India’s GST Council Struggle With Gambling Tax

India’s Goods and Services Tax Council (GST) fundamentally rewrote the tax code a few months earlier without effectively rewriting anything. It chose to reinterpret the present language, so casino operators were unexpectedly on the hook for hundreds of million bucks.

The gambling industry has tried to shed light on the GST Council, but nothing seems to work. They want to reduce the relevant tax prices or change the way the GST calculates income, but the board refuses to budge. It has now emerged that the Group of Ministers (GoM), though a panel created earlier this year, will have to call because the GST Council can not create a choice.

The issue is two-pronged–one involves how lottery taxes are collected, and the other involves calculating gambling taxes. Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar formed the GoM board to investigate how to impose GST prices on lottery ticket sales. State lotteries are paying 12%, but personal retailers are paying 28%. Some have called dual taxation unconstitutional, but the Calcutta High Court has already indicated that current regulations permit the framework, adding, “It is within the domain of such Council to decide the rate of tax.”

The Gambling community’s push for a single price dropped on deaf feet when the GST Council gathered last week, according to a Goan Daily Herald report. Most board leaders, including Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, voted against operators ‘ requirements.

There’s also a enormous debate against the GST Council’s present tax code interpretation. The committee claims that taxes must be charged on the bet’s face value, which is not viable for the entire casino industry. It seems the board intends to pass the buck and have the GoM call instead.

Pramod Sawant, the chief minister of Goa, stated, “There was some issue on GST on gross revenue, which has now been handed over to the Group of Ministers for further discussion. It is for the GST council to decide.”

Meanwhile, casinos are still without proper guidance, and India can’t get a stronger grip on its gambling finances. There’s no consensus on when the GoM might make a decision, or submit it back to the GST Council.

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.