Launching the high life: Big Daddy Casino in Goa, India
With the opening of Big Daddy, India’s largest Gaming & Entertainment Destination, Bindu Gopal Rao discovers that the state of Goa is all set to become the country’s global offshore gaming and entertainment destination.
Being only one of the two states in India where gambling is legal (the other being Sikkim), Goa is soon set to take on the likes of Las Vegas & Macau to become the country’s premier casino city. Being seen as one of the ways to boost the tourism as well, casinos – offshore and land are the next big thing to India’s most loved state Goa.
On a recent invitation from Big Daddy Casino in Goa, I arrived to the party destination of the country on an unusually wet September day. Post checking into my hotel, I headed to the casino as dusk fell and it was the sight of the beautiful ship with the golden logo of the flying lion that caught my attention.
This is an offshore casino with ‘no-limits’ tables and is said to be the biggest and most modern offshore gaming destination in India. The idea behind the casino is to blend gaming and high to create a holistic night out experience for the discerning traveller. Incidentally the casino happens to be a specially commissioned 72 metre long and 24 meter wide Panamanian vessel – MV Lucky Seven that is operated by Golden Globe Hotels Private Limited.
Incidentally being the widest vessel here, there are more gaming tables here. It is moored 5 minutes away from the embarkation point at the Captain of Ports Jetty, Mandovi River, Panaji Goa. Several feeder boats are in place to ferry visitors to the offshore casino ship once in 15 minutes.
This is the only vessel which is a solo property on the Mandovi River. According to Narinder Punj, Chief Visionary Officer and Mentor, Big Daddy Goa who has been in the industry for the last 38 years, “Big Daddy Casino is all set to revolutionize the gaming industry and redefine the rules of offshore gaming.”
Being a Good Sport
The casino has 110 tables in an area of around 50000 square feet spread over three decks. All the national and internationally played games such as Indian Flush to games such as American Roulette, Black Jack and various variants of Poker will be available for the avid gamers.
Spartan Poker a 10 year old brand recently also organised the India Poker Championship aboard the casino that saw spirited participation that will pave the path for the sport to get the coverage it deserves.
“The Big Daddy Casino is equipped with gaming equipment at par with Las Vegas and Macau not available anywhere in India. From poker to roulette, Indian flush to Andhar Bahar, pit yourself against other eager gaming enthusiasts and see who comes out the winner. Realize your dream of playing and winning big as you witness India’s largest gaming spectacle,” says Punj. Incidentally, celebrity millionaire and poker star Dan Bilzerian also made his maiden Indian appearance on the vessel.
Big Daddy Casino is not just about gaming but an extravaganza that offers you a once in a lifetime experience with year’s biggest parties, entertainment acts, world-class gourmet cuisine and unlimited premium alcoholic, non-alcoholic beverages and several other surprises. The location of the vessel is closer to the mouth of the river and while the pontoon area seems a bit wobbly, the engine is always on so the ship is steady.
The pontoon area is also among the largest among the other offshore casinos. The ship is also being used for bachelorettes and corporate functions. In fact there is entertainment that happens once in 30 minutes at every level. There is also electronic gaming as well so there is a combination of live gambling and electronic games so the guests have ample choice.
The three levels here have varying level of stakes with the first floor dedicated to lower stakes, the second floor being more of a card room and the third level has maximum stakes. For families there is a separate kids zone where children can play and enjoy themselves under the care of the staff. Children below 5 years must be accompanied by their mother. There is a snooze area for children to sleep as well as a box office area where movie screenings will be done.
Built in 1995, this luxury ship houses a multi-cuisine lavish restaurant offering the best of local and global cuisines, a bar, live barbecue area on the topmost deck and a sundeck. There is also a chic Las Vegas inspired Cigar Lounge on board as well as a specialty restaurant.
“We hope that Big Daddy brings in many more tourists to Goa not just from India but also abroad. We also hope that we are able to generate revenue, local employment and boost tourism for the state of Goa,” added Punj. So the next time you are in Goa, check into Big Daddy for a dose of games, fun, entertainment and good food and drink – after all that is what makes a holiday what it is.
You will need to buy an entry ticket that is inclusive of food and drink. There are three packages available and rates go up on weekends (Friday-Sunday). Complimentary chips are provided with the ticket so you can try the games.
Casino entry is for adults aged above 21 years. Children below 8 are allowed free entry and children between the ages of 8-18 are charged Rs. 1000 per person. People between the ages of 18-21 are allowed to drink but not allowed entry to the casino.
For more details log on to the website: bigdaddy.in
Images courtesy of Big Daddy Casino