GST affects betting at B’luru derby
By Akhila Damodaram | Express News Service | Published: 16th July 2017 10:21 PM |
BENGALURU: Returns made by bettors at the Kingfisher Ultra Derby 2017, which happened on Sunday, seemed to have been affected due to the Goods and Service Tax (GST) that came into effect on July 1. The government has imposed a tax of 28 per cent on horse racing, and betting volumes have also been hit due to this.
Arjun Sajnani, a member of the Turf Club says, “GST will kill the horse racing scene if not implemented properly.” Elaborating on this, he says, “I am not in a position to say anything. The club won’t be able to pay such heavy taxes and will be broke if it is not planned well.”
This will affect bookmakers too. “The racing scene in Bengaluru has drastically reduced.Now, GST has made it worse,” says 75-year-old Vijay Kumar, who has been into racing for 56 years and owns five horses. He adds, “Earlier, the tax was 12 per cent. Now, it's 28 per cent on betting money.”
But the tax and expenditure are lower in Bengaluru than in Mumbai, says Sakala Mohan Advani. The 78-year-old says, “The tote will be affected, and we are forced to cut down on expenditure.” Tote betting calculates and displays bets already made. All the bets of a particular type, such as jackpot and exacta, are placed together in a pool, and payoff odds are calculated. “I am betting only `100,” she adds.
But B G Ranganath, who has been into racing for 60 years, feels GST will not affect the sport. He says, “A difference of about `10 will not affect it. A common man pays this amount as tips at hotels. So why should they have a problem paying the same as GST to the government? The races will still have good attendance.” Ranganath doesn't own horses, but has been following racing since he was 20. Adding that though horse racing is a good sport that focuses on the endurance of the horse and jockey, it is a sport for the rich. “It won't affect the common man,” he says.