India: Panel tasked with submitting iGaming taxation proposal reportedly yet to reach consensus

A panel of Indian state finance ministers tasked with submitting a report on proposed taxation of the booming iGaming sector has yet to submit its findings. According to local media, the group may not reach a consensus on the policy for the time being.

The report is crucial to a final decision on how the levies should be imposed, a senior government official said on Monday, as per Reuters. However, the panel is unlikely to reach a consensus this month, the official told reporters in New Delhi.

The panel has for weeks been deliberating how it should tax online gaming companies, and whether federal tax should be imposed on only the profits of firms or on the value of the entire pool of money collected from participants.

The move to set a new taxation regime for online gaming comes as the sector keeps gaining momentum in India. The increasing popularity of real-money iGaming has prompted foreign investors including Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital to back local gaming startups such as Dream11 and Mobile Premier League, popular for their fantasy cricket games.

India's goods and services tax (GST) council is next set to meet on Dec. 17. Any decision on the taxation regime taken at the meeting will be contingent on the availability of the report which has yet to be finalized, the official said, further reports Retuers.

India is also separately working on federal regulations for the gaming sector that research firm Redseer estimates will be worth $7 billion by 2026, dominated by real-money games. Those policies will apply to all real-money games after the prime minister's office overruled a proposal to only regulate games of skill and leave out games of chance.

During the Dec. 17 meeting of the GST council, the panel of federal and state finance chiefs will also discuss decriminalizing the tax laws by way of raising the threshold for prosecution, the official added.

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