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GST: Group of Ministers to Complete Report on Casinos and Online Gaming by August 10

The panel of state finance ministers tasked with bringing online gambling and casinos under GST failed to achieve an agreement on Tuesday and decided to submit its report by August 10.

According to officials, the Group of Ministers (GoM) convened virtually on Tuesday and reviewed alternative methods of taxes for casinos, horse racing, and internet gambling.

The group decided that further thought was needed on the subject and set August 10 as the deadline for completing its report, according to authorities.

The report is anticipated to be discussed at the GST Council meeting set for next month in Madurai.

Last month, the council, comprised of the Centre and state finance ministers, recommended back the GoM report for further debate.

In its report, the GoM, led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, stated that horse racing, internet gaming, and casinos are all forms of betting and gambling and that a 28% GST on gross sales value should be applied.

The GoM also suggested that online gaming be taxed at the entire value of the consideration, including the contest entrance fee paid by the participant for playing 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.

In the case of casinos, the GoM suggested that the tax be imposed on the entire face value of the chips/coins acquired by a player from the casino. There would be no additional GST applied to the value of bets put in each round of betting, including those placed using wins from prior rounds.

While the GST Council was considering the GoM report on June 29, Goa Industries Minister Mauvin Godinho stated that there was a need for more explanation and understanding as to why casinos deserve a distinct tax treatment than horse racing and internet gambling.

As a result, the GoM was required to complete its report by July 15.

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

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