28 Feb 2020 Jonas Lemberg

UP Govt Says Casinos, Betting Will Not be Allowed in the State

The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) government on Wednesday stated that it will not allow casinos in the state due to moral and economic reasons.

On Monday, in the state assembly, BJP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Harshvardhan Bajpai questioned if the Uttar Pradesh government will consider giving licenses to casinos to boost tourism and tax revenue and prevent illegal gambling in the state.

In reply to this, Industrial Development Minister Satish Mahana made the state government’s stance clear saying, “No, a casino is a certain type of gambling facility… By giving licences to casinos, it will become difficult to prevent gambling, betting and lotteries legally.”

He said that giving licenses to Casinos will encourage gambling activities, which might adversely affect law and order and have negative effects on people’s moral and economic situations.

Bajpai, on the other hand, said that gambling is already known to take place in U.P. during the IPL cricket season and that people also travel to Nepal for it, so licensing it will help generate revenue for the state.

Recently many states like Karnataka, Puducherry, and Goa have seen some ministers and MLAs advocating licensing and allowing opening of new casinos to fill government coffers.

Goa State Ports Minister Michael Lobo recently suggested that casinos on river Mandovi should be allowed to continue operations and more casinos should be launched on other rivers in the state to raise revenue for the state. Lobo also suggested that Matka should be legalized in Goa to raise revenue for the government and prevent illegal matka rackets. Karnataka’s Tourism Minister C T Ravi recently took a U-turn on his proposal to open Vegas-inspired Gaming Station in the state to retain travellers and raise revenue after facing opposition from party members including Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi.

Puducherry CM V. Narayanasamy’s proposal to open casinos in the state also faced opposition from the union territory’s Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, who has referred the proposal of opening casinos in Puducherry. and the proposed amendments to the Puducherry Gaming Act, 1965 to the Home Ministry.

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