The Ministry of Finance informed Parliament today that not even a single offshore gambling and betting website has taken registration and starting paying 28% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on deposits, as mandated under the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) Act, 2017.
Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, while replying to an unstarred question raised by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi on the number of overseas gaming companies registered in the country since October 2023, stated that no offshore online gaming has registered with the GST department since 1st October 2023.
It may be noted that as per the decision of the 50th and 51st GST Council meetings held earlier this year, the parliament had amended the IGST Act to insert a new provision mandating suppliers of online money gaming to pay integrated tax on supply within the territory of India and take registration under the simplified registration process.
The amended law, which took effect from 1st October 2023 also provides that websites or app supplying online money gaming which do not comply with the registration requirements can be blocked by the central government.
Since the amended law came into force in October 2023, the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) has been sending emails to offshore gambling and betting websites informing them of the requirement to register and pay tax in India, however, the GST authorities’ attempts to bring offshore gambling websites within the tax ambit have failed miserably. Further, hundreds of offshore gambling and betting websites, which are to date, openly flouting GST as well as other laws and soliciting players from India and none of them seem to have been blocked under the new IGST Act provisions, despite the amended law being in force for over two months now.
Chaudhary while replying to Modi’s other query on the amount of tax evasion and GST showcause notices to online gaming companies stated that showcause notices have been sent to 71 companies to the tune of Rs. 1.12 lakh crores in during the financial years 2022-23 and 2023-24 (till October), and these notices are currently pending adjudication.