22 Sep 2019

GST council refers demand for lottery, casino rate cut to GoM

GST Council rejects rate cut demand by casinos

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in its meeting held in Goa on Friday did not accede to demands made by the casino and lottery industries for reducing the applicable tax rates or change the manner in which GST should be applicable.

According to details emerging after the GST Council meeting, the issue of setting a uniform rate on lottery tickets has been referred back to a eight member Group of Ministers (GoM) panel formed earlier this year, headed by Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, that is reviewing the GST rates applicable on the sale of lottery tickets.

The GoM formed earlier this year could not form a consensus on the applicability of a uniform tax rate for lotteries, due to opposition from the West Bengal and Kerala governments, has been tasked with trying to get all member states onboard and has been requested to meet at the earliest and submit its recommendations to the GST Council.

Further, according to Goan daily Herald, the casino industry also made a representation to the GST Council submitting that the 28% tax rate is high and demanded hat the central government bring down the GST rates from 28% to 12% on gross earnings.

According to the Goan daily, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and most other GST Council members reportedly rejected the demand keeping in view the sentiments of the people of Goa.

According to the news report, the council thereafter decided to refer the matter to the Group of Ministers (GoM) for consideration.

Commenting on the issues faced by the casino industry, who claim that the wording of the valuation rules requiring GST to be paid on the face value of bets is not feasible, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant noted, “There was some issue on GST on gross revenue, which has now been handed over to the Group of Ministers for further discussion. It is for the GST council to decide.”

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