Gujarat assembly passes GST Amendment Bill to impose 28% tax on online gaming, casinos and horse racing

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The Gujarat State Assembly passed the Gujarat Goods and Services Tax Amendment Bill unanimously on September 13. The Bill was introduced by State Finance Minister Kanubhai Desai.

The amendment sought to introduce 28% GST rate on online real money gaming, casinos and horse racing on full face value as per the recommendations of the GST Council. As a matter of fact, the decision of the GST Council in its July 11 meeting had also been taken with near unanimity.

As per Gujarat FM Desai, the new GST policy will help in safeguarding the youth from the ill effects of online gaming and is a major step when it comes to regulating the sector in India. The state opposition, on the contrary, believes that it will encourage online gambling.

Gujarat has now become the second state to successfully amend its GST law, after Goa. Karnataka is also in the process of accomplishing the same, but has seen some delay as the Bill has been sent to the law department for a review.

Notably, due to the online gaming firms’ apprehensions about the new tax rate rendering the online real money gaming sector unviable, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that the impact of the decision will be assessed after six months from implementation.

GST registration process becomes stricter

During the first day of the monsoon legislative assembly session Gujarat FM Kanubhai Desai also revealed that the state government is planning to make GST registration process similar to the passport issuance process.

This is to further tackle fraud through fake billing. The process will also involve police verification. The announcement was done when the opposition asked about a method to tackle people claiming tax credits by creating false bills.