Indian Poker Site Adda52 Faces Backlash Over Unfair TDS Policy

Last Updated on August 15, 2019 Author:Adrian Sterne

Adda52 is facing backlash from the Indian poker community for its apparently outdated Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) policies.

The online poker operator failed to revise their MTT tax policy, with players having to shell out more than they should making it difficult for them to profit in the long term.

Raghav Bansal, one of India’s most prolific poker players took to social media to put Adda52’s tax policies under the spotlight, urging fellow players to boycott the tournaments hosted by the online poker. As a result, Adda52 was unable to reach its guarantees for its tournaments as players opted not to take part in a show of opposition and discontent over the site’s flawed taxation policies.

Bansal, who cashed in five events at the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a member of The Player Group (TPG), a closed Facebook group with more than 3,700 members. In the said forum, Bansal called on players to snub Adda52’s Sunday tournaments. The Big Slick tournament which took place last week only attracted 669 entries, while just 502 players registered for the Mega Suits tournament, significantly lower than registration numbers recorded in previous weeks.

Adda52 Seeking Resolution

Under its present policy, Adda52 deducts 32% from the prize pool in every tournament. From a player’s perspective, it’s like 32% in rake being charged for every tournament, which Bansal termed as “ridiculous“. These policies are in contrast to those implemented by other websites such as PokerDangal where players can withdraw Rs. 30,000 a day without having to worry about TDS. PokerBaazi, also a major online poker site in India and only deducts TDS on net winnings.

The recent boycott by players has reached Adda52 management, leading to the senior executives organizing an urgent meeting with tax specialists to deal with the upset. Adda52 ambassador Kunal Patni invited representatives from the TPG to come over and attend the meeting but nobody turned up due to short notice.

Section 194B of the Income Tax Act states that TDS will be deducted from any winnings in card games exceeding Rs. 10,000, but it does not set out how the winnings should be calculated, with different websites adopting different interpretations as a result.

With around 1.9 million users, Adda52 is the largest online poker room in India. Poker players vowed to continue with the boycott until a solution is reached in relation to the site’s TDS policy.

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