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GST rules for casinos, e-games notified

The Ministry of Finance has recently issued a significant notification outlining amendments to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rules pertaining to online gaming and casinos. These amendments aim to address taxation methodologies employed by online gaming companies and casinos.

GST on Casino Chips

One of the key changes introduced by these amendments is that individuals visiting a casino are now required to pay GST on the full value of the chips they initially purchase. This means that the GST will be levied on the entire amount spent on chips at the time of purchase.

Valuation of Supply

Two new clauses, 31B and 31C, have been introduced in the GST rules to specify the valuation of the supply. Under these changes, any claims made by players are to be included in the total amount paid or payable, ensuring a comprehensive taxation approach.

No Refunds on Returned Amounts

The notification clarifies that any refunded or returned amount, such as when a player returns some of their initially acquired chips and receives a cash refund, will not result in a refund of GST. The GST collected at the time of purchase remains unaffected by subsequent returns.

Treatment of Winnings

Winnings by any player will remain tax-neutral. This is because the entire GST is collected at the first stage, ensuring that winnings are not subject to additional taxation. If a player uses their winnings, or a portion thereof, in a subsequent game without withdrawing, no GST will be applied to that amount.

Legislative Approval

In August, the Parliament approved amendments to the Central and Integrated GST laws, imposing a 28 percent tax on the full face value of bets in online gaming, casinos, and horse race clubs. The Rajya Sabha, without discussion, returned the proposed legislations to the Lok Sabha with a voice vote. Subsequently, the Lok Sabha approved the two money bills: The Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and The Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

State Implementation

With the central government’s approval, it is now up to the states to pass these amendments in their respective state GST laws through their legislative assemblies. This step will ensure uniform implementation of the revised GST rules for casinos and online gaming across the country.

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