Maharashtra cabinet approves casino restriction bill; Devendra Fadnavis tweets ‘no place for this culture’

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis has said that the state which houses the financial capital of India, Mumbai, does not need casinos because the government had repealed the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, 1976.

On the first day of Winter Session of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Maharashtra Home Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis introduced the Maharashtra Casino (Control and Taxation) Bill. 

The Bill aims to repeal the 45-year-old Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, 1976, which will ensure that the state will not have casinos in future.

The Maharashtra Casino (Control and Taxation) Bill was unanimously passed by the lower house in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

‘”1976 Act repealed to prevent casinos from continuing in Maharashtra. This bill will permanently repeal the Maharashtra Casino Act. I had consistently taken a firm stand that no casino should be allowed in the state. The law, which has been in place since 1976, has seen people frequently go to court to seek its permission. Even in 2016 when I was the Chief Minister, and also in January 2023, the same role was presented on the file. Considering the youth generation of the state, we took such a decision in the cabinet and finally today this bill was approved in the assembly”, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis wrote on Twitter.

In the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis said it was introduced on July 22, 1976, to grant permissions to start casinos in the state and was cleared, but it could not be enforced as its rules were not framed.

The Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act has been in effect since 1976, but has not been implemented till now. Ever since the Act was put in place, interested parties had been approaching the courts seeking permission to set up casinos in the state. In August this year, the state cabinet had decided to repeal this act.

When Devendra Fadnavis was Maharashtra Chief Minister in 2016, the file was submitted to him by the concerned department which suggested that casinos would boost tourism and help the economy grow.

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Published: 09 Dec 2023, 08:32 PM IST

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