Meghalaya CM rules out possibility of repealing Gaming regulation act
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has ruled out the possibility of repealing the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021 saying its repeal would cost the state about Rs 10 crore revenue loss.
He said the Act is required to regulate existing gambling parlours which have been there for the past 25 years in the hill state.
If we repeal (the Act) then there will be nothing to regulate and we will only be losing close to Rs 8 crore to Rs 10 crore of revenue, the Chief Minister told reporters on Friday night.
His statement came in the wake of the growing demands from certain Church bodies and organisations for repealing the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021.
The chief minister, however, assured that the state government has no intention to come up with casinos anywhere in or around major towns and cities of the state.
We are very clear on that. If there is a way which we can get revenue and at the same time ensure we don't allow it to be part of Shillong and other major towns so that our youth are not impacted and ensure our youth don't play and none of the citizens of Meghalaya is allowed to play, we are examining all those aspects, he said.
He further said that the government is open to dialogue and to find ways to address all concerns related to the issue as gambling has been there in Meghalaya and it is acceptable by society.
Let me be frank, we do need revenue. As we are a revenue deficit state, we depend largely on income and taxes that come from central government. In that case we will have a huge problem in the coming days and years as so many other activities are coming up and funds are required to run all of this, the chief minister said.