The Esports Federation of India announced that the 28 percent goods and services tax (GST) will be levied on the full-face value of online gaming, but will not affect the country’s Esports industry.
The blanket 28 percent tax on online gaming will apply to the Indian iGaming sector, including real-money gaming, fantasy sports, teen patti, rummy, and poker, which are classified as gambling or betting activities.
Despite the considerable blow to the gaming industry, Esports industry representatives dismissed any possible impact on their own field.
“It is imperative to first understand that the 28 percent GST is going to be applicable to the iGaming sector, including real money gaming (RMG), fantasy sports, teen patti, rummy and poker, which are categorised under gambling or betting in the rest of the world,” Vinod Tiwari, president of Esports Federation of India (ESFI) and acting director general of Olympic Council of Asia, said according to Business Standard.
Esports has been officially recognized as a sport by the Indian government, with its tax rate remaining unchanged at 18 percent.
Tiwari also emphasized that the primary objective of the video gaming and Esports industry, comprising approximately 400 million Indian gamers and three billion gamers worldwide, is purely entertainment and not financial gain.