The Casino Goa is a live casino located offshore in Panaji in Goa. The casino is located on a yacht, the M.V. Caravela, anchored in the River Mandovi. The casino vessel worth is 110 million Rupees 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 company has to pay a licence fee of Rs. 500,000 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 live gambling is outlawed in India (many states actively promote and sponsor lotteries). This was partially circumvented by hosting it off the mainland. The government in Goa is promoting offshore casinos in Goa by granting new licences to more companies in an attempt to generate more tourist related revenue. Goa state is the only one in India that permits both electronic onland casinos as well as live offshore ones.
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 number of new offshore casinos in Goa has grown considerably; amongst the major players are Casino Royale Goa, Casino Carnival, Casino Pride and coming to Onshore Casinos like Crown Casino. 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.