India’s Maharashtra to decide on Act to legalize casinos in the state

The home department in the Indian state of Maharashtra is studying gaming and casino laws in Goa and Sikkim in order to decide whether to enforce a decade-old Act to legalize casinos in the state, according to local media.

The Maharashtra Casinos Act was previously passed by the Legislative Assembly and published on government sources in 1976, but has never been enacted. A meeting with all relevant departments has been called for the end of the month to reach a decision on legalizing casinos by notifying the act.

Stakeholders believe legalizing betting could help the State control gambling on sports, which is currently  governed by the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887.

“The Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, 1976, is a landmark legislation, which is likely to earn the government a handsome revenue considering the gambling market in India is estimated to be $60 billion,” lawyer Jay Sayta told The Hindu. “Maharashtra is the den of illegal gambling. If the taxation on gaming is legalized, it could earn good revenue for State.”

“A decision on casinos in Maharashtra is expected very soon.” a senior officer of the home department told local media.