Blending fun and frolic with thrilling gambling, the tourists may now find Shillong – The Scotland of East – absolutely irresistible the way they find Las Vegas, Macau, Monte Carlo and Singapore.
In fact, the legalization of gambling, online gambling and sports betting can emerge as a major booster to tourism. The ShillongTeer Lottery Game may also get a boost, side by side.
It is in this backdrop that the state including Shillong may find casinos operating in immediate future thus brightening the prospect of overseas tourism further.
The thrilling gambling, however, is not for all. James PK Sangma, the Minister for Law and Taxation, said the locals of Meghalaya cannot do gambling, online gaming and online betting in the state. It is allowed only to tourists and outsiders. They also have to furnish the KYC documents to indulge in it.
The legalization has been done by nullifying the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Act, 1970. Subsequently, the Regulation of Gaming Rules, 2021 was promulgated.
These relaxations, Sangma said, can go a long way in promoting tourism. Even the overseas tourists also can flock to Shillong now. From the revenue angle, the state can earn from from multiple channels including GST revenue and promotion of the hospitality sector of Meghalaya. Promotion of hospitality sector means generation of employment.
Currently, Sikkim and Nagaland are the two Northeast states where gambling is legal. Meghalaya is poised to become the third state. Other areas of India where gambling is legal are Goa and Daman.
Another positive issue in economic sense is that during the recent visit to Meghalaya, the members of the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) and some UK-based business establishments expressed willingness to participate in it.
Here, the issue of the UKIBC’s industry report titled Gaming for Growth – India’s Sports and Gaming Market Potential, can be cited. It says latest researches of the UKIBC’s Gaming Industry Index found Meghalaya is the most gaming-friendly state of India.
Since Meghalaya, particularly Shillong, is already a tourists haven, the UKIBC’s report further brightens the prospect of a robust growth in tourism if the gambling turns officially recognized. In fact, moves are already afoot in this regard.
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