Maharashtra: Govt seeks to implement law allowing casinos in state

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With recent changes in the GST on online gaming, casino and horse racing, the Govt of Maharashtra has decided to legalize the operation of casinos in the state. This decision comes after a reported increase in tax revenue for the state department.

The bill will be presented in the upcoming Monsoon session of the parliament and might be implemented as there have been several demands from businessmen for permission to operate casinos in the state.

According to reports, the state government might be seeking permission to launch casinos under the new GST rate at tourist locations as a way to increase their tax revenue.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) General Secretary Manoj Chavan has previously picked up the topic of implementing casinos related laws in the state. Chavan had told that casinos will bring a revenue of $1.1 billion to the state, and the government will get more than $300 million as GST.

MH Govt. hearing public voices

The Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Taxation) Act has been in place since 1976, but has not yet been implemented. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed back in 2015 by Technology & Gaming Lawyer Jay Sayta stated the economic benefits of legalizing casinos in the state.

Sayta, in his PIL, mentioned “The Casinos Act will help eliminate the financial woes of the government as the government will raise thousands of crores in revenues.”

He also mentioned that legalizing casinos will help eliminate illegal casinos across the state. Furthermore, the casinos act will help promote tourism. With this, Sayta directed the government to enforce the 38-year-old pending act.

MNS’ Chavan in his request also listed similar benefits. He said that Maharashtra also has tourist places similar to Goa, and setting up a casino will attract more tourist and create revenue and employment for the state.