Monday, February 6, 2023

M’laya government rules out repealing Gaming Act


The Meghalaya government has ruled out repealing the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, even as there has been growing opposition from church leaders, political parties and NGOs to the state government’s proposal to set up casinos.
“Why should we repeal the Gaming Act, which is required to regulate (existing forms of gaming)? The casino is the buzzword right now, but we have had teer for decades without anyone objecting to it,” Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong told reporters on Wednesday.
He said the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act also aims to regulate activities such as “bullfighting, fishing competition and jackpot”.
Stating that the government has put a stop to its plan to start casino games after opposition from various stakeholders, Tynsong said, “If the stakeholders say no it means no. If you talk in terms of revenue generation, yes it is true if we set up casinos it will be there but at the same time we need to respect the sentiments of the people of the state. That is why the Chief Minister (Conrad Sangma) has made categorically clear that we put a full stop on casinos.”
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya United Christian Forum (MUCF) has urged the state government to repeal the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act in view of the genuine concern for the negative socio-cultural and economic fallout that will arise out in the state due to the plans of the government to open gambling casinos in the state.
Lauding the decision to temporarily put on hold licensing and approval for operation of the casinos, the MUCF asked the government to reconsider its plans to operationalise gambling sites.
The MUCF said it believes that any kind of policy without morality will eventually lead to destruction of the community and the society.

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