India has not been the most gambling-friendly nation out there, but this is slowly changing. Meghalaya, a state in the country, is now preparing guidance and policies that would enable lawmakers to create binding legislation that enables private operators to launch both interactive gaming and betting.
Undoing the Ways of Old
The process started with the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Ordinance 2021 and it has been slowly being worked on. The law that the state would need to overturn is the Meghalaya Prevention of Gaming Act of 1970 which effectively forbids all and any gambling on the territory of the state.
Meghalaya Law and Taxation Minister James PK Sangma are reportedly in talks with various business representatives who can guide the state’s choice of sports betting and iGaming legalization and help build a solid basis for future growth. Locals also seem to be taking well to gambling as well.
Residents are open to various forms of the experience, with poker, sports betting, horse racing, rummy, casino, fantasy sports, and lottery all interesting segments for the locals who may be looking to place a bet legally. The UK India Business Council has shown interest in the push to legalize gambling in the state and Kevin McCole, managing director of the organization, has welcomed the efforts by legislators to make this a reality. He added:
We appreciate Meghalaya’s administration for taking a proactive approach to the licensing of games of chance in the state, which would assist the state to generate more money and creating jobs.
UK India Business Council managing director Kevin McCole
Untapped Opportunities for the Indian Market
The exact numbers of illegal gambling are not known, but the figures are expected to be significant. The Indian gambling market is worth around $60 billion annually, out of which at least $30 billion is believed to be wagered through unauthorized gambling websites. Legalizing gambling in Meghalaya can create jobs and contribute to the state budget as well as address problems such as problem gambling.
India is still very fragmented when it comes to gambling legislation and information about the status of the industry is generally scarce.