Shillong: The Meghalaya government is preparing the framework to convert the state into a hub for legalised gambling, online gaming and online betting.
The transformation process was initiated in February 2021 when the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Ordinance, 2021, was passed. It overturned the Meghalaya Prevention of Gaming Act of 1970, effectively legalizing gambling activities within the state.
Meghalaya happens to be the third state in the northeast to have legalized online gaming and gambling, the other two being Sikkim and Nagaland.
As per reports, Law and Taxation Minister James PK Sangma, in an attempt to propel the agenda, met with representatives of the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) and various UK based business houses to discuss the online gaming and sports betting landscape in the state, thereby launching the UKIBC's industry report, Gaming for Growth – India's Sports and Gaming Market Potential.
According to the UKIBC's Gaming Industry Index, Meghalaya happens to be the most gaming-friendly state in India. The index gauges the extent to which each state has legalised gaming and betting based on their stance on seven different games – lottery, horse racing, sports betting, poker, rummy, casino, and fantasy sports.
Notably, Meghalaya has clocked a score of 92.85 (on a scale of 0 to 100 where 100 is fully legalised) with licenses applicable in all seven games in both states.
Through its reports, the UKIBC discloses how a vivid approach to regulation would captivate FDI, create jobs and growth, tackle corruption, boost the integrity of sport, enhance the tax revenue in the state, and support the state's wider tourism sector.
A series of recommendations to capture the large and growing opportunities for India to benefit from the sector's growth is put forward by the report.