The Indian state of Goa has been putting a lot of effort in its gaming field and in boosting its development in the long run. This Thursday brought the news that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had issued special notices to as many as ten gambling venues in operation in Goa with the request that they pay a special tax applied to their gambling license fees.
It could be recalled, that back in December 2017 the authorities in the state made it clear that the year of 2018 will be dedicated to many improvements in the gambling field with the ultimate objective to make it more appealing to both gambling enthusiasts and casino operators alike. This most recent turn of events could be defined as a case of service tax evasion which had been ongoing from 2014 to 2016 at the ten casino venues.
Along with the notices addressing the aforementioned issue, there is also an investigation started which is going to aim to look into the issue. The said 10 locations are also the only ones in operation in the Indian state and what should be taken into account is that six of them are brick-and-mortar ones located ashore, whereas the remaining four are floating gambling venues.
Casino Operators Respond to the Demand
As it is mentioned in the said notice, the casino locations will have to pay their debts generated over the span of those three years, in order to remain in operation in the future. It is not a secret to anyone interested in the gambling industry of Goa, that the said taxes have brought discontentment among casino operators in the field.
In the past, there have been several court lawsuits against them since they are considered too high for the general operation of the casino developers and they put their businesses at risk. For reference, the said tax amounts to some 15 percent applied on the license fees of the operators. Many owners have expressed their opinion in relation to them, stating that such tax demand lacks the legal ground and therefore should not be existing in the first place.
Over the span of those three years, the ten venues have been evading said tax and their action have gone unnoticed up to this point. On the other hand, the authorities claim that the tax is completely reasonable since gambling venues could be defined as locations which provide goods, which calls for the application of a 15-percent tax on their license fees.
Shortly after the demand was made public two of the ten casino venues made the payment needed, but the rest of them still remain in the center of attention. They have opted for another response to the situation, filing lawsuits in an attempt to avoid paying the said amount of money generated over the span of three years and to prove their righteousness.