West Bengal Goods and Services Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023

The West Bengal Assembly has approved a bill that imposes the highest Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate of 28% on the full face value of bets in online gaming, horse racing, and casinos. The move is aimed at boosting the state’s revenue, according to Minister of State for Finance Chandrima Bhattacharya.

Revenue Augmentation

The West Bengal Goods and Services Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023, once enacted, is expected to enhance the state’s revenue. West Bengal stands among the states advocating for the highest taxation on online gaming and related activities.

Games of Chance

Online gaming, casinos, and horse racing are categorized as games of chance rather than skill. In such cases, the “right to participate and the right to win cannot be separated.” This perspective underlines the rationale behind taxing these activities at the highest GST rate.

State’s Advocacy for Highest Taxation Rates

As a member of the GST Council, West Bengal has consistently favored imposing the highest GST rates on activities like online gaming. The bill’s delayed introduction in the assembly was attributed to numerous queries raised by the governor.

Effective GST Rates from October 1

The GST rates on online gaming, horse racing, and casinos came into effect from October 1 in various states. The move aligns with the state’s commitment to taxing these activities at the highest rates.

Pending IGST Dues

Presently, West Bengal is awaiting Rs 467 crore from the Centre on account of Inter-State Goods and Services Tax (IGST). This pending amount is a crucial aspect of the state’s fiscal concerns.



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