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Taxing online gaming industry on par with gambling will stifle growth: Winzo

The GST Council on Wednesday deferred its decision on levying a 28 per cent tax on casinos, online gaming, horse racing and lottery pending more consultations with stakeholders.

A startup turns unicorn when its valuation reaches USD 1 billion, while a company with more than USD 10 billion valuation is called decacorn. (File photo)

Indian gaming ecosystem is expected to have 10 unicorns and 5 decacorns in the next five years but high tax on entire online gaming industry at par with gambling will stifle growth, online gaming company Winzo said on Friday.

The GST Council on Wednesday deferred its decision on levying a 28 per cent tax on casinos, online gaming, horse racing and lottery pending more consultations with stakeholders.

“We at WinZO believe that India will boast of as many as 10 unicorns and 5 decacorns from the gaming ecosystem in the next five years alone. To paint the entire online gaming industry with the same brush as gambling by placing it in the same tax slab, i.e, 28 per cent from the current 18 per cent, would have serious implications on the development of this sector,” Winzo said in a statement.

A startup turns unicorn when its valuation reaches USD 1 billion, while a company with more than USD 10 billion valuation is called decacorn.

Winzo said that the country is at the epicentre of the explosion of the global gaming economy, contributes to nearly 17 per cent of global mobile game downloads, the most by any country, and is all set to establish itself as the next gaming superpower of the world.

The market has been operating in a manner where a clear distinction exists between games of chance or gambling on one hand and all other forms of online gaming and sports on the other, Winzo said.

“There are over 900 ventures in the gaming industry in India, building for tomorrow. Premature over-taxation with the proposed 28 per cent increase would only sink these early stage companies further into losses making the industry unviable,” the statement said.

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