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Meghalaya mulls introducing casino, online gambling, hints CM Sangma

Though gambling is rampant in the state with ‘teer’ or traditional archery games daily, the government does not earn much revenue from it.

Meghalaya is mulling introducing casinos and online gambling, exclusively for tourists to generate resources to meet the state’s expenditure.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said the intention was to generate revenue. He added much revenue is required for different needs of government employees, teachers and several others.

Though gambling is rampant in the state with ‘teer’ or traditional archery games daily, the government does not earn much revenue from it.

This traditional form of gambling is conducted under the Meghalaya Regulation of the Game of Arrow Shooting and the Sale of Teer Tickets Act, 2018.

The Chief Minister said various forms of gaming, both online and offline, have been going on in the state for the past 20-25 years and there have been no rules to regulate them, but now there will be “strong regulations” and operators allowing locals to take part in gambling will have their licences cancelled.

The CM said the government intends to set up these casinos and online gambling parlours in the Khanapara area, close to the inter-state boundary and Assam’s capital Guwahati and nowhere near the state capital Shillong.

The move to legalise gambling started after state taxation minister James Sangma recently met representatives of the UK India Business Council and other UK-based business houses to discuss the online gaming and sports betting landscape in the state.

However, the Meghalaya united Christian forum has expressed ‘apprehension and shock’ over the government’s move to convert Meghalaya into a hub of legalised gambling, online betting and casinos.

First Published: 29th April, 2022 11:36 IST

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