JAYDEV MODY: The Measured Gambler

By on August 12, 2014
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JAYDEV MODY:  The Measured Gambler

The offshore casino industry in Goa is synonymous with Chairman of Delta Corp JAYDEV MODY. The firm began operations with the MV Arabian Sea King, the MV Casino Royale and the MV Caravela. Today, rechristened as the Deltin Group, it boasts a turnover of `250 crore, and includes three offshore casinos in Goa - India's largest Deltin Royale, Deltin Jaqk and Deltin Caravela - along with two luxury hotels Deltin Suites and Deltin Palms. Jaydev Mody is also the illustrious son-in-law of one of the country’s top jurists Soli Sorabjee. His name creates curiosity and interest, but not much is known about him in Goa. VIVA GOA got exclusive rights to reproduce a cover story article published in ForbesLife magazine as a peek into the life of the “King of Casinos”.

t is 2.30am but in the Mandovi, the river that bisects Goa, the Deltin Royale is all bright lights and energy. India’s largest casino ship is bustling with every kind of punter, from honeymooning couples making eyes at each other over their roulette chips to boisterous groups of mostly male vacationers, who start with the slot machines but eventually give everything a shot. 

It takes a second look to spot the real gamblers, the high-rollers who have flown in simply to play: A steel mill owner engrossed at the blackjack table; the high-profile bodyguard of a Bollywood actor, here off-duty, with his family; the six Chinese women playing quietly with a mountain of chips piled high before them, determined to beat the house. 
The ship, outfitted in ’70s décor, complete with glass chandeliers, is open all day every day of the year. The casino is spread over four levels, and regulars — identified by the colour of the wristbands they are given at the entrance — play in the far quieter Royale poker room on level three, India’s largest gaming room. Tourists are mostly confined to the first two floors, which house the casino’s basic facilities. 

A large crowd of young tourists throngs the entertainment zones that offer dining facilities and live music. 
In another hall, a soloist plinks a lonely melody on her keyboard.This could be a regular day at the Deltin Royale. But the smiling staff seem to be on edge. That’s because Jaydev Mody, chairman of Delta Corp, the company that owns and operates the casino, has just stepped on board. 

Deltin Royale’s casino manager Rajae Sarhan, a Palestinian by birth, shows us around the ship. He has been a part of India’s still-nascent legal gambling industry since its inception at the dawn of the millennium. He worked aboard Caravela, India’s first casino ship, brought to Goa in 2001 by Advani Hotels and Resorts. Mody, he remembers, was a regular. “He loved to gamble but only took measured risks.” Sarhan’s assessment of his boss’s betting strategy is arguably the core of Mody’s business philosophy too.

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.
Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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