Lottery falls within ambit of betting, gambling: Bombay High Court

Mumbai: Lottery falls within the purview of betting and gambling, the Bombay High Court has ruled and upheld a Maharashtra government’s act which levies tax on sale of lottery tickets in the state. A division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre dismissed last week a petition filed by a company named Mangal Murti Marketing, challenging the validity of the Maharashtra Tax on Lotteries Act, 2006.

The company, which operates as a sub-distributor of state-organised lottery of the governments of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, sought a direction to the Maharashtra government to restrain itself from levying and/or collecting tax on sale of lottery tickets in the western state.

Under the Act, the government levied tax on promoter of the lottery tickets. It was made imperative for the promoter to submit to the tax authorities a statement relating to lottery scheme, of which tickets are sold in the state. The promoter has to also pay in advance the amount of tax payable under the Act, as per the scheme.

The petitioner’s counsel P S Raman had argued that the Act was passed to indirectly restrict and prohibit sale of tickets of lottery organised by other states in Maharashtra. The petition added that Parliament has already enacted the Lottery Regulation Act, 1998 to regularise the conduct of state organised lottery business and with a view to offer security to ticket purchasers.

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