The entire gambling industry in India is close to being subjected to a 28% tax rate. While there was a bit of hope that some cooler heads would prevail and that this idea would be thrown in the bin, it seems that India's Goods and Service Tax Council are still intent on introducing it. The GST Council are going to push this rate forward after a panel of ministers, who specifically deal with taxes on goods and services, sign off on it.
The Current Tax Structure
Under India's current tax structure, horse racing tracks, casinos, and online games (as long as there is no gambling involved) pay tax rates of 18%. On the other hand, gambling segments and online betting pay 28% tax rates. There has been plenty of talk about decreasing this figure, but the ministers recently decided that a 28% tax rate was perfectly logical. Thus, the GST Council deferred this proposal, giving the politicians time to work out their next move.
"Gambling segments and online betting pay 28% tax rates."
Taxation is Out of Control
The tax would depend on the number of chips that a bettor buys. However, since they can also use the chips to buy beverages and food, the panel declare that this is enough for such purchases to enter the gambling category. A minister from Goa, one of the few places in India where gambling is legal and regulated, raised some concerns because he wants the tax rate to only be applied to gambling, and not every purchase at a casino.
Therefore, since he decided to raise such concerns, the ministers need to regroup sometime soon and re-evaluate what their next step is going to be.
No Relief for Gambling Online
Horse racing tracks have entered the online gambling sphere, but they argue that the 28% tax rate will end up killing their business. They declare that they have a long-standing reputation as a non-profit organization that delivers millions of dollars each year in revenue, and the introduction of this tax rate would be a death toll.
Online gambling, which does not have a clear path yet in India, wants a completely different setup altogether. First of all, it wants there to be a distinction between games of chance of games of skill. Then, only those games which are games of chance would be subjected to the tax rate. However, there is an issue with this, and this is that there is currently no consensus as to what qualifies as a game of skill or chance.
Many Indian politicians believe that poker is just a game of chance, while the same politicians believe that rummy is a game of skill. Adding to the confusion is the fact that some games of skill involve some exchange of money, which means that they fall into the gambling segment.
Our Solution to This Tax Issue
Until India gets some sort of handle on their online gambling sector and distinguishes between games of chance and games of skill, then they will not make any headway at all. This is a battle that has been on going for more than ten years, which is just indicative of how hard it is for politicians and lawmakers in India to figure out the best course of action.
Instead of playing your favourite casino games at a casino in India, play at one of our recommended online casinos that has been licensed and registered in Malta. Some top online casinos that are registered in Malta includes the likes of:
These online casinos are perfectly safe and legit for you to play at because they have been regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, which happens to be one of the best and most respected gambling regulators in the gambling industry. In addition to this, they also have a wide variety of slots and table games that you can enjoy, meaning that you will not find yourself getting bored when you are playing at any of these online casinos.
However, the best thing about them is the fact that you will not be subjected to tax rates if you play at an online casino that is registered on the island of Malta. Gambling online is not illegal in India, so you can play and win here without having to worry about whether you are breaking the law or not. All you need to do is withdraw your winnings using a withdrawal method such as Neteller or Skrill, and you will receive all of the money that you won without having to hand over a single penny to the taxman.