India: Maharashtra politician proposes allowing coastal casinos

One politician thinks Maharashtra could learn from Goa.
One politician thinks Maharashtra could learn from Goa.

Manoj Chavan, general secretary of the right-wing MNS, wants casinos to be allowed on the Konkan coast.

India.- Goa is known as being one of the few places in India with regulated casinos, thanks to its casino boats. But now one politician in the much larger state of Maharashtra just north of Goa has proposed the authorisation of casinos along its coast.

Manoj Chavan, the general secretary of the small right-wing party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), has requested the state government allow casinos along Maharashtra’s 720-kilometre coastline. He said such a move would boost tourism in the region.

He said: “The revenue of our state will undoubtedly rise in a positive way if casinos are introduced along the Konkan coast.”

To date, apart from the Supreme Court’s prior exception on skill-based gambling, there is no federal law regulating gaming in India. Instead each state takes its own position on the issue. Some have taken steps to specifically ban online gambling, something that had not been contemplated in earlier laws.

The state of Meghalaya had considered authorising casinos and even introduced legislation but scrapped the plans due to pressure from the church and anti-casino groups.

In a social media post, taxation minister James PK Sangma said: “Following meetings with stakeholders, it became clear to me it is in the best interest of our State to completely scrap the Act. Therefore, it will be my earnest endeavour to see that the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021, will be appealed.”

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