Several of India’s Goa casinos have complaints from local families who claim that the casinos have let their children enter and gamble. Recent changes have come down from state authorities forcing casinos to implement stricter measures to prevent underage gambling. Among these changes are a 10-fold increase in casino admission fees and a 100% increase on casino tax revenues. These regulations have been put in place in an attempt to restrict clientele to tourists, while keeping children away.
Both land casinos and cruise ship casinos in Goa have seen a significant decline in visitation since this regulation has been passed – some as much as 90%. Now, many casinos in India are facing closure. Lost revenue, fewer customers, and higher taxes mean they simply don’t have the means to function.
The state of Goa has long been India’s gambling hotspot. It is the only region in the entire country where casino gambling is legal – gambling is forbidden throughout the rest of India. Most gambling in Goa is restricted to cruise ship casinos, which are subject to special regulations. According to Indian gambling laws, land-based casinos can only offer gambling machines.
It is possible that the closure of many of Goa’s casinos could push more players to gamble on the internet. Online gambling in India is not strictly legal, but at the same time there are currently no laws covering internet gaming, so players do gamble online.