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The atmosphere is electric. A Russian belly dancer shakes her body on one end of the floor. On the other, a Caribbean band sings effortlessly. Between them are men and women from various parts of India and beyond, enjoying a gambling night out.

This is Goa’s own Las Vegas.

The entertainment cruise ship, Caravela, sits majestically on the edge of the River Mandovi.

On board, dozens of men and women join in live games of American roulette, poker and Black Jack.

‘Casino Goa’

 

 

Goa is on the road to becoming the casino capital of South Asia, trying to take advantage of the uncertain political climate in the present casino hub, Kathmandu in Nepal.

But there are mixed feelings about the new tag.

 

Entertainment industry bosses and pleasure-seekers were disappointed by the state government’s recent decision to open only five new off-shore casinos, as opposed to the 10 which were originally proposed.

The government’s proposed new casinos are an attempt to attract high-end tourists.

“Goa’s existing casinos (five inside five-star hotels) are believed to have added to the foreign tourist traffic, which has gone up to over 320,000 a year, an increase of 20% over the last two years…”

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