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Maharashtra Govt. Now Raises online gaming GST to 28%, Completely ban Casinos in State

Mumbai,09 December(City Times): Maharashtra online gaming GST: The Maharashtra Assembly has recently passed a significant amendment bill that brings online gaming, betting, casinos, horse racing, and lottery under the highest Goods and Services Tax (GST) bracket of 28%. The bill, tabled by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, aims to address the previous loophole where operators paid lower taxes. Pawar emphasized that online gaming is not merely a ‘game of skills’ but involves an element of chance, leading the subcommittee to recommend the 28% tax rate.

Background and Rationale

Prior to this amendment, operators and service providers in this sector paid an 18% tax. The decision to move these services to the 28% GST bracket aligns with the GST Council’s previous decision, and further clarification was deemed necessary. Pawar highlighted the need for a fair tax rate and addressed the attempts by operators to evade higher taxes.

Repeal of the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, 1976

Simultaneously, the assembly passed a bill repealing the 45-year-old Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, 1976. The Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who heads the home department, introduced the bill, asserting that casinos have no place in Maharashtra’s cultural ethos. The repeal ensures that casinos will not operate in the state in the future. Fadnavis emphasized that the decision was taken in the interest of the state’s future generations, aiming to put an end to the persistent legal battles over casino permissions.

Maharashtra online gaming GST: Historical Perspective

The Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, in effect since 1976, had not been implemented, leading to frequent legal battles from interested parties seeking permission for casino establishments. The state cabinet had decided to repeal the act in August, underscoring the government’s commitment to preventing the establishment of casinos in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra Casino ban Legislative Developments: Maharashtra GST rate change

Alongside repealing the casino act, the lower house passed a chit fund bill and an amendment bill that seeks to include online gaming, betting, casinos, horse racing, and lottery in the 28% GST bracket. The amendment to the Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, was discussed in the ongoing winter session of the state legislature. It has successfully passed in the lower house and is now set to undergo scrutiny and approval in the Legislative Council.

The recent legislative actions in the Maharashtra Assembly reflect a comprehensive approach to regulate and tax various forms of entertainment, emphasizing the government’s commitment to fair taxation and cultural values. The move to the 28% GST bracket for online gaming and the repeal of the casino act mark a significant shift in the state’s policy landscape, aiming to strike a balance between economic considerations and cultural integrity. As the bills move forward, Maharashtra is poised to see a new source of revenue and a more regulated landscape for online gaming and entertainment services.

Government Initiates Legislative Overhaul: Five Bills Tabled on Day One In Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government kickstarts the assembly session with a bold move, presenting five crucial bills. Notably, one aims to repeal the 45-year-old ‘Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, 1976,’ signaling a significant shift in the state’s approach to gaming and taxation.

Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis Leads Charge Against Casinos in Maharashtra: Maharashtra gaming tax

Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis takes the forefront as the government tables a bill to amend the ‘Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, 1976.’ Expressing a clear stance against casinos, the minister highlights the government’s decision to permanently ban them in the state.

Maharashtra Redefines Taxation for Online Gaming

In a move to adapt to the evolving landscape, the Maharashtra government introduces amendments to the ‘Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.’ The proposed changes address the taxation intricacies surrounding online gaming, online money gaming, specified actionable claims, and virtual digital assets, aiming for clarity and adaptability.

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