12.07.2022: GoM meet on online gaming inconclusive, may submit final report by August 10.

Tuesday’s meeting of the Group of Ministers to come out with a Goods and Services Tax (GST) plan for online gaming and casinos was inconclusive, an official in the know told CNBC-TV18.

The official said the GoM deliberated on the valuation mechanism and expressed the opinion that GST should be levied on Gross Gaming Revenue, as per international best practices, and not the overall pool as was recommended earlier.

The offiicial further said the GoM members were all on board with regard to levying 28 percent GST on all three sectors — online gaming, casinos and race courses; which component will be taxed is the question the GoM is grappling with.

The GoM is likely to meet again before August 10 to finalise the recommendations and submit a report.

Earlier, the GoM had recommended that GST be levied on full value of consideration, including contest entry fee in case of online gaming, and full value of bets as far as race courses are concerned, and full face value of chips and coins — as well as entry fee — at a casino. Any other service offered will be taxed as per existing rates.

However, this sparked a furore, with the online gaming industry pushing for GST on revenues and and overall pool value. This prompted the GST Council, in its 47th meeting, to direct the GoM to go back to the drawing board and come up with a fresh proposal by July 15.

Meanwhile, West Bengal finance minister Chandrima Bhattacharya has told Network18 that the state would advocate a 28 percent goods and services tax (GST) charge to discourage online gaming, casinos, and horse racing. This comes after Goa objected to an earlier recommendation and said that casinos needed to be treated differently.

Source: CNBC TV18

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