Maharashtra Government Repeals the 1976 Casinos Control and Tax Act
The Maharashtra Government has officially scrapped the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act 1976, effectively banning the operation of any form of casino games in public places. This decision, made by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, eliminates the possibility of obtaining a casino licence in Maharashtra.
Previously, the Act required individuals and organizations to apply for licences and pay taxes in order to operate lawful casino games. While it ensured that illegal gambling was not offered to the public, it also outlined the application process and tax requirements.
Fadnavis, in a statement, emphasized that there will be no casinos in the state, firmly standing by his decision as Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister. He explained that this move was made with the interests of the youth generation in mind.
Interestingly, Fadnavis has attempted to prohibit casinos twice before, in 2016 and January 2023, during his tenure as Chief Minister. The Board of Tourism had advocated for the government to allow casinos in the district, but Fadnavis remained steadfast in his opposition.
This decision reflects the changing attitudes towards gambling in India, with casinos now subject to a 28% goods and service tax.