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Vol. 19 Issue 2 (2024)

Goods and Service Tax on Online Skill Gaming: A Constitutional Perspective

Eeshan Sonak and Saranya Ravindran

In light of the rapid growth and the consequent regulatory focus on the taxing of online gaming in India, this paper discusses the CGST (Amendment) Act, 2023 and the amendment in CGST Rules that mark a shift from a Gross Gaming Revenue model to a turnover model of taxation and impose a uniform tax on games of skill and chance. It analyses the compatibility of this shift with our GST regime, undertakes a policy analysis of its economic desirability by drawing from the experiences of other jurisdictions, and challenges its constitutionality by showing that imposing an onerous burden that could lead to operators shutting down online skill gaming services, a protected trade under Article 19(1)(g), amounts to colourable legislation and violates the manifest arbitrariness doctrine under Article 14.

Author

Eeshan Sonak and Saranya Ravindran are students at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.

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