12.08.2022: Group of Ministers to submit report on Casinos, Online Gaming, Horse Racing to Finance Minister in a couple days: Sources

A panel of state finance ministers on taxation of casinos and online gaming is likely to submit its report to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a day or two, government sources said on Thursday.

The GST Council is likely to meet towards the end of this month or early September and discuss the report of the Group of Ministers (GoM), the sources added.

The GoM, under Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, had in an earlier report proposed to the GST Council to levy 28 percent GST on gross sales value as horse racing, online gaming, and casinos are akin to betting or gambling.

However, since Goa wanted further discussions with regard to casinos, the GST Council, comprising the Union finance minister and her state counterparts, suggested that the GoM hold further discussions and submit a final report by July 15.

Government sources said the GoM would submit its report to the finance minister in a day or two.

The members of the GoM also met industry stakeholders late last month to hear their concerns.

In the report submitted to the Council last month, the GoM had recommended that online gaming should be taxed at the full value of the consideration, including the contest entry fee paid by a player for participating in the game.

In the case of racecourses, the GoM had suggested that GST should 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 should be levied on the full face value of the chips/coins purchased from a 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.

The other state finance ministers in the eight-member GoM include Suresh Khanna (Uttar Pradesh), Kanubhai Patel (Gujarat), P Thiaga Rajan (Tamil Nadu) and T Harish Rao (Telangana).

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