Gambling is something that is extremely popular in India, but it is not actually legal in most states at this current moment in time. However, this is changing ever so slowly as the Indian government quickly realise just how much money there is to be made from the Indian gambling scene. Gambling is legal in states such as Goa and Sikkim, and there is now one other state that is in the process of legalizing gambling, and this is the picturesque state of Meghalaya.
Meghalaya's Gambling Regulations
James PK Sangma, the taxation minister of Meghalaya, has recently officially confirmed that him and his fellow lawmakers are looking to move forward with their bill that would create a new law called the Gaming Act, which will set regulations regarding licensing and taxation of private gambling operators. This is huge new for a country of 1.3 billion and a stat that has 2.65 million residents.
This decision is big for other states since it sets a precedent that will enable them to follow Meghalaya's lead and establish their own gambling frameworks. Sangma is very optimistic that legalizing both land-based and online casinos will have a variety of positive impacts on the state. For those who are against it, he argued that Meghalaya is not a stranger to gambling anyway since sports betting competitions already happen, such as an archery-based lottery game.
"Meghalaya is not a stranger to gambling anyway since sports betting competitions already happen, such as an archery-based lottery game".
With this game, 50 archers fire 30 arrows each day at 15:45 and 20 arrows at 16:45, and bettors have to try and predict the final two digits of the total arrows that hit the target. There are 1500 legalised Teer counters spread out across the state where they can place their bets. An official from the taxation department declared that legal betting from Shillong Teer, which is what this archery bingo game is called, generates between ₹2-3 crore for the state each year.
Okay, this is a lot different to having access to a full sportsbook or any other type of gambling site, but it is a very important precursor.
Gambling Will be Legal for Tourists and Visitors Only
Sangma, as well as the state, are more than aware of the pernicious impact that gambling could have on the local community, which is the reason why, for the time being, the law will state that only tourists and those who do not live in the state of Meghalaya can play casino games at licensed casinos, whether this is at a land-based one or an online one. In order for someone to enter a gambling establishment in Meghalaya to play slots or table games, they will have to show clear evidence that they are not a local.
Locals Are Against the New Gambling Laws
The Voice of the People, a new political outfit in Meghalaya, declared that the majority of Meghalayans have always believed that any type of gambling is a social evil, and they were against the move to open up land-based casinos and gambling bars. Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, the former VPP President, declared that the aim of the government to build casinos and make Meghalaya famous for gambling is something that cannot be allowed to happen since everyone knows that the Meghalayans have never been in favour of games of chances. This is probably the reason why the state government decided that only tourists would be allowed to play in the casinos.