Shillong: The Khasi Jaintia Christian Leaders Forum (KJCLF) have urged the Meghalaya government to repeal the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act 2021. During a meeting in Shillong, the KJCLF discussed the issue at length with leaders of different churches following the Government’s announcement of the legalisation of gambling in the State.

Rev EH Kharkongor, Secretary, KJCLF, said studies have shown that legitimising gambling is detrimental to society in more ways than one and that gambling can have negative effects on quality of life.

“Gambling can increase criminality in several ways through illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, robbery and murder to finance one’s gambling habit. There are increasing opportunities for illegal activities and the creation of venues for alcohol-related offences, flesh-trade and violent crimes. Loss of self-esteem, breakdown in relationships, bankruptcy and debts develop stress, anxiety, depression and related illnesses, and gamblers are prone to suicide and fatal self-inflictions. Gambling has serious effects on the family with cases of divorce, separation, child abuse and domestic violence,” mentioned Rev EH Kharkongor.

The Forum feels that it is the responsibility of the Government to augment resources for the economic development and prosperity of the State, but efforts such as the legalisation of gambling are immoral and come with a high price to society.

With these activities, the KJCLF fear that families, youths and social values will go down the drain and will lead future generations into despair and destruction.

“True statesmanship is what Meghalaya needs. Politicians who are business-minded see money as their primary concern rather than the people whom they are expected to serve,” stated the KJCLF secretary. He added that the Church must raise its voice, not just against the issue at hand, but also about the need for true and moral political leadership.

The KJCLF further reiterated its appeal to the Government to seriously consider these aspects and repeal the Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act 2021.

The Chief Minister had clarified to media persons that the casinos are meant to generate revenue, and they will be in the area bordering Guwahati, which will be in the Byrnihat-Khanapara area.

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