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15-min draw online lottery to be banned in Maharashtra

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Mar 16: Bowing to pressure from Opposition members in the Legislative Assembly, Maharashtra Finance Minister Jayant Patil today (Mar 16, 2006) told the Lower House that internet and 15-minute draw online lotteries would be banned in the state.

He was replying to supplementaries during a debate on the calling attention motion initiated by Chandrakant Chajed (Congress) on the menace of instant lotteries.

Mr Patil admitted that internet lotteries and the two digit 15 minute draw lotteries had become addictive among the younger generation.

The demand was raised by Devendra Phadanvis, Shobhatai Phadanvis, Dr Sanjay Kuthe (all BJP) and Arjun Khotkar (Shiv Sena), among others.

They said the lotteries were destroying the lives of youth in rural areas.

The Minister said terminals of internet lotteries run by other states in Maharashtra would be disconnected with the help of police.

The commitment regarding ban on these lotteries came after the members categorically stated that they would not raise the issue of rehabilitation of people whose livelihood is dependent on the sale of these lotteries.

Mr Patil said the government has already decided to levy tax per draw, which would fetch a revenue of Rs 100 crore. Similarly, the draws would be held between 1300 hrs and 2100 hrs daily. He said the bill is pending in the Legislative Council. The per draw tax was the only solution to control the lotteries being run by other states, he added.

He said the state government intends to move the Supreme Court to seek ban on two digit instant lotteries being run by other states in Maharashtra.

Later, the Minister told mediapersons that the decision would cost the state exchequer Rs 25 crore. He, however, said the weekly and daily draws in online lotteries would continue.


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