Group of Ministers on online gaming, casinos submits report to Nirmala Sitharaman

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The Group of Ministers (GoM) submitted a final report on taxation on online gaming and casinos to India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday (December 15). The GST Council set up a panel of state ministers to look into current taxation on online gaming, casinos, and horse racing earlier this year.

The purpose of the GoM was to examine the valuation of services provided by online gaming portals, casinos, and horse racing (race courses). It also included examining the taxability of certain transactions in casinos.

Presented the Second Report of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on casinos, race courses & online gaming to the Hon’ble Union Finance Minister, Smt. Sitharaman Ji in New Delhi today,” Conrad Sangma Tweeted on Thursday.

After its 47th meeting, the GoM submitted its early report in June and recommended 28 per cent GST on all considerations on online gaming, including the contest entry fee. But the GST Council asked the GoM to reconsider its report. It was also reported that the levy GST is only on the initial betting amount and not on the winning amount or at each and every bet. It is understood that the report by GoM will be good news for online gaming users and portals as it will make compliance easier.

In November 2022, Conrad Sangma, the current Chief Minister of Meghalaya, led the group of ministers and is understood to have recommended a GST levy of 28 per cent on online gaming, including skill-related games. Currently, the GST on gross gaming revenue is 18 per cent for chance or gamble-related games and charged by online gaming portals.

The 8-member GoM includes Thiaga Rajan, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Finance Ministers of West Bengal (Chandrima Bhattacharya), Gujarat (Kanubhai Desai), Uttar Pradesh (Suresh Kumar Khanna), Telangana (T Harish Rao), and Goa Industries Minister Mauvin Godinho.