10.08.2023: Cabinet approves CGST Act amendment to implement 28% GST on online gaming

The cabinet Wednesday approved a bill to amend the Central Goods and Services Tax Act to pave the way for implementation of the 28% GST on online gaming, casinos, and horse racing, people familiar with the developments told ET.

The government has a limited window to get the bill passed in both houses of parliament due to the ongoing discussion on the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha.

States will separately need to amend their respective state GST Acts for the new regime to roll out from October 1.

“The bill has been approved by the cabinet ,” one of the persons said, adding that the option of an ordinance is also on the cards if the legislation is not taken up by parliament.

The government is keen to get the legislation approved in the ongoing session that ends Friday.

“It’s a race against time,” another senior government official said. “The attempt is to get it through in the current session.”

The GST Council, the apex decision-making body for the indirect tax, decided on July 11 to levy a 28% tax on the face value of bets placed in casinos, online gaming and horse racing. In a subsequent meeting, called specially to firm up implementation of the levy, the council decided to impose it from October 1.

The proposed amendment bill will also make registration in India mandatory for offshore gaming companies and proposes penal action for any violations, including the blocking of websites or apps under the Information Technology Act.

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told parliament on Tuesday that the move would lead to higher collections.

“It is anticipated that the levy of 28% on full face value, as recommended in the 50th GST Council meeting, will result in increase of revenue from current levels,” the minister said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

The gaming industry has opposed the levy saying it will imperil investments and cause job losses.

Real money e-gaming firm Mobile Premier League said Tuesday it was firing 350 employees following the decision on the levy.

The GST Council will review the 28% levy after six months.

Source: The Economic Times 

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