The online gaming industry in India is facing a major challenge as the government has proposed a 28% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on online gaming transactions. A group of 30 Indian and foreign investors, including prominent names like Tiger Global and Calorie Capital, have expressed their concerns to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter. They fear that this proposed GST could have adverse effects on the gaming sector, leading to potential job losses, reduced investments, and hindrance to its growth prospects. Among those voicing their opinions is Siddhant Joshi, popularly known as S8UL Sid, the eSports manager at 8bit Creative. Recently, he appeared on the television media of ET Now, discussing the implications of the new taxation proposal on online gaming.

The Discussion on ET Now on GST levy

During the discussion on ET Now, S8UL Sid highlighted the potential impact of the GST levy on the eSports industry. He pointed out that, at the moment, eSports is not immediately affected, but he predicts future repercussions. Historically, people have compared games of chance to games of skill, which may lead to misconceptions about the eSports sector, and eventually, it could face adverse effects due to the GST proposal.

S8UL Sid’s Insights

S8UL Sid shared insights from his personal experience and those of his friends involved in real-money gaming, who have made a living from it for a considerable period. He mentioned that some of them are now considering moving abroad, where regulations on online gaming are better, as they anticipate challenges in the Indian gaming market with the proposed GST. The perception of increased risk might deter players from participating, affecting the eSports sector’s popularity and growth.

Impact on eSports Athletes

S8UL Sid highlighted the current tax structure for eSports athletes, who already pay 31% Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on their winnings. Adding the 28% GST could substantially reduce their earnings, leaving them with significantly less than before. This financial strain on eSports athletes may dampen their enthusiasm and commitment to the sport.

Effect on Foreign Investors and Startups

The Indian eSports sector has been attracting foreign investors due to its untapped potential and growth prospects. However, the introduction of the GST proposal might create uncertainty among these investors, causing them to think twice before taking risks in the Indian market. Additionally, startups and new organizations in the gaming space may face initial hurdles as they try to establish their businesses under the burden of higher taxes.

The Proud Moment for Indian eSports and S8UL Sid

S8UL Sid’s appearance on the television media of ET Now to discuss the new taxation matter is a proud moment for the Indian eSports community. It signifies that eSports is gaining recognition and importance in the country, being considered a significant enough topic to feature on mainstream media. This kind of exposure not only raises awareness about the industry but also highlights the challenges it faces, especially with the proposed GST.


The proposal to impose a 28% GST on online gaming transactions in India has raised concerns among investors and industry insiders alike. S8UL Sid, the eSports manager at 8bit Creative, brought attention to the potential implications of this taxation on the eSports sector during his discussion on ET Now. While the immediate effects may not be evident, the long-term consequences could be detrimental to the growth and popularity of eSports in India. It is essential for the government to consider the industry’s unique characteristics and work collaboratively with stakeholders to strike a balance that fosters growth while ensuring appropriate regulation and taxation.