On-shore casinos can add Rs 1,500 crore per year: Maharashtra

Allowing on-shore casinos in Maharashtra would earn the state government Rs 1,500 crore (US$277 million) a year, says the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).

MTDC made the comments during a high-level meeting conducted last week to discuss whether to allow on-shore casinos in Maharashtra.

The meeting discussed various aspects of the issue such as licensing, revenue generation and security. Senior officials said the decision will be made after all the issues are addressed, with the final decision resting on the chief minister.

The state government was prompted to discuss the matter after the high court responded to a PIL filed by law student Jay Satya seeking implementation of the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act 1976.

According to a Mantralaya official, “if onshore casinos are allowed as recreational facilities along the Konkan beaches, including Mumbai, and if 40 percent of foreign tourists and 25 percent of domestic tourists visit these places, the industry can get an annual turnover of roughly Rs 6,000 crore,“ the official added.

“A certain percentage of this turnover, may be around 25 percent tax, makes up to Rs 1,500 crore a year for the public exchequer,” added another MTDC official.