Crypto gaming platform One World Nation temporarily halts India operations

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Online crypto gaming startup One World Nation (OWN) has announced a temporary halt to its services in India following the recent decision of the GST Council to tax all online real money gaming activities at 28% on full face value, reported Deal Street Asia.

The company had raised $2 million in seed funding from big investors like Better Capital, Cloud Capital, Polygon Studios, and IndiGG in August 2022. Meanwhile, the recent announcement has left people wondering about the severity of the GST rate changes.

OWN, however, is not the only gaming startup struggling as many popular gaming firms like Spartan Poker and Mobile Premier League have also let go of a substantial number of employees due to similar reasons.

These harsh steps have come as a result of the GST Council’s decision despite online gaming companies urging it to retain taxing on gross gaming revenue to align with international practices.

The decision was taken near unanimously in the 50th GST Council meeting on July 11 which took note of the report submitted by the Group of Ministers on the matter.

After the announcement, the online gaming companies asked for further clarification on how the tax will be levied on full face value, and once again urged the Council to reconsider the decision, claiming it will stun the growth of the online real money gaming industry.

The Council reconvened on August 2 to decide on the valuation method, announcing that the  tax will be imposed on initial deposits and not on each contest entry amount while keeping it on full face value. Incidentally, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has stated that the Council will review the situation six months from implementation.