Online Gaming: GST GoM head Conrad Sangma meets Finance Minister on final report progress

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GST GOM head and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and apprised her about the developments on submission of a final report. The GOM is required to submit the report by August 10.

The GOM recently toured Bengaluru and Goa to get views from online gaming and casino sectors respectively. In Bengaluru, the GOM members visited the turf courses to understand the practical aspects.

As per sources privy to developments, Suresh Khanna, UP Minister who is a member of the GOM in the last meeting did not seem convinced with explanation given by online gaming industry of being skill-based.

The GoM, in its first report, submitted in June has recommended that in the case of online gaming, the activities should be taxed at 28% on the full value of the consideration, by whatever name such consideration may be called, including contest entry fee, paid by the player for participation in such games without making a distinction such as games of skill or chance etc.

However, a re-examination was necessitated after Goa in the GST Council raised issues on the valuation of supplies in Goa. The next meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will tentatively be held in Madurai, Tamil Nadu in the last week of August. This is for the first time the meeting will be held in the Southern State.

The meeting was actually scheduled in the first week of August, but as Parliament session will go on till August 12 and the Independence Day being observed on August 15, the meeting was postponed, Tamil Nadu Minister for Finance and Human Resources Management, PTR Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said on Monday.

As per reports, the GoM gave an in-principle approval for 28 percent tax on the bet value in casinos. However, the last meeting was inconclusive on the valuation aspect.

In an earlier meeting on July 12, the GOM sought a report from the law department on the Games of Skill aspect in case of the race course and online gaming. The industry has represented that online gaming which is held to be a game of skill cannot be equated with gambling.