The Indian state of Meghalaya has entered the headlines in recent months as it attempts to embed gaming and gambling within its economy. Within this page, you’ll learn about the latest Meghalaya gambling laws and whether any casino in Meghalaya has a bright future for tourists or locals alike.
How to Play Casino from Meghalaya
The UK Indian Business Council (UKIBC) Gaming Industry Index found that Meghalaya scored the highest out of all Indian states based on state attitudes towards all kinds of gambling verticals, ranging from casinos through to lottery, sports betting, and fantasy sports.
Despite scoring 92.85 out of 100, the highest score in the index, it doesn’t appear to correlate with the reality of the gambling industry in Meghalaya.
In 2021, the Meghalaya state government approved legislation to legalise games of skill and chance both online and offline. However, there has been significant opposition among locals to the prospect of land-based casinos in their cities – despite the government’s protestations that these resorts will be reserved exclusively for tourists and will not put locals at increased risk of harm.
The backlash has been so severe that media reports indicate the government is likely to veer away from land-based gaming and focus squarely on licensed online casinos and gambling activities.
Although licensed online casinos with servers based in Meghalaya are not yet operational, it’s still possible for locals and tourists alike to visit one of the best Indian-friendly online casino sites and play with an offshore operator instead.
Is Gambling Legal in Meghalaya?
Gambling has indeed been legalised in the state of Meghalaya. The latest Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021, approved many forms of gambling apart from lottery and teer, both of which will remain regulated under an existing alternative act.
At the time of writing, there does not appear to be any online casinos that have secured a license to operate from the Meghalaya Gaming Commission. Either way, offshore online casinos that accept players from Meghalaya are still an option.
Meghalaya Gambling Laws & Legislation
Meghalaya became the third north-eastern Indian state to approve online gambling via a new, license-based regime. It’s seeking to follow in the footsteps of neighbouring states like Nagaland and Sikkim, who have already implemented a regulated iGaming industry to good effect.
In Meghalaya, the Governor of the State approved the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Ordinance back in February 2021. At the heart of this new regulation, it attempts to regulate games of skill and chance simultaneously. The bill also calls for the establishment of a new Meghalaya Gaming Commission, which will oversee all forms of online gambling activity in the state.
What does the act entail? Only legal entities incorporated in India may apply for an online gambling license with the Meghalaya Gaming Commission. All licenses issued will have a five-year validity, with all licensees also expected to pay a ‘Gaming Royalty’ that acts as a major contributor to the state economy.
Although the latest regulation – which usurps the state’s old act, the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Act, 1970 – states that playing at unlicensed online casinos will be prohibited, there is no such precedent for Indian players to be concerned about playing at an offshore online casino.
As we’ve already mentioned, teer and lottery gaming are both regulated under alternative acts. Teer is a traditional game in Meghalaya, which is most enjoyed in the state’s capital city of Shillong. The word ‘teer’ is the Hindi word for arrow in English. Therefore, it’s no surprise the game of teer is inspired by the classic game of archery.
The city of Shillong is full of teer games, with archery boards and blackboards on either side. Kiosks nearby sell lottery tickets, whereby players select a number and bet a set amount on that number for the next game of teer.
50 archers line up, each of which must fire 30 arrows at the board. The number you pick is the number of arrows that will hit the board across all 50 archers.
Let’s say 1,245 arrows strike the target in the game. The last two digits of the final total account for the winning number of the game. Here, it would be 45.
There’s also the state lottery, which operates a Future Daily Lottery that’s drawn three times daily, seven days a week. Citizens of Meghalaya can also play online lottery games and get involved in major overseas lottery games like the US Powerball and the EuroMillions too.
Casino in Meghalaya
At the time of writing, there are no operational land-based or online casinos in the state of Meghalaya. Even in the capital city of Shillong and other prominent cities such as Cherrapunji have not yet embarked on the launch of a retail casino.
Although there are no licensed venues or websites to play casino games in Meghalaya, citizens always have the option to create accounts with online casinos licensed offshore. These reputable sites welcome Indian players and offer industry leading technology and game libraries. So much so that online casinos licensed by the Meghalaya Gaming Commission will certainly have a tough act to follow!
Sports Betting in Meghalaya
The sports betting market in Meghalaya is in a similar place as the online casino subsector. Although sports betting of all types is now formally legalised by the state government, there have been no steps taken to launch a licensed retail or online sportsbook.
Instead, citizens in Meghalaya can register for an account with a licensed online sportsbook based offshore. These bookmakers give Indian bettors direct access to pre-game and in-play sports betting markets on anything from the Indian Premier League to the NFL.