Recently the Bombay High Court have ordered the government in the Indian state of Maharashtra to clarify their casino stance after it was revealed that the state had already passed casino legislation about four decades ago.
This Friday the Court instructed the Maharashtra government to confirm whether or not they intended to implement the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act which was issued in 1976. The government has been given exactly one month to respond about this.
All of this game from a humble law student named Jay Satya. He accidentally stumbled upon a copy of the Act after a Right to Information appeal. And just last December Satya sent a letter in which he requested a notification of the Act to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who did not respond. The student then filed a Public Interest Litigation in which he wanted to compel the government to implement the Act, which got assent from the Governor on July 22, 1976.
His petition notes the fact that currently casinos are only permitted in the states of Goa and Sikkim. He accuses the Maharashtra government of having “arbitrarily and unreasonably kept in abeyance the Act by not notifying it.”
Maharashtra has over 110 million inhabitants and includes the country’s biggest city, Mumbai. International casino operators are probably very excited over the opportunity of setting up shop anywhere in India, a country that has a population of 1.25 billion people who are underserved in terms of gambling options.