Meghalaya to Legalize Gambling; Only Tourists Allowed To Participate

The state government of Meghalaya is all set to legalize gambling and online betting, but only for the tourists coming to the state. On April 21, the law and taxation minister of the state, James PK Sangma, announced that no residents will be allowed to partake in legalised gambling and online betting, reported Shillong Times.

According to the report, the groundwork for preparing Meghalaya as a hub for online gaming, online betting, and legalized gambling began in February last year when the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Act, 1970 was nullified by the state government. A meeting was held with the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), after which, Sangma released a report titled, Gaming for Growth – India’s Sport and Gaming Market Potential.

As per the report, Meghalaya was the most gambling and gaming-friendly state in the country. It scored a total of 92.58 on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 means complete ban and 100 means complete legalisation. The report suggested how legalization would lead to the proliferation of employment, tax revenue, and the integrity of the sport.

And hence was framed the Regulation of Gaming Rules, 2021, which allowed the people to play “game of skills” and “game of chances” both online and offline. Sangma, while introducing the bill also mentioned that the government will only be regulating and not running the game. During this, he stated, “But the legalised gambling and gaming will only be for tourists and not for residents of Meghalaya.”

As per the regulations laid down by the state government, tourists and visitors in the state will have to produce documents similar to what the bank required for the KYC (Know Your Customer) to participate in any gambling or gaming activity. After the legalisation, Meghalaya will become the third state to legalize online and offline gaming and gambling. The other two states are Sikkim and Nagaland.

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