Northern India moves to legalize gambling – for tourists only

Forty years after the northern Indian province of Meghalaya legalized the native Teer betting, it once again moves to extend gambling rights, this time to online and offline casinos. However, there’s a catch – the new Gaming Act will only be applicable to tourists and visitors. 


A gambling act for the tourists

The new proposition to allow gambling for tourists has been followed by both praise and backlash. The praise has stemmed from the positive consequences the province would face: the creation of job opportunities, larger revenues, more tourism, and better protection for gamblers. The backlash has stemmed from the bills counter-cultural values, as games of chance are generally seen as a “social evil”.

As a result of the conservative backlash, the bill has been limited to only allowing tourists and visitors with proof of international identification to be able to gamble. The gambling would extend to both online gambling on websites, sites offering bonus codes such as BET365 बोनस कोड, as well as land-based casinos. No official gaming agreement has been signed yet. 

The most gaming friendly province in India 

The process to start the legalization of online and land-based casinos began in February of last year. At that time, local authorities in Meghalaya nullified the 1970 Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Act and began work on the 2021 Gaming Act. The new gaming act includes a broader licensing scheme for gaming businesses. The licenses are expected to be issued in 2022. 


Earlier this year, the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) released their report “Gaming for Growth” where they rated Meghalaya as the number one gaming friendly province in India. The province received a score of 92,85 on the 100-point scale of gaming leniency and was praised for their “forward-thinking approach”.

Meghalaya’s revolutionary history of gambling 

In accordance with the UKIBC report, the Meghalaya province is in the forefront of gambling legalization in the country. Even though they are merely the third north-eastern province to legalize gambling (following Sikkim and Nagaland), they were the first to legalize any form of gambling forty years ago. 

Since then, the province has allowed for the native Teer-betting. Teer is an archery-based betting, where 50 archers from the Khasi Hills Archery Sports Association shoot 50 arrows each every day. Gamblers place a bet on a number between 0-99 to bet on the last two digits of the total number of arrows that made the target. For example, if 862 arrows hit the target, all bettors who laid bets on number 62 would win. 

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