Meghalaya becomes third Northeastern state to pass Online Gaming Ordinance — What does it mean?
Meghalaya became the third Northeastern state after Nagaland and Sikkim to regulate gaming and gambling under a license-based regime.
Meghalaya became the third Northeastern state after Nagaland and Sikkim to regulate gaming and gambling under a license-based regime when the Governor of the state passed the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Ordinance during February 2021.
Now, what does this ordinance mean and how will it work?
The Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Ordinance, at its core, tries to regulate both – 'games of skills' and 'games of chance'. Under this ordinance a new committee called 'Meghalaya Gaming Commission' will be formed, which will work towards monitoring all the gaming activities in the state.
As per the ordinance, a new license-based regime would be developed for both 'games of skills' and 'games of chance', wherein the license would only be granted to Indian citizens or companies incorporated in India which has to be renewed every five years. Moreover, every license holder has to pay the license issuing authority a 'Gaming Royalty' – a fixed percentage of the gross revenue earned through the game.
Is this ordinance good or bad?
Now, there are two definite ways to look at it.
Firstly, a license-based system where you have to pay to get a license and then pay a royalty amount on the total gross revenue does not really seem fair.
But, on the other hand, Meghalaya does not really ban these games outright. Unlike states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and various others which are looking to completely ban games based on skills as well, Meghalaya, rather, seems to be embracing the new industry which is definitely a positive.