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HC asks Maha govt to take decision on law legalising casinos


Mumbai : The Bombay High Court today asked Maharashtra government to take a decision within reasonable time on implementation of the nearly four-decade-old law that makes it legal to run casinos in the state.

A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi was hearing a petition filed by law student Jay Satya seeking a direction to the government to implement Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act passed by the Assembly and published in the government gazette in July, 1976.

According to the petitioner, the government has till date not issued a notification implementing the Act.

The High court today said it was the executive’s decision on when and whether to implement the Act but asked the government to take its decision within reasonable time.

Satya found out through the Right to Information (RTI) that the Act had received the Governor’s assent on July 22, 1976. In December last year, he wrote a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis requesting him to notify it but there was no response.

The Act provides for licensing of casinos, permitting certain types of casino games, taxation of the money paid or agreed to be paid by the participants by way of stakes or bets, etc.

Goa and Sikkim are the only two states which currently allow casinos, the PIL says, alleging that the government of Maharashtra has “arbitrarily and unreasonably” kept in abeyance the Act by not notifying it.

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