GST on Online Gaming, Pros and Cons
Since the new 28% GST (Goods and Service Tax) regime that was recently applied to horse racing, casinos, and online gambling activities in India came into force, it has been met with fierce criticism by opponents.
Let's dive straight in to take a closer look at what this new ruling has meant for the iGaming industry in India and reveal some of the pros and cons that have been associated with the GST on real money online gaming activities.
When did the new 28% GST on gambling come into effect in India?
The new 28% GST at full value on real money gambling activities at online casinos, sports betting sites, and other similar licensed and regulated gambling websites, to be collected by the operators of those sites, officially came into effect on October 1, 2023.
Most people at the time said it marked the beginning of the end for the iGaming industry and that gambling activities would become unviable, although the GST Council and central government have said that their aim was not to kill off the online betting apps industry.
What are the pros and cons of the new GST regime on gambling in India?
Here are some of the pros and cons of the steep new 28% GST regime from various perspectives:
- The government will generate additional revenue from licensed and regulated iGaming site operators
- Fewer people will be gambling because of this take hike, which is good for advocates of [non-profit] problem gambling organizations,
- It has weeded out untrustworthy sites and leaves only the most reputable operators and more reliable iGaming websites
- It has brought a sharp focus on gambling activities in India, and the attention might lead to possible change and improvements concerning regulation, licensing, and the legal framework that's currently in place in India
- The 28% GST regime makes online gambling almost unviable for most people
- The unfair tax hike applies to games of skill and chance
- The new GST legislation that came into effect in October 2023 has caused some market-leading operators with some of the iGaming industry's best services, apps, and products to pull out of the Indian market
- Some Indian players find they have no other option but to play at offshore/foreign-controlled sites that don't come under Indian laws/jurisdiction, using proxies or VPNs to access those sites
- A 30% tax, called Tax Deducted at Source (TDS), is levied on deducted from any and all winnings of every player
- The government could end up losing a huge source of revenue because of the above factors
- Operators that have stayed put have said it will be almost impossible to expand/grow their businesses
- Unemployment has climbed because iGaming companies have exited the Indian market
- The changes have discouraged new investment in the iGaming industry and put off potential operators from entering the Indian market
- It could have a damaging and long-lasting effect on the industry
It is less than a year since the new GST on gambling activities came into force, so it's still too early to say the actual impact. Only time will tell if it proves to be a good or bad thing.
What are the safest iGaming sites in 2024 for people living in India?
The good news for those of you who still want to place a wager at a real money gambling site is that there are plenty to choose from.
The products and services at each site can be accessed instantly in your web browser or from a secure mobile application (usually always compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablet devices), provided you are at least 18 years old.
TheTopBookies.com iGaming review site is a globally renowned website with the latest honest and unbiased reviews for today's most trusted Indian online casinos and sports betting sites.
Before being selected for review and getting recommended on their site, each brand has been expertly reviewed using the same tried and tested vetting process and has been carefully handpicked before being selected for review. In other words, they only recommend today's best Indian real money gambling sites.
Before you sign up anywhere, take a few minutes to read the reviews, and then you can cross-reference/compare the reviews to find out which site would be more suitable for you.
Their featured Indian iGaming sites are owned and operated by reputable companies, and they are all licensed by one or more of the industry's most trusted licensing authorities.
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