The War on Poker rages on

Online gambling is always taxable.

This is completely untrue for US taxpayers. I had to file my online gambling winnings 3 years in a row when I was playing regularly. Now, the online places aren’t required to report any big wins, unlike a big win at a US casino, but that’s completely irrelevant to whether I, as a US citizen, am required to report my winnings to the IRS.

Laws vary by nation though, so online gambling being untaxed may be true in some other countries.

Gambling winnings in the UK aren’t taxable.

The reason for this was, until they rewrote the legislation a few years back, delightfully archaic.

Not at all archaic. In the UK, gambling debts are "debts of honour’ - ie they can not be enforced by a court in a civil action. You stiff a bookie, or he stiffs you, there is nothing you can do about it (legally) So neither wins or losses can be offset vs taxable income. Of course, most bookies insist on cash up front when you gamble…

That’s true, but not actually, if you think about it, the reason - otherwise barristers [1] wouldn’t have to pay tax…

(For completeness: not in one of the old Schedules A-F, but I suppose that it indirectly comes important when you consider CGT - post Zinn Properties, the absence of a chose in action means that there’s no asset subject to CGT.)

[1] The only other people you can legally stiff in English law.

I apologise for the bout of professional nerdiness above.

Dude, people with addictive natures can get addicted to ANYTHING.

I’ll drink to that.
Great post from a casino blog in Washington state about the online poker ban. Sounds about right to me.

Poker be not gambling. It be competition with an entry fee.


It’s so absurd that the most difficult place in the world to deposit money to play online poker is the United States, the country that invented the game and which otherwise has the greatest degree of personal freedom in the world.

The rest of the world is going through a huge poker boom - Europe has been for ages now, but it’s exploding in popularity in Asia and Latin America too - largely because of the internet. It’s now one of the most international games in the world and a huge phenomenon - and yet the US has decided to make it extremely difficult for the average person to play (and criminalized it, in some states). Ludicrous.

Well, the US is also the country where casinos paid a guy to lobby against (other) casinos.

“Justified, your honor, just because we support violent murderers by electing mob lawyers as our mayor doesn’t mean that we will tolerate people who have taken prescription drugs.”

Hey, now. :(

Anyway, he’s in Nevada, not Washington.

Edit: on re-read, I’m not sure where he is. He talks about Clark County and makes a clear (and slanderous!!!) reference to the mayor of Las Vegas, then later mentions “nearby” casinos in Washington. I’m guessing he commutes between the two.

Anyway, he complains a lot about the decision being inconsistent with the state’s own lottery and brick-and-mortar casinos, but leaves out the justice’s concerns with underage gambling. Clearly, this is more of a risk with online poker than with lottery tickets and casinos. I have no idea how pervasive a problem underage gambling is, but the worst cases do tend to get a lot of press (“We lost our house because my son ran up $100,000 of debt,” etc.), so it’s not surprising the government’s able to make a persuasive case on that basis alone.

Liquor in the front, poker in the rear

Just as an FYI, there’s a Clark County in Washington as well. The county seat is Vancouver, right across the river from Portland.

I really fail to see a moral difference between Poker- and say, Justin vs Daigo at EVO (National fighting game championships)

I’m sure that’s true, but in that same paragraph he talks about being “Eric Scotted,” referring to a guy who was shot coming out of Costco in Las Vegas.

Coincidentally, the Scott family is being represented by that same mayor’s son now.

I play online poker at Pokerstars. Haven’t deposited or cashed out so I don’t know what would happen if i tried.

However, this law is completely ludicrous. Attached as a rider to a port security bill during the mid term elections under Bush to ‘energize the base’ (read right wing evangelical whack jobs), it allows OTB (horse racing.) Wtf? While there is luck in poker, it takes skill to play.

Just one more example of the idiotic right wing.

Agree on everything you said about the Port bill, but it’s left-wing paternalism that’s now preventing Americans from being free to deposit money online to wager on a game they play. Barney Frank was retained as a paid lobbyist to clarify the law and make it clear that online poker was not illegal (at least Federally), but it was the Democrat-held house and senate that repeatedly prevented those clarifying laws from passing (even though, most experts agree, they wouldn’t even change the law - they would just clarify it, so financial institutions wouldn’t prevent cheques from being cashed and deposits from being made).

The reality is a lot of these developments are lobbyist driven - both parties in government are so susceptible to manipulation by lobbyists that you get nonsensical results (such as Horse Racing being excluded from that bid, because frankly lobbyists paid for its exclusion), and you have absurd scenarios like representatives from private casinos arguing about the “dangers” of poker to prevent online competition for their 30-table poker room, while politicians nod and take their cheques.