The GST Council is scheduled to hold its 52nd meeting on October 7, 2023, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. During this meeting, the Council will review the progress made by various states in implementing amendments to their State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) laws.
In the previous month, the GST Council approved amendments to the Central GST and Integrated GST laws. These amendments provided clarity on the imposition of a 28% tax on the full face value of bets in online gaming, casinos, and horse race clubs. The amendments also made it mandatory for offshore e-gaming companies operating in India to register under GST.
Additionally, the amended law grants authorities the power to block access to offshore platforms if they fail to comply with GST registration and taxation requirements. States were given until October 1 to make similar changes to their respective SGST laws in line with these amendments.
The GST Council's clarification in July regarding the 28% tax on the full face value of bets prompted GST authorities to issue notices to online gaming companies and casino operators. The Central GST amendment defined "online gaming" as any game played on the internet or an electronic network. As a result of these amendments, horse racing, casinos, and online money gaming are now treated as actionable claims, similar to lottery, betting, and gambling.
These amendments were primarily introduced to combat issues such as money laundering, illegal income, and the generation of black money. According to data from NITI Aayog, the online gaming industry saw a 28% increase in revenue in 2021, reaching $1.9 billion. Casinos are also subject to a 28% GST on their gross gaming revenue (GGR).