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DNA Special: Online gaming to be taxed?

The games which used to be a means of passing the time, have now turned into the habit of gambling.

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Omicron has turned its game on in India, but online games in India have also taken the form of an epidemic. So now we will tell you that like cryptocurrency, online gaming be banned in India as well? A debate on online gaming happened in the Parliament today, and there were demands to control and ban it. This is because the games which used to be a means of passing the time, have now turned into the habit of gambling. This is such an addiction, whose victims want to play online games non-stop for 24 hours and in many online games, there is also an option to earn money. That's why many youths have converted it into their full-time job.

That's why today there was a debate on Online Gaming in the Parliament of India as well and during this time, questions were asked whether they should be banned completely and whether they should be controlled or the income earned from it be taxed.

BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi raised these questions in Rajya Sabha today. He said that children have got into this bad habit and do not understand whether these games teach skills to children or make them addicted to gambling and if there is so much money involved in online gaming then why doesn't the government think of imposing a tax on it.

In the year 2016, the online gaming market in India was Rs 4,000 crore, which has now become Rs 7,500 crore and this market is growing at the rate of 18% every year. At this pace, this online gaming market in India will be worth Rs 15,000 crores by the year 2023.

Till last year, the number of people playing online games in India was 36 crores, which will be more than 51 crores by next year, that is, half the population of India will be busy playing online games. In terms of the number of users, it is many times more than those who invest in cryptocurrency in India. But there is no law in India regarding this yet, nor is there any tax on the money included in it.

Money is involved in online games in three ways. First, in the form of the registration fee, on which companies pay tax to the government. Second, most online games do a prize money pool, that is, the people playing the game put money in this pool and then the person who wins the game gets all the prize money, but there is no tax on it. Apart from this, companies also earn from the advertisements that come while playing online games and are also taxed.

According to reports, the government may now impose a single tax on online gaming. At present, two different types of taxes are levied on them. Games that are based on skills are taxed at 18 per cent and those in which people try their luck, like Ludo, Poker or Rummy are taxed at 28 per cent. Although gaming companies insist that both are skill-based games, but think for yourself how skill can be to throw dice, throw cards or press different buttons on a mobile phone quickly. But companies fear that if the government implements the single tax system, then both types of games might be taxed at 28%, which will reduce their earnings.

But the problem is not just about money or taxes. Rather, it is also that children get addicted to online gaming, even adults and those who play games, whether in school or in the office, want to play games all the time.

In a survey conducted in India last year, 65 per cent of children under the age of 20 believed that they are ready to give up food and sleep to play online games. And many children are even ready to steal their parents' money for this. This problem of gaming addiction is not only in India. In a survey conducted in the UK last year, one in every 6 children admitted that they stole their parents' money to play the game.

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