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Lottery, gambling, betting taxable under GST Act: SC

7th December, 2020 Economy

Context: The Supreme Court held that lottery, gambling and betting are taxable under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act.

  • They are “actionable claims” and come within the definition of ‘goods’ under Section 2(52) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.
  • The court said Lottery, betting and gambling are well known concepts and have been in practice in this country since before Independence and were regulated and taxed by different legislations.
  • It also said the Parliament had an absolute power to go for an “inclusive definition” of the term ‘goods’ to include actionable claims like lottery, gambling and betting.
  • The power to make laws as conferred by Article 246A fully empowers the Parliament to make laws with respect to goods and services tax and expansive definition of goods given in Section 2(52) cannot be said to be not in accord with the constitutional provisions.
    • Article 246A is a special provision with regard to goods and services tax w.e.f. 16.09.2016, which special power has to be liberally construed empowering the Parliament to make laws with respect to goods and services tax.
  • The court also rejected a suggestion to exclude the prize money from GST while determining the face value of the lottery tickets.