Online Casinos In India, Legal or Not?

State ministers to tally GST for online and in-person casinos

Physical casinos have been a popular form of entertainment for centuries – therefore, it was only a matter of time before gambling became digital. However, it is only recently that these casinos have come to the Indian government’s attention. A set of government ministers has been assigned by the federal government to evaluate the profit from online and offline casinos.

A few states allow gambling because of the grey areas within Indian law surrounding gambling, while other states have decided to ban gambling altogether.  Despite only a handful of states allowing citizens to gamble, recent data has found that people are gambling more than ever. With this in mind, the federal government has highlighted the need for the commission after the rising pressure to heal the struggling economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Are Indian states missing out on GST by not regulating online gambling?

The laws don’t currently encourage or allow gambling, meaning that some states appear to be missing out on taxable charges from online gambling that could increase their budgets.

State government panel consists of seven key members

The state government panel consists of seven members led by Nitin Patel, the Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister. This panel is going to look into the problem of valuation of services offered by online casinos, physical casinos and racecourses regarding the order of legal provisions.

The panel includes Amit Mitra, West Bengal Finance Minister; Ajit Pawar Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister; Mauvin Godinho, Goa Transport Minister; Chowna Mein, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister; Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka Home Minister; and P Thiagarajan, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister.

Based on their observations and results, either more states or the federal government will be compelled to act on the outdated gambling laws of India and start to regulate the industry. The necessity to re-evaluate the online casino industry was recognised during the pandemic, when the number of gamblers started rising. 

While Sikkim and Goa allow in-person casinos, the majority of states don’t have these same provisions.

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