GoM report on online gaming not in GST Council’s 18th Feb meeting agenda

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The GST Council meeting scheduled for February 18 does will have a brief discussion of the report submitted by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on taxation of online gaming, casinos, and racecourses in India on the agenda.

According to CNBC-TV18 report further suggests that some states may be seeking further intervention of the discussion of the agenda related thereto.

Conrad Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya and the GoM convener, handed the report to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman back in December 2022 in the essence of taxation on heads in the likes of online gaming, casinos, and racetracks.

The report was earlier planned to be discussed during the GSI Council meeting in December 2022 but was later postponed due to limited time frame. Sangma stated that the report has been finalised, and it is up to the GST Council to make the final verdict in relation to the same.

Among many other states, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh suggested, “Activities of online gaming may be taxed as supply of actionable claims in the form of betting and gambling, irrespective of whether the online games involve betting on a game of skill or a game of chance.”

While the Tamil Nadu member suggested “In case a view is taken that horse racing and online gaming are games of skill and not actionable claims of betting and gambling, taxing the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) at 28 percent should be adopted and mechanism for determining the taxable value was also proposed.”

According to the reports submitted by sources, the GoM has also made it clear that the council may consider “levy of GST may be only on the GGR in case of Casinos and part of transaction what is relatable to service, where the services are commission/platform fee/Gross Gaming Revenue.”

Prior to the body’s meeting in December, the GoM had recommended that online gaming be taxed on par with casinos, at the entire value of consideration, including the contest entry fee paid by the participant as well as the winning sum when participating in the game.