Maharashtra casinos not likely to become a reality

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Maharashtra is currently the largest state that offers lottery services that can be sold.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has reportedly turned down a proposal sent by the home department to legalise casinos in Maharashtra.

India.- Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has reportedly turned down the proposal sent by the home department to legalise casinos in Maharashtra.

“At least for now, chief minister has refused to approve the file, which means he is not interested in legalising it. The file has been pending for almost a month now,” said a senior officer in chief minister’s office.

The Maharashtra government was supposed to take a call on legalising casinos by May 2016 following a high court order. The source, however, affirmed that no official decision yet been conveyed to the court.

The home department, after examining the possibility of notifying the pending Maharashtra Casinos (Control & Tax) Act, 1976 and on holding several meetings with all the stakeholders – revenue, tourism and law had stress the “huge financial” gains that the government can have after legalising casinos in the Indian state.

Currently, Goa and Sikkim are the only two states that have allowed casinos in India. The Bombay High Court on October 9, 2015 directed the Maharashtra government to take a decision within six months time on implementation of the four-decade-old law, which makes it legal to run casinos in the state.

The PIL seeking direction to the government to implement the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act passed by the Assembly and published in the government gazette in July 1976 was filed by law student Jay Satya. It is further believed that Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), which is one of the major stakeholders in the decision also gave its consent and is in favour of the legalisation.