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Meghalaya: GoM reaches consensus on casinos, online gaming and race courses

Meghalaya: GoM reaches consensus on casinos, online gaming and race courses

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Meghalaya: GoM reaches consensus on casinos, online gaming and race courses Meghalaya: GoM reaches consensus on casinos, online gaming and race courses

The panel of ministers tasked to review the GST levy on casinos, race courses and online gaming has finalised its report, which will be taken up in the upcoming GST Council meeting.

The Group of Ministers, chaired by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma, had in its previous meeting earlier this month unanimously decided on hiking the tax rate on these services to 28 per cent. The GoM was set up by the union finance ministry.

This was informed by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday after meeting the GoM.

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma informed that related reports will be handed over to union finance minister Nirmala Sitharam soon.

“The group of ministers on casinos, race courses and online gaming has come to a consensus,” said Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma.

He added: “The report of our submissions will be handed over to union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a day or two and the matter will be presented in the next GST council meeting.”

“Thank all members for their cooperation and Hon’ble finance minister for giving us this task,” the Meghalaya chief minister further said.

Earlier, Meghalaya taxation minister James Sangma said the state government has come up with the Gaming Act following which the Gaming Rules 2021 will facilitate issuing of licenses to operators to conduct games of skill and chance both in the online and offline versions.

The groundwork for preparing Meghalaya as a hub for online gaming online betting, and legalised gambling began in February last year when the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Act, 1970 was nullified by the state government.

The move to get into gaming in a big way comes some forty years after archery-based betting was first legalized in Meghalaya, raking in big revenue to the state’s exchequer The Khasi Hills Archery Sports Association conducts the well-known ‘Shillong Teer’, an archery-based lottery.

After the legalization, Meghalaya will become the third state to legalize online and offline gaming and gambling. The other two states are Sikkim and Nagaland.