- india's first & foremost horse racing portal

Turf clubs want GST on horse-racing reworked. Read more....

19 Jun 2019

The Turf Authority of India (TAI), an organised association of six race clubs in India, has urged the Centre and States to rework norms related with applicability of Goods & Services (GST) on horse racing.

TAI has suggested levying GST on only commission or service fee retained by a race club and exclude prize money of the winner. The association has also pushed for a lower rate of GST — 18 per cent — as the Supreme Court has declared horse racing as ‘game of skill’ and not a ‘game of chance.’ 

“Horse racing is neither gaming nor gambling as defined and envisaged under the two acts (Police Act and Gaming Act),” the apex court had said way back in 1996.

At present, GST is levied at the rate of 28 per cent on transactional value of betting — on the total bet value. During horse racing, many people (better known as punters) place bet or ‘wagers.’ Race clubs act as the service provider for the wagering transaction. The wagers are placed through totalisator, which is essentially a computerised device that pools the wagers (after deduction of charges and statutory taxes) of various punters and also divides the total wager amount to be distributed to the winning punters.

In order to provide the service of facilitating wagering transactions, the race clubs get some commission, which is deducted and retained by the club from the total bet value. The statutory tax that is to be levied is also deducted from the from the total bet value at this stage. Remaining amount is finally fed into the totalisator and becomes part of the wager pool for division and distribution among winning punters.

According to V Harimohan Naidu, Chairman and Senior Steward with Bangalore Turf Club Ltd, this is a critical issue. GST is levied on the total value including the commission levied by race club and thus actual outgo for punters is much less.
Illegal betting

“This promotes illegal betting which in turn results in lesser revenue for the government and of course race club,” Naidu said while adding that it also affect horse breeding sector and various allied activities.

He said that revenue for Bangalore Turf Club during pre-GST regime was over ?1,900 crore which came down to nearly ?850 crore immediately after introduction of GST. Similarly, Zavaray Poonawala, President, Poonawala group, which operates stud firm near Pune, said heavy impact of revenue means loss for the entire breeding sector. “If this situation continues, then technically speaking, 10,000 horses are to be put to sleep. Also, approximately three lakhs man days will be lost,” he said. Beside, farm activities will also be affected.

According to GST rules, the value of supply of actionable claim in the form of chance to win in betting, gambling or horse racing in a race club shall be 100 per cent of the face value of the bet or the amount paid into the totalisator. Entry 6 of Schedule III of CGST Act defines “Actionable claims, other than lottery, betting and gambling” not as supply of services. This meant the Act does not levy any tax on the prize money of horse racing.

The association has requested tax authority for a circular for clarification as “the Act takes precedence over rules, notification or circular there should not be any GST on actionable claim (prize money in horse racing) by treating horse racing as game of skill and not as betting or gambling.” Globally, there is tax only on commission.


Recent News


Former Committee member of Mysore Race Club and racehorse owner Apana Subaiya passed away due to a severe heart attack. Mr Subaiya will also be remembered as being a part-owner in the unbeaten winner of the Indian Derby, War Hammer. Indiarace offers its sincere condolences to the bereaved family.


Kolkata race scheduled to be held Saturday 9th December 2023 have been postponed to Tuesday 12th December 2023 due to incessant rain rendering the underfoot condition of the race track. Acceptances with order or running as published will hold good.


The Board of Appeal at the meeting held on 05/12/2023 having considered the grounds of Appeal submitted by Jockey Akshay Kumar and the submissions made by him and his spokesperson Mr. Y S Srinath, resolved to dismiss the Appeal lodged by Jockey Akshay Kumar and the order passed by the Stewards of the Hyderabad Race Club stands i.e. suspension of “A” Jockeys License granted to him under HRC Rules of racing w.e.f. 7th December 2023 upto and including 26th February 2024.


Due to incessant rains rendering the track not conducive for racing, the Stewards of the Madras Race Club have decided to cancel the races scheduled to be held on Thursday, 30 November 23 and Friday 1st December 2023.


Mumbai races scheduled to be held today Sunday 26th November 2023 have been postponed to Thursday 30th November 2023. The same card shall hold good.


Trainer Altaf Hussain passed away today afternoon on Thursday 23rd Nov 2023. Indiarace offers its sincere condolences to the bereaved family. Trainer Altaf Hussain won back to back Indian Derby with Desert Warrior in 1990 and Starfire Girl in 1991.


Due to incessant rain rendering the Track not conducive for racing, The Stewards of the Madras Race Club have decided to postpone Chennai races to be held on Saturday 25th November 23 to Thursday 30th November 23. Published Acceptance holds good and fresh declarations will be on Tuesday 28th November 23.