India: Maharashtra politician renews call for regulated casinos
Manoj Chavan, general secretary of the right-wing MNS, predicts that the state could generate $1.1bn in revenue from casinos.
India.- Manoj Chavan, the general secretary of the small right-wing party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), has again urged chief minister Eknath Shinde to consider implementing casino regulations in the state. Chavan’s formal request, dated May 16, highlights the potential economic benefits of allowing casinos to operate in Maharashtra.
Chavan presented a similar proposal back in February, but it failed to gain support with the state government. Chavan maintains that legalising casinos would contribute significantly to tourism and revenue for Maharashtra.
Neighbouring Goa is known for its casino industry, attracting tourists with offshore and onshore gaming activities. Sikkim has also witnessed the establishment of upscale casinos. According to Chavan, given Maharashtra’s popular tourist destinations such as Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Mumbai and Konkan, the introduction of casinos in these areas could potentially attract visitors year-round.
According to G2G News, in his letter to the chief minister, Chavan said that despite Maharashtra’s industrial growth and infrastructure, the Maharashtra Casinos (Regulation and Taxation) Act of 1976 has remained largely neglected since its passage in the legislative assembly.
Chavan cited reports from Global Market Advisors, estimating that legalising casinos could generate approximately $1.1bn in revenue for the state. He proposed a 28 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on casino and gaming operations, which he says could contribute an additional $308m to the government, along with licensing fees from casino operators.
Chavan said casino gaming would have a positive ripple effect on related sectors such as tourism, entertainment, and hospitality, creating indirect tax revenue and employment opportunities throughout Maharashtra.