Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong informed that the state government is never in favour to repeal the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021 but the government is positive to put a stop to set up casinos in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister said that people should understand that repealing the Gaming Act 2021 includes repealed of all gambling activities - teer, fishing competitions, and bullfights, and they will continue without any regulations.
“If the stakeholders say no it means no. If you talk in terms of revenue generation, yes it is true if we set up casinos it will be there but at the same time, we need to respect the sentiments of the people of the state. That is why the Chief Minister has made it categorically clear that we put a full stop on casinos”, said Deputy Chief Minister.
“Our Chief Minister already made it very clear inside the House and anything which is given inside the House is official and nobody can challenge that. That day the chief minister already said that proposal for the casino will die a natural death and on (September) 28 or 29, the provisional licenses will expire,” he added.
On the demand to repeal the gambling Act, Tynsong however said why should the government repeal the gaming Act. “All activities are totally unlawful, we need to regulate, regulation is required, the act is required it has to be in place,” he said.
Moreover, the deputy chief minister said that the public is only against the setting up of casinos and not the gambling Act.
“Otherwise, are you trying to say that they are against the teer and this has been there for so many years, and at that point of time why not object? So be it bullfight, be it a fishing competition, be it jackpot, there are so many so therefore what we did from the government side, we regulate it, we bring in the law, they cannot do whatever they like, it should be within the framed guidelines, rules, but do it in a manner which is not going beyond the legality,” he stated.
Further, Tynsong said that there is no question of bypassing the cabinet as far as the appointment of chairman and members of the gaming commission and implementation of the Act is concerned.
“There are two issues here. First, we passed the ordinance and ultimately we passed the bill and we regularized the bill it became an act and thirdly we prepared the rules, the rules also passed the cabinet only so the question of bypassing the cabinet does not arise,” he said.
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