Maharashtra rolls the dice on casinos, politicians to decide on sports betting

Lawmakers in the Indian state of Maharashtra are considering moves to legalize casino gambling, while the Supreme Court has handed the decision on whether to allow sports betting over to politicians. Both moves are being followed closely by the industry, which views India as a potential sleeping giant in Asian gaming. India has a similar demographic potential as its giant neighbour China, whose outbound travel preferences and spending are now shaping the global tourism industry and who play a major role in ensuring the success of any gaming venture.   The country has a population of more than 1 billion people, a rapidly expanding middle class with a growing appetite for travel and also a strong propensity to gamble. At present, casino gambling is only permitted in three states — Goa, Sikkim and Daman — and there is little in the way of upscale facilities, or modern machines. The properties on the whole...

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