Spartan Poker lays off 125 employees as 28% GST fallout continues

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Spartan Poker, one of the biggest online poker platforms, has laid off 40% of its workforce (125 people) due to the recent changes in the GST rates on online real money gaming, as reported by Moneycontrol.

The company has now joined the growing list of gaming firms impacted by the GST Council’s decision to levy 28% tax on full face value for all online real money games.

Founded back in 2014 by Amin Rozani, Sameer Rattonsey, and Peter Abraham, the company provides various forms of card game variations while specializing in poker. It also boasts of a player base of over 20 lakh and regularly hosts open tournaments.

Some industry players claim that before the GST Council’s decision several people participated in real money gaming activities on a regular basis, but the recent changes have cut these daily user numbers short, which can also explain Spartan Poker‘s decision to take make changes.

Prior to Spartan Poker, another popular online gaming operator Mobile Premier League (MPL) let go 350 employees. According to its co-founder, the steps were necessary to bring down the operating costs to make the business viable.

Another firm affected by the changes is Rush Gaming Universe by Hike which also let go 55 of its employees, amounting to 22% of its total workforce as a result of increased tax burden.

However, the company that was perhaps hit the hardest by the changes was Quizy, an interactive real money gaming platform which shut down owing to the hike in the GST rate. The founders, nevertheless, are looking for other opportunities in the gaming space and might make a whole new entry after evaluating their options.

The GST Council has promised a review of the situation six months after the amendments come into effect. It provides a glimmer of hope for the industry to put forward their case once again.