Will the government impose a 28% flat tax on casinos, internet gambling, and horse racing?

According to government sources, a panel of state finance ministers on casino and internet gambling taxation would likely deliver its findings to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman within the next day or two.

The GST Council is expected to convene towards the end of this month or early September to examine the Group of Ministers (GoM) report, according to the sources.

In a previous report, the GoM, led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, suggested to the GST Council levying a 28% GST on gross sales value because horse racing, internet gaming, and casinos are similar to betting or gambling.

However, because Goa wants more conversations about casinos, the GST Council, which included the Union finance minister and her state equivalents, proposed that the GoM undertake more discussions and submit a final report by July 15.

According to government sources, the GoM will submit its findings to the finance minister within the next day or two.

Members of the GoM also met with industry stakeholders late last month to hear their concerns.

The GoM suggested in its report to the Council last month that online gaming be taxed at the entire value of the consideration, including the contest entrance fee paid by a participant to participate in the game.

In the case of racetracks, the GoM proposed levying GST on the entire value of bets pooled in totalisators and deposited with bookies.

Regarding casinos, the GoM suggested that the tax be imposed on the entire face value of the chips/coins acquired from a casino by a player. No additional GST would be levied on the value of bets put in each round of betting, including those placed with wins from prior rounds.

Suresh Khanna (Uttar Pradesh), Kanubhai Patel (Gujarat), P Thiaga Rajan (Tamil Nadu), and T Harish Rao are the other state finance ministers in the eight-member GoM. (Telangana).

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