Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong on Wednesday said the government will examine the growing demand for repeal of the Meghalaya State Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021 reported Shilong Times.
Reacting to the demand for nullification of the Meghalaya Gaming Commission under the chairmanship of a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, Tynsong said the Taxation department can take a call on the appointment of the chairperson of the Gaming Commission.
“The Meghalaya State Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021 empowers the concerned department to take a call on the formation of a commission. Therefore, the appointment is according to the Act and Rules,” Tynsong said, justifying the appointment of the commission.
The Chief Minister recently reiterated that the Gaming Act was not enacted to start new casinos or start new gaming parlours within Shillong. “I am very clear that this is not going to lead to casinos or anything like that coming up anywhere in the state capital or major tourist destinations,” the chief minister said. The State had already issued 3 provisional licenses.
Various organisations, including the influential Meghalaya United Christian Forum (MUCF), voiced "apprehension and shock" over the state government's decision to legalise gambling and online betting for tourists coming to the state. Last month, Minister James Sangma clarified that gambling will not be permitted by locals.
Conrad Sangma said if the government decides to move forward after consultations with the stakeholders, it would be in specific locations more towards the border with Assam. According to him, it will be in areas where the government feels it could be a source of revenue without actually harming the state in terms of the social impact.