Online gambling in India is facing obstacles as the GST Council has agreed to impose a 28% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on online gambling, casino games, and horseracing. This means that online gambling will now fall under the GST, including both skill-based and chance-based games. The 28% tax will be applied to the total chips purchased by players or the wagers they place.
Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, commented on the amendment of the GST Act to include online gaming and horse racing, stating that significant discussions had taken place regarding this matter. She mentioned that various states, including Sikkim and Goa, which are popular tourism destinations for casinos, presented their views.
However, stakeholders in the online gambling industry have expressed their concerns about this new tax. India’s growing gaming sector, which is valued at $1.5 billion and attracts significant investments, could be negatively impacted. Companies and organizations have criticized the decision and warned about the potential consequences on the industry, such as job losses and decreased investment.
Roland Landers, the CEO of All India Gaming Federation, described the decision as unconstitutional, irrational, and egregious. He argued that the decision disregarded decades of settled legal jurisprudence and unfairly grouped online skill gaming with gambling activities.
In conclusion, the online gambling industry in India will face a 28% GST on various activities, which has raised concerns among stakeholders who fear detrimental effects on the budding industry.