79% public want GST at 28% for casinos and online gaming: Report

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According to a report by community social media platform LocalCircles, 60% of Indians are in favor of imposing 28% or higher GST on cryptocurrency. Similarly,  79% of the citizens also welcomed a similar taxation rate on online games, casinos, and horse racing.

It is pertinent to note that the Group of Ministers (GOM) formed to recommend GST rate for online gaming, casinos, and racecourses has finalised the rate at 28%, as per reports. The next GST Council meeting is scheduled to 28-29 this month in which the matter may be finally deliberated.

The survey included citizens across 319 districts and recorded 34000 responses. On the taxation on online games, casinos and horse racing, 45% citizens were in favour of 28% GST on this leisure activity. Meanwhile, 7% of the responders voted for a 40% tax slab, 27% voted for over 50%.

Only one percent of the respondents believed that online gaming, casino and horse racing should be exempted from GST, while six percent did not have an opinion on it. This question in the survey received 12,097 responses.

Overall, 79% of the respondents wanted 28% or higher GST on these activities. Currently, the GST rate levied on any kind of betting or gambling is 28%, and for online skill games is 18%. Meanwhile, in horse racing, the GST is imposed at 28% of the total bet value.

For now, there is no clarity on whether the existing practice will be retained or as suggested by the Department of Revenue, the tax will be levied on the gross entry amount.

Earlier, the Group of Ministers on lottery, formed in January 2019, in its report mentioned that it received miscellaneous representations similar to lottery. It recommended that the rate and valuation issues of casinos, horse racing, online gaming and betting may be referred to Fitment/Law Committee, and then taken to GST Council, either directly or through GoM as approved by the Union Finance Minister.