Maharashtra Government to revisit buried casino act

The Maharashtra Government has reportedly responded to a PIL filed by a local gaming lawyer to discuss options regarding the buried Maharashtra Casinos Act.

The PIL, filed by Jay Sayta who runs the website, in February was pending a response from the Maharashtra Government.

“The Maharashtra government has issued a letter to me, informing me that a meeting of the secretaries of all relevant departments, Director General of Police, Maharashtra as well as Police Commissioner of Mumbai has been called on 22nd April, 2016 to discuss options to approach the Maharashtra Casinos (Control & Tax) Act, 1976 in pursuance of the High Court order in my PIL and directive of the Chief Minister,”  said Sayta.

“The options include notifying the law and formulating rules; recommending its repeal or introducing some amendments to improve the law. The government has also evinced an interest in studying gaming laws of other jurisdictions before taking a decision and mentioned in the letter that allowing casinos would increase the footfall of foreign tourists and bring in revenues to the exchequer. It has been a tough battle for me but I am happy that the government is taking this step based on my PIL, ” he added.

Sayta had discovered an existing Maharashtra Casinos (Control & Tax) Act, 1976 passed by the legislative assembly had since been buried. The Act, if notified will allow casinos to operate in the state on the payment of requisite license fees and taxes.