Maharashtra mulls offshore casinos for Mumbai

The government of India’s Maharashtra state is considering a proposal to allow offshore casinos in Mumbai on a trial basis by the end of this year, local media reports.

The government is considering several options after the Bombay High Court told the state to take a decision on a four-decade-old act that in theory legalized casinos but was never enacted.  

The proposal to have casinos in Mumbai, and the possible tourism and revenue benefits from them, were discussed in a home department meeting held last week. The meeting was attended by all stakeholders, including officials from the department of tourism and culture, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), finance and revenue, the report said.

The government is looking at existing acts in Sikkim and Goa, the only places where gambling is currently legal in India. The study will look into the revenue and tourism impact of starting casinos.

The report cited an MTDC estimate as saying casinos could generate an annual revenue of Rs3,000 crore across the state. Notably the Casino Act, which was framed way back in 1976, recommends that 25 percent of the revenue share must go to the state.