Gaming Act will promote online betting: Trinamool

SHILLONG, Sep 18: The Opposition Trinamool Congress has asked the state government to clearly spell out its stand on the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, asserting that it does not confine only to casinos and has far reaching implications since it will lead to proliferation of online gaming and online betting activities in Meghalaya.
TMC’s Umroi legislator Umroi George B Lyngdoh said that the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021 not talk only about casinos but the online gaming activities which will be promoted through various online platforms. It also talks about online betting which legalises betting in various sports like cricket, football and others, he said.
He pointed out even as the Act is still being promulgated, the government has been exposed as far as casinos are concerned with the recent revelation that three licences have been issued.
Lyngdoh hit out at the government for remaining silent on the matter of online gaming and online betting, which, according to him has greater implications than casinos.
“It will have wide ranging implications on our youths as it will be impossible for the government to track the citizens accessing online gaming and betting,” he said.
It may be noted that the Assembly had, on Monday, rejected a bill introduced by Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) MLA Adelbert Nongrum that sought to repeal the Act.
The House rejected the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming (Repealing) Bill, 2022 through voice vote.
Nongrum had said that in the wake of growing opposition to the operation of casinos and legalised forms of gaming in the state, which has been expressed by the church bodies, traditional institutions, social organisations and individuals, it is required to carefully weigh whether the intention of the government to raise revenue from gaming is more important than listening to the moral sensitivity of the people.
Nongkrem legislator and advisor to the chief minister, Lambor Malngiang had also urged the state government to repeal the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act and Rules, 2021, and cancel all licences issued for setting up of casinos in the state.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had announced in the House that the three licences will lapse on September 29.

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