There is more to this small state than sun, sand, sea and booze. This Goa trip, try a different side with casinos in Goa, along with the usual and you are sure to enjoy it like never before!
Goa holds the rare distinction of being one of the states in India where gambling is not considered illegal. So it’s the go to place whenever you feel like trying your luck over a game of poker or blackjack without looking over your shoulder.
Casinos in Goa can be found on ships anchored in the Mandovi River, and onshore in some 5 star hotels. Most of the action, with live tables, takes place on the floating casinos in Goa — which are entertainment destinations by themselves. Onshore casinos can only have electronic games- as per the law.
There are casinos in Goa that remain open for 24 hours so that you can have fun throughout the day, and night. Most of the Goa casinos are also open in the monsoons.
If you’re looking for the best Goa casino, I’m listing down the top 5 floating casinos along with the best land casinos too.
Deltin Royale Casino
Casino Pride 2, Goa
Big Daddy, Goa
5 best Onshore Casinos in Goa
All these casinos in Goa India offer plenty of gaming options for visitors including roulette, blackjack, baccarat, casino war, 5 card poker, Texas hold’em poker, mini flush and flush.
I was very keen to visit a casino- something I had seen in movies only. That too casino on a ship- I was all agog & raring to go.
My first visit to a casino in Goa was aboard Casino Pride 2 . I’d say it’s the best casino in Goa for beginners and experienced alike. We were 3 families with kids and my daughter was around 9-10 years old back then- so I was a little anxious as children are not allowed on the gaming floor, and I did not know what to expect. So I’d like to share my experience as a first-timer and also my daughter’s, so that those of you planning to go to the casino with family or for the first time will know what to expect.
After that, I have been to the casinos again with friends only. Incidentally, that too was a floating casino in Goa- I haven’t ventured into the casinos in Goa on land yet, but they sound boring….I would prefer to go to a floating casino again anytime!!
How to reach Goa casinos
All the major casinos in Goa that are floating, their entrance and ticketing offices are based in Panjim, within walking distance from each other.
Casino Pride is a big cruise on the Mandovi River in Panjim, Goa. There are feeder boats that pick you from their office and drop you to the ship. Entry to Casino Pride or Pride 2 is at Captain of Ports Jetty on Dayanand Bandodkar Road Panjim.
What to check when buying tickets to the Casinos in Goa
When we reached the area in the evening, we first checked with 3-4 of the ticketing offices about rates, inclusions, rules etc.
The tickets will usually include a certain amount of free play ticket that can be used to play inside the casino. So it’s not just the rate, you also need to check how much of playing coins you get as a percentage. Go with the one giving you the best conversion provided you intend to play; else look for the cheapest one.
Children were allowed free when I went, however there may be some charges; check this beforehand. Among the documents, a government photo ID with Date of Birth is compulsory for all, hence remember to carry the same with you.
The normal rate for casinos in Goa entry fees ranges from Rs 1500 to Rs 3000. During the weekdays, the fee is generally less and goes up at the weekends. However, some casinos charge a fixed price for the whole week.
Check here for the latest tariff of Casino Pride and of other best casinos Goa: http://www.bestgoacasino.com/tariff.php
Inclusions in tickets of Goa Casinos
The tickets include unlimited food and drinks & entertainment programs. If you’re going during lunch or dinner time, a good buffet would be waiting for you. Other times, snack counters will be available.
Think airport lounge…it’s a similar setup. When we went in the evening, there were Bollywood dance performances at regular intervals.
The best casinos in Goa would keep arranging small shows to keep everyone’s spirits high. Generally, live entertainment is from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Minimum age of visitors at a casino in Goa has to be 21yrs to qualify for entry to gaming areas, which are on a different floor. Non-gaming areas like restaurants and entertainment are open to those below 21yrs, but the gaming areas are strictly off-limit.
Dress code at Casinos in Goa
Take care to wear formals or Smart casuals, especially for the guys as the dress code is extremely strict. Shorts, Sleeveless T-shirts, Floaters, Flip-flops are an absolute no-no.
One of my friends was wearing a below the knee capri, and yet he was not allowed to enter inside the casinos in Goa. He then had to go to a market nearby to buy a pair of formal trousers & post that he was allowed inside haha; so don’t repeat his mistake…
There are cute feeder boats that pick you up from their ticketing office and drop you to the ship- Casino Pride or Pride 2. You can only carry certain items- like a wallet or small bags inside the ship, rest are to be deposited with them. It takes only about 5 minutes to reach the casino.
Are Goa casinos suitable for family?
The gaming zone inside the casinos in Goa are on a separate floor. There was a separate kids room, which was a set of 2 rooms on another floor with some games, a few beds, lots of water bottles & a lady to generally supervise.There were lots of kids, a lot of noise around, many kids were shouting, running etc.
The space was confined and completely full.
Kids are allowed to come to the entertainment section which has food and music, on the same floor. But kids are not allowed on the casino floor.
I would keep coming back every hour to check on my daughter.
I had given her a phone so that she could stay busy, but the battery ran out soon. With the high decibel levels and kids running around like miniacs she did not enjoy it at all. However, some of the other kids in our group joined in the running, falling, shouting and enjoyed their time there.
That visit, I left the casino with her at 12 am since my daughter was so bored & sleepy.
If the children are small and you have carried enough things to keep them occupied, or if there’s an adult in the group who is not interested to go to the game floor…it may be fine for a long night too.
Once the entertainment programs are over and the kids have had their dinner, they will feel sleepy & cranky so be prepared.
When I went with friends only, I stayed back till 5am playing the games. With children, you may have to leave earlier.
The gaming zone at the Casinos in Goa
Gambling at last! Since it was the first time for all of us, we just stood around different tables in the beginning & tried to grasp the rules of the games to generally decide which ones to play. As one of my friends put it- we are doing a ‘process audit’, a widely used term in banking haha. 😉
I decided to start with blackjack. Initially, I put my bets with a winning person. Want to know more?
Ok, so on a table, if 6 people are playing & one is winning with regular frequency, we can join our money with their bets to increase our winning chances. In my case, it was a very elegant old lady & I made good money playing with her on my side.
I converted part of my winnings into rupees- covered the cost of my entry ticket and then kept playing various games till the coins ran out. No profit, no loss. :))
The tables have around 6 seats each, others stand around, playing or watching…a little crowded.
Remember, the playing ticket you receive at the casino in Goa (A Rs. 500 ticket in my case), is a one time play. It cannot be broken up. So if you win: good, but if you lose on that gamble, it’s gone. Some games have minimum bet amounts.
Food & drinks are unlimited on the table, as long as you have playing coins in your hand. I left by 12, but on that day, there were free coins for all ladies on the floor, every hour after 12, which was a surprise & a bonus. My friends really enjoyed it even though their final tally went slightly downhill.
Overall, the games, food, fun and entertainment made it a good first-timers’ experience.
On my next visit, when I stayed back till 5 am, there was no scheme or bonus coins of any kind.. 🙁
Finding a cab at any hour of the night outside a casino in Goa shouldn’t be a problem.
Rules to remember for any casino in Goa:
Dress code: Smart Casual or Formals. Don’t wear shorts, sleeveless shirts or t-shirts, Floaters.
Carry a valid government photo identity as it’s mandatorily checked before entry.
You must be 21+ to access the game section of this casino.
Less than 21: You can access food & entertainment, but no gaming zone.
Generally, live entertainment is from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Dinner is usually served between 9 p.m. and 1.30 a.m.
There is a childrens’ room with some games, beds and water.
Photography is allowed in the restaurant and entertainment areas.
Photography is not allowed on the main casino floor.
Drinks on the table are only available when you are playing games on the Casino Floor.
Just keep these things in mind and you’ll have the time of your life at these posh gambling hubs.
How was your first experience at a casino in Goa? Came across something new? Do let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you! 😀