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Ministerial group to finalise report on horse racing, casinos, online gaming in a week & More News Headlines

 

NEW DELHI : A ministerial group appointed by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Monday discussed on Monday the taxation of horse racing, casinos and online gaming and indicated the possibility of adopting different tax regimes for these segments. 

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma, who chairs the group of ministers, told reporters after the meeting in the capital that all the three games are not the same and that they function in very different ways. The methodology of collecting the tax is being looked into. The ministerial group will submit its report to the Council, which will take a decision on the tax regime, he said. He also expressed confidence that the report would be finalised in about a week to ten days.

The minister’s emphasis that the three industries are different points to having separate tax regimes tailormade for them, in a departure from the earlier plan to place all the three in the 28% slab. 

Industry representatives welcomed this move. The group of ministers recognising the constitutional and legal difference and nuances of online games is very promising, All India Gaming Federation said in a statement quoting chief executive officer Roland Landers. The statement said that the industry body is very hopeful that the GoM will arrive at a progressive and constitutionally sound recommendation for rate and valuation for the industry.

With the advent of technology and the use of handheld devices, the online gaming market is fast growing at dollar three billion with more than 400 million users, and is expected to grow rapidly in next half a decade, said Ankur Gupta, Practice Leader (indirect tax) at SW India, a taxation and consulting firm. It is important to put taxability at par with global tax rates so that the Indian industry remains competitive, said Gupta. 

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