West Bengal passes bill imposing 28% GST on online gaming, casinos, horse racing

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One after another, states are falling in line with the new 28% GST regime. The latest one to do so is West Bengal which passed the bill in the assembly on December 7 to impose 28% GST on online gaming, horse racing, casinos.

Speaking on the occasion, state finance minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said, “West Bengal is one of the states which has advocated taxation of such online gaming and similar activities at the highest rate. When the West Bengal Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2023, will become an Act, it will augment the revenue of the state.”

It is true that Bhattacharya has supported the idea of imposing 28% GST on online gaming previously. When the new GST rate was announced, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh were among the states to speak out in favour of it.

Bhattacharya has also argued that activities like online gaming, casinos and horse racing come under the bracket of ‘games of chance’ and not ‘games of skill’, reported Deccan Herald.

Talking about the delays in tabling the bill in the assembly, Bhattacharya responded by saying that the Governor sought several clarifications regarding it, which is why it took longer to be tabled.

The 28% GST rate came into effect on October 1. However, many states were yet to bring the necessary amendments to their GST laws and so not all states could implement the new rate on that date.

Meanwhile, a few days ago, Kerala opted to propose an ordinance for the same along with additions to provide more clarity on the implementation of the new GST rate.

While online gaming companies are not entirely in support of the new GST regime and have been calling for a re-evaluation of the decision, they have another issue to deal with which is the GST show cause notices served to them.