GST: Group of Ministers to finalise report on casinos, online gaming by August 10


The state finance ministers’ panel looking to bring online gaming and casinos under GST failed to reach a consensus on Tuesday and decided to finalise its report by August 10. Officials said the Group of Ministers (GoM) held a virtual meeting on Tuesday and discussed various methods of taxation of casinos, horse racing and online gaming.

The panel felt that further deliberations were required on the matter and fixed August 10 as the date for finalising its report, the officials added.

The report is likely to be taken up for discussion in the GST Council meeting scheduled to be held in Madurai next month. Last month, the council, comprising the Centre and state finance ministers, referred back the report that was submitted by the GoM for further discussions.

The GoM, under Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, in its report had highlighted that horse racing, online gaming and casinos are all part of betting and gambling, and 28 per cent GST on gross sales value should be levied.

Further, the GoM recommended that online gaming should be taxed at the full value of the consideration, including the contest entry fee paid by the player for participating in the game.

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

Regarding casinos, the GoM had 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 to the value of bets placed in each round of betting, including those placed with winnings in previous rounds.

While the GST Council was deliberating the GoM report in its meeting on June 29, Goa Industries Minister Mauvin Godinho highlighted that there was a need for greater detailing and understanding why casinos require a different treatment in taxation compared to horse racing and online gaming.

Subsequently, the GoM was to finalise its report by July 15. The other state ministers in the eight-member GoM include Uttar Pradesh finance minister Suresh Khanna, Gujarat finance minister Kanubhai Patel, Tamil Nadu finance minister P Thiaga Rajan and Telangana finance minister T Harish Rao.

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