Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Goods and Services Tax (GST)

The government has set up a panel of state ministers for better valuation of services of casinos, online gaming portal and race courses for levying goods and services tax (GST).

The seven-member panel, convened by Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, will also examine whether any change is required in the legal provision for better means of valuation of these services.

The group of ministers (GoM) will "examine the issue of valuation of services provided by casinos, race courses, and online gaming portals and taxability of certain transactions in a casino, with reference to the current legal provisions and orders of courts," said its terms of reference (ToR).

It will also examine the administration of such valuation provisions and if an alternative means of valuation is recommended.

The panel would also look into the impact of such valuation on other similarly placed services like lottery.

The other members of the GoM include Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Goa Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Tamil Nadu Finance Minister P Thiagarajan.

The panel would submit its report to the GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister and comprising state Finance Ministers, within six months.

AMRG and Associates Senior Partner Rajat Mohan said, "In the pandemic period, the online gaming sector, including casino, has seen massive user traction and flow of investments.

"Online gaming companies are in nascent stages in India, leading to multiple unresolved issues around taxation and valuation, posing a big challenge for the entire industry. Now a GoM has been constituted to understand, examine and resolve the uncertainty surrounding the valuation of services by casinos, race courses, and online gaming companies," Mohan added.

Currently, services of casinos, horse racing and online gaming attract 18 per cent GST. The GoM would decide on the method of valuing the services.

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