No consensus on GST slab for online gaming, casinos and racecourses, GoM to seek legal opinion

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The Group of Ministers (GoM) formed to decide GST rates on online gaming, casinos and horse racing met today to discuss and deliberate on taxation aspects including levying different rates and considering different valuation mechanism for all three, if required.

After the meeting of the GoM today, Conrad Sangma tweeted saying the ministers would seek legal opinion on the applicable rate and valuation base to be considered for levying of GST on online gaming, casinos and horse racing.

“After taking the opinion of stakeholders & after successive meetings to seek the suggestions of all members, we will take legal opinion before submitting the final report,” said Sangma in a tweet tagging Finance Minister Conrad Sangma.

The GoM had in an earlier report recommended to the GST Council to levy 28 per cent GST on gross sales value as horse racing, online gaming and casinos are akin to betting or gambling.

However, since Goa wanted further discussions on valuation aspects with regard to casinos, the GST Council, comprising the Union finance minister and her state counterparts, suggested that the GoM hold further discussions and submit a final report by July 15. The due date was again extended to August 10. Subsequently the due date was extended to September on account of postponement of GST Council meeting.

The GOM recently visited Bengaluru and Goa to get industry inputs on online gaming and casinos respectively.

GOM head and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on last month met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and apprised her about the developments on submission of a final report.

The earlier recommendations are as follows:

  • The imposition of GST on casinos, race courses, online gaming and lottery should be uniform both in rates and valuation norms
  • For the purpose of levy of GST, no distinction should be made on grounds of the game of skill or game of chance
  • The GST rate is to be hiked from 18 per cent to 28 per cent on all activities.