- NET Web Desk
Following stiff resistance from the Church and social organizations, the Meghalaya government has decided to scuttle its plans to open casinos in the state.
In order to boost tourism and generate revenue, the state administration recently granted provisional licenses to three firms for opening casinos. However, the church and various social organizations opposed the move, arguing that “legalizing gambling” would morally affect the society.
Addressing a party meeting on Thursday, the Meghalaya CM – Conrad Sangma stated that “With people expressing concern over the establishment of casinos, we have put a stop to any further proceedings in this aspect. Let me assure everyone that without taking people into confidence, there is no question of further movement on this line.”
He said all processes were stopped since public debates and discussions on the establishment of casinos started and church leaders and representatives of various social organizations started meeting government officials to express their concerns.
Regarding the demand to revoke the provisional licenses granted to the three firms for opening casinos, he claimed those will “lapse automatically” if the process of establishing the casinos doesn’t start.
The Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act and Rules, 2021 would not be repealed, according to the chief minister, who also hinted that the Act’s provisions might bring in as much as Rs 500 crore in revenue annually by regulating the state’s existing gambling establishments.
“There is no question of repealing the Act. We have concerns about online gambling. Also, jackpot parlours have not been regulated for the last 25 years,” he added.