Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, the proponent of a recent plan to introduce legal gambling to India’s state, has met with various representatives of the Khasi Jaintia Christian Leaders Forum who have urged the minister to tread carefully and not hurry with the mass legalization of a gambling framework in the state.
Legalization of Gambling Stirs Locals
Sangma pitched an expansive plan to introduce retail and interactive wagering across numerous verticals, including poker, casino, and sports in the state, effectively turning Meghalaya is one of the few Indian states to have shown openness to gambling.
The representatives spoke about the negative social impacts the legalization of gambling usually have, from individuals to their families. They cited studies, explaining that this was a delicate matter and that legalizing mass gambling would have an overall detrimental impact on individual well-being and mental health, among other negatives.
Sangma explained that while a plan called “Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021” was already presented, the government has yet made no move on it. The minister added that the proposal is still being discussed with no definitive framework established nor any decisions being made on whether the bill would move into law.
Sangma assured the representatives that should the bill be moved forward as a law this would not happen without the input of the public, concerned parties, and other stakeholders. It’s possible that people who live in the state would not be able to engage in all forms of gambling, with the retail sector targeting only out-of-state residents, for example.
No Definitive Plan as of Yet
KJCLF secretary Rev. EH Shikongo cautioned that at the present time, it would be difficult to offer much additional comment given that the state’s legislators have not yet reached a decision on whether to move forward with the proposal.
“This act having come out, we have urged the government to repeal the Act but since it hasn’t been implemented, we cannot take or give any word since we need to discuss as a forum what is going to happen next,” Shikongo concluded.