E-Gaming Federation chief says confident GST issues will be resolved soon

 – Gudstory

E-Gaming Federation chief says confident GST issues will be resolved soon – Gudstory

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The E-Gaming Federation (EGF), a self-regulatory body for the online gaming industry, is confident that the issues related to the recent GST changes, which have increased the tax burden on companies, will be resolved soon.

Federation CEO Anurag Saxena said he is optimistic about the ongoing discussions between the federation and government stakeholders to address these concerns. Saxena, in an interview with Mint, said the industry is united in presenting a compelling business case to the government while highlighting the positive social impact of the sector.

“As far as the GST issue is concerned, we are very optimistic that it will resolve itself in the near future. The government will be looking for a balance between providing incentives to the industry and maximizing its revenue. “The process of finding some kind of balance between government and industry is ongoing.”

He said that when new industries develop, it takes some time for stakeholders to reach consensus. “There has been a period of change and we may be at the tail end of that period right now. In a fairly short period of time, we will be able to ensure that there are rules in place that encourage Indian gaming companies and curb or discourage those that may not be subject to our laws,” he said.

Saxena said the gaming federation hopes the government will understand that the companies, unlike the offshore betting sector, want to protect players and are not trying to circumvent the law. “Companies in the skill-based gaming sector are actively subjecting themselves to Indian norms and regulations. At the same time, there are a whole group of companies that are not. “There will always be bad players in any sector and we are confident that there is adequate enforcement in India to drive out bad players from this industry,” he said.

While the government has cracked down on the real-money gaming (RMG) sector, an offshore betting industry is thriving. These companies run their businesses on remote servers, use offshore accounts that are restricted by the government, and do not pay taxes even when they advertise in India.

Games of skill – including games involving real money – are regulated by the federal government while games of chance are regulated by the states. But in the last two years, 71 notices have been sent to RMG companies for alleged tax evasion. 1.12 lakh crore.

“Our expectation from the government is to better understand the sector and its intentions. For example, we are one of the very few sectors that is calling for more regulation. We are confident that he will bring in a tax regime that will be fair and encouraging.”

He said the sector wants to conform to self-regulatory bodies, which will make the ecosystem safer. However, the government has shelved its plan to create a self-regulatory body for now.

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Published: 06 Dec 2023, 01:56 PM IST


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