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Summary: Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Ordinance, 2021

The Meghalaya government has formally legalised gaming with stakes for both games of skill and chance, while explicitly stating that rummy, poker, teen patti, and even prediction of sporting events are games of skill. Companies can now offer both games of skill and of chance (includes roulette wheel of fortune) — both of which have been defined and recognised broadly — with the necessary permissions and oversight from Meghalaya government, which will set up a Meghalaya Gaming Commission and also appoint an adjudicating officer to manage and settle offences. The Conrad Sangma-led government had first announced the cabinet decision to bring in the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Ordinance, 2021, in January. The move was aimed at increasing taxes coming into the state exchequer by having a regulatory mechanism for online gaming. After approving the bill, Cabinet minister James Sangma (who is also Chief Minister Conrad Sangma's brother) had said that: “In order to regulate gaming within the state and to bring revenue to the state government, we felt it necessary to enact a law for the same and therefore the draft ordinance was placed in front of the cabinet for its approval.” Gaming has emerged as a global pastime, including in Meghalaya. Online gaming is an already large industry in the state, but functions without regulation, CM James Sangma had said.  The Ordinance was promulgated by Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik on February 13 and published in the state gazette on February 17. The law comes as multiple states have…

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