The 28 per cent goods and services tax will apply to online gaming, casinos, lottery and horse racing in the state.
India.- The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has formally approved a bill mandating a 28 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on online gaming, casinos, lotteries and horse racing in the state. Introduced by State Parliamentary and Finance minister Suresh Khanna, the bill shifts the tax from gross gaming revenue to a 28 per cent tax at the entry-level.
According to The Times of India, Khanna asserted on the legislative floor that these activities are classified as games of chance, not skill and that the move aligned with central government’s orders.
While some, like SP MLA Samar Pal Singh, called for a complete ban on online gaming, Khanna argued that stopping its rapid growth was challenging. He noted that around 14 crore people in the country engage in online gaming.
Uttar Pradesh joins 21 states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh, in passing such legislation. Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Telangana, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, and Punjab have also promulgated ordinances to this effect.
The decision follows an ordinance issued by the UP government two months ago. Previously, the state imposed an 18 per cent GST on online gaming, evenly split between the state and central government. The state said the previous method of taxing GGR was susceptible to manipulation by the promoters or service providers. Promoters will now have to register with the government.