GST Council postpones discussion on GoM report on online gaming, casinos and racecourses

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The GST Council in the 49th meeting today could not take up the Group of Ministers (GoM) report on online gaming as the chair of the GoM, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma was unable to attend because of the elections in the state, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

This is the second council meeting since the GoM submitted the revised report in December last year. The 48th GST council meeting in December could not take up the matter so as to give way for a proper discussion in the next meeting on the subject as the GoM could not arrive at consensus.

Meghalaya goes for elections this month end. BJP broke the alliance with Conrad Sangma party to contest all sixty seats in the assembly. While the discussion this time is postponed citing absence Sangma, there is a possibility that Sangma may not be a Chief Minister by next GST Council meeting.

In the budget announcement for 2023, the Finance Minister announced changes to taxation of winnings from gaming and gambling. For online games, it is proposed to provide for TDS and taxability on net winnings at the time of withdrawal or at the end of the financial year. This TDS requirement is without any lower applicability threshold and any net winnings from online gaming howsoever small will be subject to 30% TDS deduction.

Industry eagerly waited for the 49th in anticipation for a clarity on indirect tax aspect. The lacunae, industry experts say has impacted the growth of the nascent gaming