Guwahati, Oct 13: Relenting to the mounting opposition in Meghalaya from various quarters including religious organisatons, NGOs, Dorbar Shnongs etc., the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government has decided to repeal the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021 that would have facilitated setting up of casinos (for tourists) in Meghalaya.
Meghalaya Cabinet Minister and senior NPP leader James Sangma today disclosed that the government had taken note of the concerns aired by various civil society organisations and religious bodies over possibility of casinos coming up in the state and would repeal the relevant Act enacted last year for the purpose.
James Sangma has stated, “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 legalise and regulate gaming in Meghalaya. Till that extent, introducing casinos — meant for tourists only — was considered as well.
“Over the months that followed, there were concerns expressed from parts of the society with regards to the scope and impact of the Act. I met with stakeholders that included religious organisations, non-governmental organisations, civil society representations, Dorbar Shnongs, autonomous and local governance bodies and youth organisations. 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..”