Will Maharashtra Legalize Casinos Using an Old Casino Act?

The state of Maharashtra formed the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, 1976. Although the act was never notified, it was published in the government gazette in July of 1976.

In October 2015 the old act was brought to light when a law student discovered it inadvertently. Since the country’s capital, Mumbai is located in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court ruled on the issue. The state was told that it had six months to make a decision as to whether the statute would be notified, and therefore brought into law, or not.

A general meeting with representatives from a number of bodies including tourism, home, law, and revenue departments have met together to discuss the implications of legalizing the decades old casino act.

While there are those who are in favor of passing the legislation to legalize casinos in Maharashtra, there are many who are against it. Nitin Gadkari, currently the Minister of Transport, and formerly the Public Works minister, has made it clear that he does not want the legislation to be passed.

Gadkari explained to reporters that he is against legalizing gambling in Maharashtra. He said: “We oppose things like casinos and I will not give permission for that. People will also not tolerate such things.”

Maharashhtra is known to have a large amount of illegal gambling within its borders. There are many that feel that if gambling is legalized, there will be less illegal gambling, and the state will profit from gambling taxation and licensing fees.

Although there is a lot of conflict surrounding this decision, senior government officials have said that a decision should soon be forthcoming.

Should Maharashtra notify the 38-year-old casino legislation, it will be the fourth Indian state to offer legalized gambling. At this time, casinos are only legal in Goa, Sikkim, and Daman. Although casinos are legal in Goa, the state is in the process of placing additional restrictions, such as increased age restrictions, on gamblers.