GST GoM: No consensus on taxation of online gaming, casinos likely before December 17

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The report of Group of Ministers (GoM) on online gaming, casinos, and horse racing is unlikely to be discussed in the upcoming GST Council meeting, said GST Council member and Goa Minister Mauvin Godinho.

The minister was speaking to CNBC TV18. He said no consensus was arrived by the GoM and clubbing online gaming with casinos is like comparing apples and oranges.

The GoM, headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, in June has recommended that online gaming should be taxed at the full value of the consideration, including the contest entry fee paid by the player on participating in the game. Later, the GST Council directed the GoM to reconsider the issue based on requests from Goa which heavily relies on casino revenues.

The revised report of GoM is now delayed by more than three months. The initial timeline for the revised report was July 15 which was later extended to August 10.

West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh which are on opposite sides of political spectrum  supported GST at a uniform rate of 28% on the full value of the consideration, without making a distinction between games of skill or chance.

West Bengal obtains significant revenue from lottery and is accused by opposition parties of favouring lottery lobby. The other members of the GoM include Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat.

Earlier reports indicated that the GST Council might categorise actionable claim as ‘services’ by putting it under Section 7 of the CGST Act for taxation purposes without getting into the debate of games of skill or chance.

It was widely speculated that the upcoming GST Council meeting would bring in the much awaited clarity, which for now may not be the reality anytime soon.