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Maharashtra Government abolishes the 1976 Casinos Control and Tax Act

After a number of historical appeals, the licence application process in the Indian province of Maharashtra has been formally repealed.

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The Maharashtra Government has scrapped the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act 1976, which prohibited any form of casino games to be played in a public place unless the persons involved had a valid licence.

Although the Act did ensure that no unlawful casino games were offered to the public, it did also outline how people and organisations would apply for licences and the levy of tax expected.

The Act stated: “On receipt of such application, the State Government may, after making such inquiry as it considers necessary, by order in writing, either grant the licence or refuse to grant the licence without assigning any reasons.

“Provided that, where the State Government refuses to grant a licence, it shall put on its record a brief statement of the reasons for such refusal.”

However, Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, repealed the Act in a Cabinet meeting at Mantralaya.

This effectively removes the ability to apply for a casino licence, thus prohibiting the chance for casinos to operate in Maharashtra entirely.

In a statement released by Fadnavis, he said: “No casinos in the state, this is the firm stand of Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister, Devendra Fadnavis.”

Also, in the statement, he went on to explain that the decision was made for the “youth generation” of Maharashtra.

Fadnavis has made attempts to prohibit casinos twice in the past, while he was Chief Minister in 2016 and once again in January 2023.

This is despite the Board of Tourism pleading with the government to allow casinos in the district.

India has seen a few different changing attitudes to gambling recently, including a 28% goods and service tax on casinos.


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