GST Council’s decision will be a negative factor for the industry and hamper fresh investment: Goa Transport Minister

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State representative on the GST council and Goa Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho believes that the tax hike on casinos would harm the sector moving forward and called it “a negative factor for the industry.”

Goa was already in support of taxation on gross gaming revenue (GGR) and not on full face value. Godinho said that the state will write to the council for reconsideration.

According to Godinho, the industry welcomes a 28% GST rate, be it online gaming casinos and horse racing, but the decision to levy that new tax rate on full face value instead of GGR is frowned upon.

Godinho said, “I think this is going to be a very negative factor for the industry. It will hamper fresh investment. It will hamper the existing industry. Even for Goa, the (tourist) footfalls are bound to decrease. Today in Goa, most flights are full because people are coming to play (in the) casinos. And casinos are something specific only to Goa and Sikkim,” as quoted by Hindustan Times.

Blaming the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, he said that the consensus was almost reached for taxation on GGR when UP stepped in and opposed the decision and the tax was decided on the full face value. “With TDS also coming to the fore, I think this is not going to be a very positive thing for the industry,” Godinho said.

“I’ve spoken to the Chief Minister, and he said he will take it up. So ultimately, it will go to the GST council for reconsideration — it has to go,” he added.

The casino industry is estimated to make Rs 1,000 crore annually and adds almost 300 crore to the state in license fees. Owner of Casino Pride Group, Shrinivas Nayak, said, “Casinos were always charged 28% GST ever since the beginning of the GST regime in 2017. Earlier, the calculation was based on the gross gaming revenue. The recent amendment is based on how the tax is calculated. We are seeking clarity on that aspect.”