Bangalore Turf Club struggles to solve GST puzzle

Bangalore Turf Club struggles to solve GST puzzle

Like many establishments in the country, the Bangalore Turf Club too was struggling to comprehend the GST and voiced concern over its impact on their future.

Until now BTC were paying a tax of 12.5 percent with 8 percent going to the state government and the remaining 4.5 being the tote commission. Under the GST regime, BTC will be taxed 28 percent but more than the huge jump in the rate, the talking point amongst the members and punters is whether that applies to the overall turnover or only the tote commission.

“We’ve been holding a series of meetings but we are yet to completely understand where we stand in GST,” a concerned Y Jagannath, chairman of BTC, told DH on Friday evening. “The segment we fit in is lottery, entertainment and ballet. The percentage in that slab is 28 percent but we are not sure if it’s going to be on turnover or just the tote commission. There’s no clarity on that front. We hope to get it in the next few days.

“The documents are huge and we’ve been trying hard to study it. We’ve got some eminent chartered accountants and they are helping us with it. The first few days are going to be challenging. We have no choice but to face it.”

Despite the prevailing confusion, Jagannath said racing will go ahead without a glitch on Saturday. “We’ve already updated our machines and softwares and the new tickets will be printed as per GST norms. We’ve got three months time to pay the taxes to the government. We will be using that time to further analyse GST.”

Arvind Raghavan, a member of BTC, said GST will have an adverse effect on racing. “Earlier in the dividends distributable back to the punters, it was Rs 87 for every Rs 100. Under the GST regime, it’s going to be Rs 74 for every Rs 100. This is huge. Neither will the punters make money nor the club. There will be a substantial drop in our profits. Punters will also see other avenues of betting. We are hoping the government listens to our concerns and reduces the tax.”

Jagannath said the only alternative for BTC is to cut costs. “We’ll try cutting cost wherever possible. The racing fraternity will try meeting the government officials and hope to get the taxes reduced. Else, it’s going to be very hard road for us."

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