Online gaming companies have come together to set up a Skilled Online Games Institute (SOGI) as the industry grapples with the 28 per cent GST.

The institute has members of the industry such as All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) and e-Gamers and Players Welfare Association (EPWA) who be the repository of knowledge concerning all aspects of the industry.

The institute has entered into a collaboration with IIM Bangalore, IIT Roorkee, and National University of Judicial Sciences Kolkata to train people in technical, management and legal aspects of the gaming sector.

This comes at a time when the real money gaming companies are pivoting their business models and diversifying their model post the 28 per cent GST regime. Real money gaming company Winzo announced an investment of $25 million to enter the Brazilian market, which has a tax levy of two-five per cent, much lower than 28 per cent GST on money invested in gaming deposits. Gaming unicorn Dream 11 has acquired fantasy sports trading platform Sixer for an undisclosed amount to scale their offerings. Gameskraft, which has moved Supreme Court against the government’s tax notices, shut down its super-app Gamezy as part of restructuring.

On July 11, the GST Council announced the decision to levy a 28 per cent tax on the full face value. In another meeting on August 2, the council clarified that the taxation will be applicable on the deposits made by players to participate in a game, thus avoiding repetitive tax when they use their winning money to play more games.

The online skill gaming sector with a $20 billion enterprise valuation, $2.5 billion in revenue, and $1 billion in annual taxes, is set to grow by 30 per cent CAGR to reach $5 billion in revenue by 2025, according to industry estimates.

India’s gaming industry attracted $575 million in investments between 2014 and 2020. However, in 2021 and Q1 of 2022 alone, $1.7 billion was invested in the online skill gaming sector.