues: Are Goa Boat Casinos Losing Their Shine?

Goa is the only state in India where you can legally engage in land-based wagering. Famous casino boats are attracting crowds and are as appealing as ever, however, their popularity might be slightly decreasing due to a number of factors that will definitely shape the future of gaming in India.

What are those factors, and are Goa casinos as attractive as they used to be?

The Rise of Online Casinos

Before the 2010s, Indian gamblers didn’t have many options in front of them. It was either to travel to Goa or pay a visit to a gambling dent across the street, run by god-knows-who. Today, on the other hand, more players choose to enjoy online casino games than they are ready to visit boats in Goa.

True, playing at a real land-based (or in this case, water-based) casino has its appeal. There is the social aspect, drinks, food, and the overall luxury that makes players feel as if they were stars on the big screen. At the same time, online gaming is far more convenient, and thanks to mobile apps, available around the clock no matter where they are. Instead of saving money to visit Goa, everyone can play casino games non-stop, on the way to work or when chilling at home on Friday evening. Options are endless, and so is the number of games online casinos offer.

When playing at online casinos, pick only the ones with positive reviews, such as those on, one of the most reliable gaming sites in India.

When the Money Talks

The convenience of online casinos heavily accentuates another aspect of land-based gaming in Goa — the price. An average entry ticket to the casino is around 1,000 INR, yet, that is not the only price players have to pay. There are also train and plane tickets, accommodation, food, drinks, and ultimately, chips.

On the other hand, online casinos as a minimum money engagement. For just a few INRs, you can get access to thousands of games of all sorts, even those unavailable in Goa. On top of that, players get different promotions and offers to boost their balances and may out on the entire experience. No matter how good of a fight Goa casinos put, online platforms always go one step further in making players feel welcome!

Rising Concerns: A Closer Look at the Dimming Allure

One would think the people of Goa would be thrilled to have such an economic booster in their backyard, but one would be wrong. Although the impact on the local economy and employment rates cannot be denied, there are many who dislike casinos and consider it the disaster factor.

Some residents argue that authorities in Goa prefer profit to people, implying gambling tourism is not healthy tourism, and in the end, it could have devastating effects on the community. At the same time, the government in Goa is arguing they can’t close casinos until they find another source of revenue for the state’s treasury.

“I depend on casinos to the tune of 150 crore, which I get as revenue to run the finances of the state. If I close it (casinos) overnight, who will replace 150 crore?”, asked the chief minister Manohar Parrikar back in 2013.

Despite all concerns, a little has changed since, leaving locals bitter and hostile towards the gaming industry. Online industry which also represents a major financial factor is widely accepted and employs highly educated Indians who, as a result, have little to no need to find jobs abroad.

Hostile Policies Threat the Operators

While authorities in Goa do their best to support the land-based gambling industry and all the floating casinos on the Mandovi River, central authorities are doing their best to discourage the businesses from operating. Tax revisions, delayed payments, and the overall hostile atmosphere towards gambling as an industry are not making operators’ business any easier. If anything, it makes operating a nightmare.

So, although Goa casinos still have a lot of allure, they will have to put up a good fight to stay where they are and continue working successfully. Technology and Indian gaming policies are not on their side.


I'm a technology content writer with a solid track record, boasting over five years of experience in the dynamic field of content marketing. Over the course of my career, I've collaborated with a diverse array of companies, producing a wide spectrum of articles that span industries, ranging from news pieces to technical deep dives.