The government of Meghalaya has recently legalized online gaming as a way to boost the state’s struggling economy. Operators can now offer igaming services provided they obtain a license from the government to do so.
The north eastern state of Meghalaya is well-known for its tourism industry. However, the COVID-19 pandemic tremendously affected the state’s economy as the country-wide lockdown had put a complete stop on all travels. Due to this, the state government has now turned to the profitable online gaming market to create new jobs and generate revenue.
Previously, the state did hold discussions to legalize online gambling but did not come to a definite conclusion owing to political and religious reasons. A decision was finally made on the matter after the Meghalaya Regulation Of Gaming Ordinance 2021 was listed and approved by the finance and legal departments of the state.
The news of the bill being approved was confirmed by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma through a tweet where he tagged the Finance Minister of State. The chief minister also confirmed that strict action will be taken against any online gaming operator who functions without a license from the state. More information on the regulations, licensing fees and process are expected to be released by government.
To regulate gaming within #Meghalaya and to bring revenue to the State Government, Cabinet today approved the 𝐌𝐞𝐠𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐚 𝐑𝐞𝐠𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐆𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐎𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏. @nsitharaman @FinMinIndia pic.twitter.com/ortFfaC97p
— Conrad Sangma (@SangmaConrad) January 14, 2021
Legalization of online gambling in India was one of the key points in 2020 due to the success of gaming sites during lockdown. Many anti-gambling groups had filed public interest litigations (PIL) to various state governments requesting that action should be taken against online gambling operators. While the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have banned online gambling, the fact that the state of Meghalaya has approved the legalization it is a welcomed step by the industry.