The commercial taxes department has conducted 298 raids from April to November this year. These statistics were placed before the House by chief minister Digambar Kamat, who holds the finance portfolio, during Question Hour on Thursday.
The additional tax collected from these raids are: Value Added Tax (VAT) from hotels -Rs 27.16 lakh; VAT from others-Rs 141.33 lakh; luxury tax from hotels-Rs 51.31 lakh, and entertainment tax from casinos - Rs 2.83 crore.
The government also admitted that it was aware that food and drinks are being served free at many casinos. However, Kamat's written reply stated that they were not evading VAT. "Land-based casino licences are given to 5-star hotels who are registered dealers under VAT.
In cases where these casinos are run through operators, the service of food and drinks to guests are billed by the hotelier to the casino operator where tax is paid... In the case of offshore casinos, the service of food and beverages is billed through agents although it is complimentary. Hence, there is no evasion of tax," Kamat stated.