The Maharashtra state government will potentially earn an estimated $277.78 million should it allow the establishment of land-base casinos, according to the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).
The Times of India reported that the potential revenue of on-shore casinos was one of the issues discussed by the MTDC to the state government during last Wednesday’s high-level meeting on whether or not to allow brick-and-mortar casinos (gambling on ships) on the lines of Goa in the state.
“A certain percentage of this turnover, may be around 25% tax, makes up to Rs 1,500 crore ($277.78 million) a year for the public exchequer,” an MTDC official said.
MTDC, one of the major stakeholders, has supported the development of casinos in Maharashtra to give its tourism industry a major boost and at the same time for the state government to earn more revenues. It said that the Maharashtra will contribute a large portion in India’s $60 billion gambling market.Currently, Goa and Sikkim are the only states that allow casinos in India.
AMantralaya official estimated that there are over 75 lakh (7.5 million) foreign and 1.8 crore (18 million) domestic tourists visit Maharashtra every year, especially Mumbai, Konkan and Ajanta-Ellora.
“If on-shore casinos are allowed as recreational facilities along the Konkan beaches, including Mumbai, and if 40% of foreign tourists and 25% of domestic tourists visit these places, the industry can get an annual turnover of roughly Rs 6,000 crore ($1.11 billion),” the official noted.
Aside from the potential revenue of on-shore casinos, the MTDC and the state government also discussed various aspects of the issue such as licensing, revenue generation and security. Senior officials said the decision to allow on-shore casinos will be made after all the issues are addressed and the final decision will be taken by the chief minister.
Four arrested for IPL betting in Goa
In other gambling news in India, Goa police rounded up four persons for allegedly accepting bets in Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrise Hyderabad on Wednesday.
The arrest of the four suspects stemmed from a tip that individuals inside a posh hotel in Porvorim were engaged in illegal betting on IPL match. The raid was carried out by authorities after they were able to secure a search warrant from deputy superintendent of police (DySP) Nelson Albuquerque
Porvorim police said they opened the room using a master key from the hotel’s reception and caught the four accused red-handed.