Shillong: The Meghalaya government’s decision to legalize gambling and online betting for tourists coming to the state has been met with stiff opposition.
Several organizations, including the influential Meghalaya United Christian Forum (MUCF), on Thursday, voiced “apprehension and shock” over the state government’s decision.
MUCF Secretary Synsharlang Kharshiing said that if gambling, online betting and casinos are legalised, it would have far-reaching consequences on the lives of young and vulnerable men and women and their families, irrespective of community or belief.
He said that online gambling and casinos might generate a lot of revenue for the government, but the bigger question is whether people are willing to pay the price and are they ready to bear the repercussions of such an endeavour on society at large.
“The leaders and the government functionaries should introspect before jumping with excitement without considering the destruction the decision may cause to the present and future generations,” the MUCF said in a statement.
Few other local organisations have also opposed the decision and want the state government to reconsider it.
The state’s Law and Taxation Minister, James P.K. Sangma, had announced last week that the state government is considering introducing casinos and online gambling only for tourists coming to the state to generate revenues.
“No residents of Meghalaya would be allowed to participate or contribute in the proposed legalised gambling and online betting,” he had told the media.