Shillong: The Khasi Jaintia Christian Leaders Forum (KJCLF) on Friday met with Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K. Sangma to convey their concerns regarding the government’s move to legalise gambling in the state.

Speaking with the media following their meeting, KJCLF secretary Rev. EH Kharkongor said it came as a shock to the forum when news broke out that the state has legalised gambling in Meghalaya. 

“Our concern is with the immoral aspects of it; the immorality, the character of the citizens of the state from individuals to families. Another concern is that a person engaged in gambling…studies have shown detrimental impact, like mental health and other implications. It also leads to criminal activities, affecting the individual, family and the society in different ways,” said Rev. Kharkongor.

Asked what has the CM said, he said the CM shared that the government hasn’t yet gone ahead with the idea even though an Act called Meghalaya Regulation of Gaming Act, 2021, is there. “The CM said that they are still in the process of discussion it. The Cabinet has not taken any decision to implement it,” informed Rev. Kharkongor.

He added that the CM has assured that if at all it is implemented, the views of different stakeholders will be taken, especially the general public. He has also indicated that there will be several steps and rules for protection of the locals and citizens of the state, the forum secretary said.

The main intention behind this is generation of revenue for the state, that is what we were told, said Rev. Kharkongor.

Concerning their views on gambling in the state, Rev. Kharkongor said that any form of gambling is not encouraged by Christian leaders.

“This act having come out, we have urged the government to repeal the Act but since it hasn’t been implemented, we cannot take or give any word since we need to discuss as a forum what is going to happen next,” he added.

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