India: GoM to meet with gambling industry representatives

Authorities had proposed a goods and services tax (GST) of 28 per cent on all earnings from gaming.
Authorities had proposed a goods and services tax (GST) of 28 per cent on all earnings from gaming.

The ministerial panel on the casino, race course, and online gaming will meet in Bengaluru and Goa on July 23 and 24 to get an industry perspective on taxation.

India.- The Group of Ministers (GoM) that proposed introducing a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 28 per cent for online gaming, racecourses, and casinos will hold meetings to hear industry opinion. The GoM will meet with the Bangalore Turf Club to discuss race-related topics, including GST. It may also visit casinos in Goa to gain firsthand experience of the industry.

Casinos, horse racing and non-gambling online games currently pay 18 per cent on cash collected from each game. The proposed rate of 28 per cent would be for online games involving betting or gambling. 

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said online gambling should be taxed on the consideration paid by the player for participation, including entry fees. As for race courses, the group proposes that GST be imposed on the full value of bets accumulated in totalisators and placed at bookmakers.

For casinos, the GoM recommended taxing the full face value of chips/coins purchased by casino players. The GST would no longer be charged on the betting value of each round of betting, including bets won in previous betting rounds.

In addition, the GoM has proposed 28 per cent GST on casino entry fees, including food and drinks. 

A number of issues have been raised by Goa, including what happens x if the token purchased is not used in a casino and the balance is returned or some portion is used for food and entertainment. Goa authorities also urged a better understanding and differentiation of casinos. 

The deadline for the GoM’s final report is August 10. The GST committee is expected to meet in the third week of August to discuss the panel’s recommendations.

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