Review of 28% GST on online gaming postponed until after general elections

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The review of the 28% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on online gaming has been deferred until after the conclusion of the general elections, as informed by an official familiar with the situation, mentioned in a post on X by NDTV Profit. The meeting of the GST Council is expected to be postponed until after the polls, due to the current enforcement of the model code of conduct following the announcement of the poll schedule by the Election Commission of India.

The Lok Sabha election is scheduled to be conducted in seven phases over a span of 44 days starting from April 19, with vote counting set to begin on June 4. The GST Council had indicated during its August 2023 meeting that it would reassess the imposition of the 28% GST on casinos, online gaming, and horse racing within a period of six months, reported NDTV Profit.

During its implementation on October 1, 2023, there was also a requirement for offshore gaming platforms to register, with the possibility of being blocked if they failed to comply with the provisions outlined in the Information Technology Act.

Following the registration regulations established for offshore entities, the government has already blocked more than 60 platforms that did not obey the stipulated mandate nearly a month ago, as disclosed by the official on the condition of anonymity. Further actions to block non-compliant platforms are currently underway, according to the official.

In an interview with NDTV Profit following the interim budget, Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra said that after four months of implementation and three months of revenue collection, the government has observed a substantial increase in revenue from the online gaming sector. Malhotra noted, “In comparison, in the last three months preceding Oct 1, we got revenues of only Rs.605 crore. So, this is a jump of five times and we now hope to get a revenue of about Rs.13,000–14,000 crore if we can maintain the same pace.” He further stated that the projected revenue from online gaming companies for the last financial year was estimated at Rs.1,600 crore, indicating an annual increase of Rs.12,000 crore in the current fiscal year.