Highlights

  • For races: GST be levied on the full value of bets pooled (reports)
  • Gaming and gambling to be treated at par with 28% taxation

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Gaming and gambling same - GST council likely to slap 28% tax: reports

The next meeting of the GST Council is on June 28-29 in Chandigarh.

In a bit hit for the gaming industry, reports indicate that the GST Council is to take up the proposal of levying 28 per cent GST on online gaming and match it with the taxation of casinos and horse racing, sources told news agency PTI.

The Group of Ministers, headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, has recommended that online gaming should be taxed at full value of the consideration, including contest entry fee paid by the player on participating in the game.

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In case of race courses, the GoM has suggested that GST be levied on the full value of bets pooled in the totalisators and placed with the bookmakers.

In casinos, GoM recommended that the tax would be levied on the full face value of the chips/coins purchased from the casino by a player. No further GST would apply on the value of bets placed in each round of betting, including those placed with winnings in previous rounds.

Also, the GoM suggested that 28 per cent Goods and Services Tax be levied on entry/access fees into casinos, which compulsorily includes foods/beverages etc.

However, optional supplies, made independently of the entry tickets, would be taxed at the rate applicable on such supplies, sources added.

Currently, services of casinos, horse racing and online gaming attract 18 per cent GST. The GoM would decide on the method of valuing the services.

The Government had in May last year set up a panel of state ministers for better valuation of services of Casinos, online gaming portal and race courses for levying Goods and Services Tax (GST).

AMRG & Associates Senior Partner Rajat Mohan said 28 per cent tax bracket for online gaming, horse racing, and casinos would peg them at par with numerous sin goods like pan masala, tobacco and aerated waters.

"Taxing online gaming, horse racing, and casinos at gross revenue instead of net value addition would be a departure from the global tax ethics," Mohan said.

This proposal may sweeten the exchequer for a while; however, it would also entice the unorganized sector leading to rampant generation of black money in the long term, he added.

The report of the GoM is likely to be taken up in the next meeting of the GST Council on June 28-29 in Chandigarh.

The other state ministers in the 8-member GoM include Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Gujarat Finance Minister Kanubhai Patel, Goa Panchayati raj Minister Mauvin Godinho, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister P Thiaga Rajan, Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Suresh Khanna and Telangana Finance Minister.

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