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Delta Corp: Shares in Peril as GST Woes Mount, Rs 23,000 Crore Demand Looms

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Delta Corp’s shares have faced relentless pressure since mid-July 2023. Today, the Goa-based casino operator witnessed another 10% plunge on the BSE as its subsidiary, Deltatech Gaming, received a hefty Goods and Service Tax (GST) shortfall notice amounting to Rs 6,384 crore.

This recent decline marks a staggering 29% loss in the stock’s value over the past month. The cumulative GST demand on the group now surpasses Rs 23,000 crore, a sum notably higher than the company’s market capitalization of Rs 3,749 crore.

In the last month, the casino company’s stock has plummeted by nearly 22%. Deltatech Gaming, formerly known as Gaussian Networks, is the operator behind gaming apps.

Deltatech Gaming disclosed, “The GST notice advises Deltatech Gaming Limited to pay the alleged tax shortfall along with interest and penalty failing which a show cause notice will be issued to the Company under Section 74(1) of the CGST Act, 2017,” in an exchange filing.

On September 22nd, the company received a direct tax notice of Rs 11,140 crore. Additionally, three of its subsidiaries, namely Casino Deltin Denzong, Highstreet Cruises, and Delta Pleasure Cruises, were served notices totaling Rs 5,682 crore.

These demands are based on the gross bet value of games played, as stated by the company. The issue of GST on the gross bet value, as opposed to the gross rake amount, has been a widespread concern within the industry. Multiple representations have been made at an industry level to address this matter with the government.

The casino and online gaming sectors are grappling with the challenges stemming from the GST council’s decision to impose a 28% tax on the entire face value of chips purchased for gameplay. This translates to players effectively receiving only Rs 72 for every Rs 100 worth of chips purchased, as the GST is now applied to the entire chip value rather than just the net house winnings as it was previously.

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