Meghalaya Permits Gambling To Boost Tourism

Anil Panesar - Senior WriterAnil Panesar - 12 August 2022 in News

Meghalaya recently allowed the gambling trade to be legalized in the state. This was done in an act to boost tourism to the area. Read on below now to see what this means for the local economy, why the decision to do so was made, and more!

The Reason Behind The Choice

Meghalaya is an agricultural society. Their agrarian trade was severely decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, the state looked for new means to make its economy strong once more.

In a recent interview with PTI, James Sangma, the Taxation Minister, shared,

"As we have seen in many states, this venture has positive impacts not just in terms of GST revenues but also in terms of generating a lot of employment opportunities from the vibrant tourism industry."

The Proven Success Rate Of Legalizing Gambling

Sangma is referring to the positive boost sports betting made in the state of Sikkim in FY 2018-2019. In 2019, sports betting contributed INR230 million to the Sikkim economy.

Furthermore, a recent UKIBC (UK India Business Counsel) study showed interesting potential benefits of legalizing gambling. The study suggested that the state of Maharashtra could generate an additional INR 124 billion should they too legalize sports betting.

The Rules Of The Gambling Introduction To Meghalaya

The locals of Meghalaya will still not be allowed to gamble at the casinos or online. This was introduced purely to increase high-end, international tourism. In order to play, international travelers will need to produce KYC documents similar to those produced at banks.

This was met with mixed reviews. Some government members thoroughly back the idea of foreign-only gambling. Whereas others think denying locals from playing will hinder an even better economic boost. However, locals can partake in another form of betting.

The Meghalaya Archery Lottery

The state offers a unique lottery system based on archery. Every day, there are two draws. The first draw is done by fifty archers firing thirty arrows each at targets. In the second draw, the archers only fire twenty arrows each.

Locals can then wager on the last two digits of the total amount of arrows they predict will hit the targets. These draws are run daily at 15:45 and 16:45. While this is definitely an interesting type of lottery, it may not satiate all players.

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