No Casinos & Gambling In Meghlaya; Govt Scraps Gambling Laws After Backlash From Local Groups

by Dikshita
No Casinos & Gambling In Meghlaya; Govt Scraps Gambling Laws After Backlash From Local Groups

The Meghalaya government on Thursday announced the repeal of gambling laws legalising any sort of gambling activities. The Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act of 2021, was introduced to boost tourism in the state by attracting tourists through casinos. This law changed the decadal-old regulation formulating a ban on gambling.
And hence, the government had to face a lot of backlash from the opposition party.

Meghalaya Faces Backlash From Opposition Parties On Gambling Laws:

Gambling laws
Picture credits: Pixabay

The opposition parties, Hynniewtrep Youth Council and church groups opposed the reverse of the law and demanded repeal since it came into force. They said that legalising gambling will have negative effects on the quality of life and increase criminal activities.

EH Kharkongor, secretary of the Khasi Jaintia Christian Leaders Forum, said that the introduction of casinos will affect various aspects of human lives. He further added that it will promote violence, drug abuse, flesh trade and many other immoral and criminal activities.

Also read: Meghalaya To Open Casinos Offering Gaming & Gambling Experiences For Tourists

Government’s Statement On These Laws

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Earlier in September, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government had reported that three firms were provided temporary licenses to run casinos. However, this only rendered more criticism by the opposition parties and religious groups.

Sooner, the Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma, assured that the licences will ‘lapse automatically. Also, the process to start casinos was halted mid-way. The state cabinet minister and National People’s Party leader James Sangma reported that the government has decided to repeal the law.

This statement was made after holding rounds of discussions with the opposition parties, religious groups and civil society representations. The law will now introduce licences and regulations for skilled games. This will target a player’s skills in games such as backgammon, poker and bingo. The law earlier targeted games of luck like baccarat, roulette and the three-card game. However, this implies both online and offline modes of luck.

Additionally, the law did not specify the game of archery. An archery player bets on the number of arrows that stick to the target at the end of each round. Those who opposed the new gambling law did not object to this, arguing that the game has deep cultural roots in the Khasi community, combining art, entertainment and skill.

Cover image courtesy: Pixabay

News source: Scroll