Punjab Vegas Style Casinos Lose Steam

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal reportedly had plans for Vegas style casino gambling in Punjab. However, these plans have been met with political opposition from the conservative Sikh population in the region.

The Time of India published a story, Punjab Infrastructure Development Board officials made a recent visit to Goa, a well known area in India for allowing casino boats and more relaxed gambling laws, to take notes on the logistics and legal aspects of the Goa region.

The Chief Minister of Punjab and other officials were pleased with the prospect of additional tax revenue, estimated at Rs 100 crore annual from casino operations in Punjab. A special zone was given approval in Mattewara village near Ludhiana to allow games like blackjack, baccarat, sicbo and Pontoon at hotels and stand alone establishments pending further required legislation.

Although, in order to achieve final approval, the Public Gambling Act of 1867 would need to be amended. This is where the plans have hit a road block as conservative Sikh groups who are politically influential are protesting the plans which threatens the potential for any such amendments to occur.

It has been reported that Parkash Singh Badal and others previously interested in the place have lost interest in the project for not wanting to anger the Sikh groups.

It is unclear when any such plans may have the potential to become reality.