Big Daddy casino owner Gopal Kanda wins Haryana assembly elections

Controversial businessman and promoter of the Big Daddy casino in Goa, Gopal Kanda has won the recently held Haryana legislative assembly elections from his home town of Sirsa and has the unique distinction of being the first casino owner to have won an election in India.

As per the results declared by the Election Commission today, Kanda, who contested as a candidate of his own party, the Haryana Lokhit Party, won the election from Sirsa defeating his nearest rival and independent candidate Gokul Setia by a slender margin of 602 votes.

Kanda, an associate of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Ajay Chautala, first won from the Sirsa seat as an independent in 2009 and was a cabinet minister in the Congress-led Bhupinder Singh Hooda government. He lost the elections in 2014, but emerged victorious this time around.

The Haryana Lokhit Party supremo has business interests in real estate and owns a company called Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd, which operates several hotels and malls as well as the recently restarted Big Daddy casino in Goa.

In 2005, he had started an airline company called MDLR, which later went bankrupt. Kanda has several criminal cases registered against him, including cases for abetment to suicide, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy, income tax evasion and cheque bouncing.

According to his election affidavit, Kanda, along with his wife Saraswati Devi own assets worth around Rs. 95.5 crores.

Since the election results have delivered a hung verdict, Kanda’s support will be crucial in deciding who forms the state government in Haryana.


Big Daddy casino starts operations in bigger vessel, actor Sanjay Dutt to perform at opening ceremony

Haryana politician Gopal Kanda-backed GoldenGlobe Hotels Private Limited has announced that it has commenced its operations in a new offshore vessel, MV Lucky Seven-that will house the Big Daddy casino at the Mandovi River in Goa. The casino vessel will house 110 tables in an area of around 50,000 square feet spread over three decks.

GoldenGlobe’s new investment comes when their niche industry is thriving globally. Updated gaming regulations in several jurisdictions worldwide boosts revenues for both shipping companies operating in international waters and offshore online casinos. Sweden is a good example. After the country’s new gaming law came into effect in early 2019, regulated online operators have once again seen their market shares drop in favor of what Swedes refer to as ‘casino utan licens‘, meaning a casino with a license but operating within a jurisdiction outside the legalized one.

GoldenGlobe has announced that it will be hosting a 11 day extravaganza from 9th-19th May, 2019 at the casino to mark the opening of the new vessel. GoldenGlobe has also stated that Bollywood stars like Sanjay Dutt, Amisha Patel and Shamita Shetty are set to perform at the casino over the course of the next few days.

Commenting on the development, Narinder Punj, Chief Visionary Officer and Mentor of Big Daddy casino said in a statement, “Big Daddy Casino is all set to revolutionize  the gaming industry and redefine the rules of offshore gaming. The casino promises to enthrall with the best of world class gaming experience, equipped with gaming equipments at par with Las Vegas & Macau not available anywhere in Asia.  We firmly believe that Big Daddy Casino will immensely contribute to the growth of tourism of Goa. We look forward to working towards our goal of establishing Goa into a Global offshore Gaming and Entertainment destination.”

GoldenGlobe is one of the six companies having a license to operate an offshore casino in Goa. The company had ceased operations for the past few years due to financial issues, but restarted operations last year after paying around Rs. 46 crore as arrears and penalties to the state government, pursuant to a High Court order.

The company at the time however could not start operations in the MV Lucky Seven vessel after the ship ran aground in the Miramar beach in July 2017. GoldenGlobe had to temporarily lease the smaller Maharaja casino vessel from Subhash Chandra-backed Essel Group to restart their operations.

The company was operating its offshore casino from the Maharaja ship from early 2018 until it got permission to get its larger Lucky Seven vessel into the Mandovi river last month.