A leader of Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has pitched for the revival of casino games in the "progressive" state which he said would boost tourism and revenue and asked the state government to shed its "regressive outlook" towards the activity.
In a letter addressed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, MNS labour union's state chief Manoj Chavan said the previous governments in the state didn't take action on this front despite the state legislature passing the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act 1976.
“Maharashtra is known for its most progressive thoughts and is a highly-industrialised state, but it has always held a regressive outlook towards casino gaming. The state legislature has passed the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act 1976, but it is still biting the dust. The chief minister should take appropriate action regarding the same”.
“The Bombay High Court, after hearing a petition in favour of starting casinos in Maharashtra ordered on October 9, 1995, to decide in the next six months. However, no action has been taken over it,” Chavan said.
Citing the neighbouring Goa, the MNS leader said the coastal state has six offshore casinos and eight onshore casinos.
"Sikkim state also has the policy to hold casino games in five-star hotels. Casino games are considered a form of entertainment that also boosts local employment, hospitality, and tourism sectors. It would naturally give a push for revenue generation growth,” Chavan said.
CM Shinde, who heads the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena faction, shares power with the Bharatiya Janata Party.