New Delhi: A panel of state finance ministers on taxation of casinos and online gaming on Monday met and decided to seek legal opinion on valuation criteria for all these segments.
The Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said, “After taking the opinion of stakeholders and after successive meetings to seek the suggestions of all members, we will take legal opinion before submitting the final report”.
The GoM on casinos and online gaming taxation are likely to finalise its report in 7-10 days, he said after the meeting here.
The panel in an earlier report had proposed to the GST Council to levy 28 percent GST on gross sales value as horse racing, online gaming and casinos are akin to betting or gambling.
Sources said the GoM is open to considering different rates and valuation mechanisms for online gaming, casinos, and horse racing.
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The government in May last year set up a panel of state ministers for better valuation of services of casinos, online gaming portals, and race courses for levying Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Other state ministers in the eight-member GoM include Goa Panchayati Raj Minister Mauvin Godinho, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister P Thiaga Rajan, Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Suresh Khanna and Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao.
Meanwhile, with celebrities promoting online rummy and massive advertisement campaigns being run to attract people into playing the card game, which has allegedly pushed many into financial ruin and commit suicide as a result, the Kerala government has said it was considering amending its gaming laws to regulate such online games.
As per Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the government was considering bringing in the amendment subject to the outcome of its appeal in the Kerala High Court against a single judge order, quashing the ban on online rummy games played for money.
However, till that happens, various state departments, including the police, are conducting awareness programs in schools and colleges.
Besides that, a social policing system, various schemes of student police cadets, and awareness campaigns through the media are also being implemented to prevent people from being addicted to such games, Vijayan said.
(With inputs from PTI)