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Professional Poker And Tax Regulations
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Professional Poker And Tax Regulations

Date Published: 20th September 2020
Author: Leslie Stafford
All government operations in the world are fuelled by one thing, taxes. Without collecting service revenue from people, all governments in the world would go into lockdown and wouldn't be able to exercise authority. In most countries, the only group of people exempted from the responsibility of paying taxes is the military. All citizens are required by law to submit part of the income they generate to relevant bodies in their respective countries. This payment is usually calculated differently in each country and it may be subject to change anytime.

The entertainment and sports industries do not get a pass on paying these dues either. There are government agencies charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all entertainment joints are tax compliant. Failure to comply may result in the arrest of business owners and the closure of those businesses as well. Poker is a popular casino game involving cards in which players bet on which participant is best according to house rules. This game has many variations because the number of cards used, the number of cards shared by all, and how the cards are shuffled can change depending on the players' needs and the rules of the house. Places providing poker services are colloquially referred to as 'the house'. You've probably heard of the casino jargon, 'the house always wins', and this is often true.

Professional Poker And Tax Regulations

There are people playing poker for fun and others who play it as a profession because they have gained years of experience at it. Governments are aware that Casinos make a killing on betting games daily. It is for this reason that rules have been made to control the way these premises remit their payments. Professional poker players are required to have a certified tax attorney to manage their finances and ensure they comply with the law. These professional gamblers are encouraged to keep a record of all their gaming activities; which includes all wins, all losses, and all stalemate or interrupted games.

Some countries like the United States Of America, take gambling activities and offenses very seriously, and not observing the laid down procedures may land a player in jail or even prison. Government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service in North America dictate that every time a person sits at a gambling table is a betting session. The gamers should keep a record of all the activities that go on at the table. The agency also demands that everyone at a gambling table keeps their tournament documents like receipts and tickets if any.

Some countries like the United States

Agencies that do follow-ups for tax payment encourage casinos and clubs to deduct taxes from all winnings before payouts are made. In some countries, all poker players are required to register as professional gamblers. This is however not encouraged for most gamblers because it increases their chances of being audited for tax compliance. As a general rule of thumb, winnings are usually filed under generated income while losses are recorded as deductibles on the incomes column. Professional poker games are not considered to be normal businesses because there are losses involved and it doesn't make sense to submit a loss on tax returns. Losses are only recorded by the player for audit purposes and maybe to keep track of their progress.

Every dime made while playing poker is taxable, irrespective of whether the game was played online or in casinos. Upon audit, people found to have defaulted on their payments are usually met with hefty fines. Live casinos and online tournament platforms are supposed to send live scores to the relevant authorities, failure to which may result in permanent bans.

Every dime made while playing poker

Tax attorneys are key players in the gambling industry, probably the only players who never get to move pieces let alone get sit on gambling tables. They play their game later after poker players have had their chances at the table. These people help gamblers to maximize their winnings and pay the least tax possible. It is always important to have a tax attorney that is experienced in matters relating to gambling regulations. You do not want a clueless nerd in a suit and spectacles messing up your finances. Professional poker gamers are mostly persons who are not working other jobs and they depend on this game to make ends meet. In some instances, the stakes submitted to the house are also recorded for easy estimation of possible wins and losses.

Gambling is a high-risk high-return strategy and should be given much attention if profit is to be realized. Never forget the number one rule in Casinos, it encourages participants to only stake what they can afford to part with. Play responsibly and do not let greed make you lose everything.

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