Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021 to be repealed: James Sangma

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After more than dozens of protests, meetings, and discussions, the Meghalaya government has decided to repeal its Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021. The Act was enacted by the state government last year in March.

The main motive behind the legislation was to shut down all illegal and unauthorized casinos and gambling points and open government-regulated ones. The local government emphasized the fact that the new statute will open doors for employment in the state and attract tourists to boost the state’s revenue.

Since then, the opposition parties and various activist groups have criticized the Meghalaya government and demanded the repeal of the Act. After receiving massive backlash from the opposition parties and local community groups the state government finally decided to repeal the Gaming Act.

The information was shared by the Minister of Home and Law of the Meghalaya government James Sangma through a video posted on his social media accounts.

“Last year, with the aim of boosting tourism, revenue generation, and employment for the people of our State, the Department of Taxation, Government of Meghalaya, introduced the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021, under my guidance. This Act would legalize and regulate gaming in Meghalaya. Till that extent, introducing casinos — meant for tourists only — was considered as well,” Sangma said in a statement.

“Over the months that followed, there were concerns expressed from parts of the society with regard to the scope and impact of the Act. I met with stakeholders that included religious organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society representations, Dorbar Shnongs, autonomous and local governance bodies, and youth organizations. During this process, I tried to understand the concerns of the public and the impact that the Act could have further on.”

“Following such meetings and deliberations, it became clear to me that it is in the best interest of our State to completely scrap the Act, given that there could be untoward implications. Therefore, it will be my earnest endeavor to see that the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021, will be repealed,” he added.

“I would like to thank everyone who came forward to aid, advise and provide feedback to the Government on the Act. The citizenry is the keystone of any democracy and it only strengthens our commitment to better governance when the collective conscience is addressed,” Sangma concluded.