Indian expects to collect up to 140 billion rupees ($1.7 billion) in goods and services tax (GST) next financial year by taxing online gambling companies, Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra told Reuters on Saturday.

The Centre is aiming to collect $1.7 billion in GST from online gambling (AFP)

The government in October imposed a 28% tax on funds that online gaming companies collect from their customers for every bet, shocking a nascent $1.5 billion industry that is backed by global investors. The government had defended the move, citing concerns about addiction.

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In the fiscal year that ends on March 31, the government will collect about 75 billion rupees from the tax, Malhotra said in an interview, up from 16 billion rupees the previous year.

The tax generated 35 billion rupees in the October-December quarter, he said.

“The industry has stabilised, but it is early to make conclusive remarks,” he said. A review of the framework to tax online gambling companies will be conducted by April, but that doesn’t mean tax rates would be changed, he said.

The government’s overall GST collections have averaged to 1.7 trillion rupees per month, Malhotra said, adding, “We are expecting average monthly collection of 1.80 trillion to 1.85 trillion rupees from next fiscal” year.

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