- January 4, 2021
- Posted by: Planet Goa Team
- Category: Lifestyle & People, Readers Holiday in Goa
Jaydev Mody, the man who can be credited with the success of the off-shore casino industry in Goa, got candid with Planet Goa about his life’s journey, likes, dislikes and lots more. With decades of work experience behind him, Mr. Mody has a wide range of interests which include gaming, textiles, real estate, horse racing and more. In this conversation with Planet Goa, he shares insights from his life, both personal and professional, and as he does so, there are also those pearls of wisdom, which can guide one toward a fulfilling career and life. For those who love gambling; there is a special advice by the gambling maestro himself.
Planet Goa (PG): With a career starting really early – at 16 I am told – you have obviously seen the ups and downs like anyone else, am sure. Anything that you may like to talk about – the highest and the lowest, maybe?
Jaydev Mody (JM): My highs were the birth of my three girls, Anjali, Aarti & Aditi. Losing my father at a young age was one of the lowest moments of my life. That being said, I don’t let the lows get to me, because it is important to keep moving on and hustling without getting down. Otherwise you tend to get in your own way.
PG: Already well settled in the fi eld of real estate and textiles – what made you take the plunge into the hospitality and lifestyle gaming business, especially at the time when you started, when the industry was still new and perhaps uncertain?
JM: Much like the gambling industry itself, what got me into it was pure luck. I decided to retire at the age of 50 and once I had already made that declaration, the opportunity to acquire a casino license just chanced upon me. Since I love to gamble (but always calculated gambling) – be it horse racing or cards – I couldn’t give up the offer. After studying the market and evaluating the opportunity, I saw great potential in the gambling industry and made my move. Again, as luck would have it, at the very same time, the Goa government began to up the licensing regime and decided to issue fi ve new licenses. We applied for one and immediately started building a vessel in Goa to operate a casino. Along the way, we acquired two additional licenses and became a formidable player in the market.
PG: With the presence of Deltin in Daman, you have added another feather to the Deltin group’s cap; do you see the govt. allowing the gaming industry to spread further across the country? What are your expansion plans for Goa in particular as well as the other parts of the country as well as overseas?
JM: Gambling in India is regulated by the states, so it is up to each state to determine whether gambling should be permitted. States such as Goa, Nagaland, Daman and Sikkim have already permitted gambling in some areas, while other states have also shown interest in doing the same. Given this trend, I do believe that the gambling business is still in its nascent stages and will grow to have a far wider reach than it does today. As far as Goa is concerned, we are fully committed to exploring every opportunity that comes our way and plan on growing our business exponentially.
PG: How do you see the market evolving in the coming years, especially on the policy issues from governments?
JM: A policy decision would not impact the entire country – as gambling is a state subject. So we have to adopt a wait-and-see approach, be patient and hope that states open their boundaries to gambling. However, in states like Goa and Sikkim etc., where gambling is already legal, there are rumours of regulators coming forward to lay down guidelines and parameters for the conduct of business. I believe this will be a step in the right direction and will help the gambling industry to grow.
PG: Did demonetization impact the Deltin Casinos in any way? Where has that left the industry today? Your views?
JM: Demonetization was a bold and remarkable step for the good of the country at large and I personally applaud our Prime Minister for taking this step. Nevertheless, similar to every other retail/ consumer business, Delta was also impacted by the initiative at its very outset. However, after the initial dip, business is picking up once again, although it will take some time to match the figures we were seeing predemonetization.
PG: While Casinos have played an active role in promoting tourism in Goa, the general perception locally, is that apart from favouring the rich few, it doesn’t do much for the locals interests. In fact at one level the perception is that it is detrimental to the local domicile apart from the fact that it contaminates the waters of the Mandovi, hampers fishing, etc. How are you going about tackling this?
JM: The casino industry has been present in Goa since the early 90s, but it has only seen massive growth in the recent years. Flights to Goa have multiplied manifold and although casinos are not the only reason to account for this growth, they have contributed greatly – to wit, over INR 300 crores revenue, through direct and indirect taxes and licenses fees. Moreover, thousands of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities have been created for Goan locals, thus increasing the revenue and tax collection and making the casino industry an integral part of the Goan economy. With respect to contamination, Delta has been always diligent about obeying environmental laws and ensuring that there is no polluting. In fact, in a case with the National Green Tribunal, it was established that no pollution or dirtying of the river can be attributed to the operating casinos. We at Delta love Goa and always aim to help Goa prosper, rather than impede that growth.
PG: We are familiar with your penchant for horse-racing and your love for horses. Any upcoming races that you are excited about?
JM: Every race day is exhilarating and thrilling – if you know how to study the book and evaluate the skills of the horses and jockeys, which comes with experience, then there is always some horse to look out for, which makes racing very exciting to watch.