GST Board May Approve 28% Rate on Online Gambling, Casinos and Racetracks

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New Delhi: The GST Board, at its two-day meeting beginning Tuesday, is likely to clarify that a 28% rate could apply to casinos, online gambling and racetracks, and specify the value of the transaction on which a proposed tax of 28% would apply, providing much-needed clarity on taxation in these sectors.

The Council will consider the report submitted by the group of ministers led by the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma, during the two-day meeting in Chandigarh.

The panel recommended that 28% GST apply on entry fees and on the value of chips or coins purchased at a casino, but not on individual bets placed by the player. In the case of online games, a rate of 28% should apply on the total value of the consideration paid by the player for his participation, according to the proposal.

The panel recommended that a 28% GST be levied on casinos, online gambling and racetracks regardless of whether it is a game of skill or chance or both. Industry players have paid 18% GST in many cases, backed by court orders.

The panel also suggested that once GST is levied on the purchase of coins or tokens at casinos, no further GST should be levied on the value of bets placed in each betting round.

Other GoM members include Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, West Bengal Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya, Gujarat Finance Minister Kanubhai Patel, Goa and Panchayati Transport Minister Raj Mauvin Godinho, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna and Telangana Finance Minister Thanneeru Harish Rao. The terms of reference included the examination of the question of the evaluation of services, the taxation of certain transactions in a casino, etc.

This was the second GoM formed on the issue.

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