Breaking: Proposal to repeal Maharashtra Casinos Act approved during cabinet meeting

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The latest state cabinet meeting in Maharashtra has approved the proposal to repeal Maharashtra Casinos (Control & Tax) Act, 1976. With this, any plans for legalising casinos in the state have been halted for the time being. Notably, the Act will be repealed once assembly passes the Bill approved by cabinet regarding the same.

The matter was already being discussed for a long time with many people like Abhijit Wanjarri, a congress member pushing to allow casinos in the state to increase the tax revenue, while several others were opposing the idea, including Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Fadnavis was firmly against legalising casinos in the state and was also the one who put forward this request during the cabinet meeting after announcing it in the monsoon session of the parliament.

Technology & Gaming Lawyer Jay Sayta brought the Casinos Act to light in 2015 through Public Interest Litigation (PIL). In that, Sayta talked about the benefits of legalising casinos in the state.

“The Casinos Act will help eliminate the financial woes of the government as the government will raise thousands of crores in revenues,” Sayta said, mentioning that it will also minimize the issue of illegal casinos and attract tourists.

Following his lead, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) General Secretary Manoj Chavan also recently asked for an implementation of the law claiming that the state can earn revenue reaching up to $1.1 billion with the government getting over $300 million in GST.

The decision in the latest cabinet is sure to start a new argument among the interested parties as while there is an opportunity to increase the revenue generated by the state while keeping the illegal activities in check; there are also ethical concerns as gambling is an activity mostly frowned upon.