North-eastern India’s State Meghalaya most Gaming-friendly state: UKIBC report

UK India Business Council (UKIBC) representatives meet James PK Sangma, Cabinet Minister of State and representatives of several UK businesses to discuss online gambling and betting in India and launch the UKIBC industry report Gaming for Growth – India’s Sports and Gaming market potential.

North-eastern India's State Meghalaya most Gaming-friendly state

According to the UKIBC’s Gaming Industry Index, Meghalaya is India’s most friendly state for gaming. Based on the stance of seven games, including lottery, horse racing and sports betting, the Index determines whether or not each state has legalized gaming and betting. Meghalaya was rated 92.85 on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is fully legalized. Licenses are available in all seven states.

The UK India Business Council’s report reveals how a more clear approach to regulation could attract FDI, create jobs and grow, combat corruption, improve the integrity of sports, increase tax revenue in the State, and support the State’s wider tourism sector. This report offers a number of recommendations to help India take advantage of the growing opportunities.

The Indian gaming industry can be divided into two types: games of skill and games of chance. Different aspects of the gaming industry, including betting on sports, are currently subject to different regulations and legalizations in each state. Some states, like Sikkim and Goa, have made exceptions in their gambling laws to allow gaming. They issue licenses for games at land and offshore casinos.

Meghalaya passed the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act 2020 in 2021. This law allows licenses to be issued for games of chance listed on its schedule. Licenses for this license are expected to be issued in 2022.

Kevin McCole (UKIBC) said that the Government of Meghalaya’s forward-thinking approach in granting licenses for games of chance in the State will result in greater revenue and more jobs. Unregulated markets do not offer the same protections for players and safeguards.Both the unregulated as well as regulated Indian gaming industry will continue to grow.

It is important to ensure that this growth takes place within regulations. We recommend that the Government of India accepts the 2018 Law Commission recommendation to regulate sports betting. It will encourage FDI, stimulate domestic investments, create jobs and generate government revenue. Responsible playing is possible.

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