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Poker Notes

The Misinformation of Legalized Online Poker

  • Comments: (1)
  • Published April 20th, 2010 in Poker

A poster on Y! Buzz recently asked the very contrite question: What if online poker was taxed and regulated? Following the question was a litany of facts about online poker, including what the tax and licensing revenue could be used to fund such as the CIA budget for a decade, the Postal Service for 12 years, cover all the costs of the National Parks Service for 25 years, or funding the Food and Drug Administration for 25 years.

Obviously I’ve heard all this before, but typically these types of arguments are made in a feature article, where comments are not allowed, or on a pro-poker online platform where the vast majority of readers are poker players; this instance was one of the first times I’ve seen the argument just thrown out to the general public, and I have to say that some of the 44 response I read are absolutely shocking!

Mixed in with the typical comedic and well thought out responses were some of the most ignorant and misinformed comments you could imagine. I broke them down into three distinct groups so you could see why arguments about poker being a game of skill, or a matter of personal freedom, is completely wasted on a large segment of the population.

Why are MY taxes getting raised!?!?!?

First-up are the numerous people who think this is a tax on them! I couldn’t believe the number of respondents who complained about keeping the government out of THEIR pocket; people who don’t even play online poker somehow think their taxes are going to go up.

Do people not realize that if the government collects more taxes from a business (especially operating overseas) that means it’s more likely your taxes will go down!!! Do they not realize that these companies are operating in the US, making millions of dollars, and paying no income tax to our government?

How are you going to collect taxes from a foreign company?!?!?!?

Then there were the people who couldn’t quite figure out how the government would collect taxes from an off-shore company. Well it works like this; said company purchases a license to operate in the US and then pays taxes. I wonder if these people realize companies like Toyota and Volvo are located “Off-Shore”.

Not to mention the astronomical fees that will be associated with obtaining an online gaming license.

And finally, how about all of the online poker players who report very little to zero of their income from online poker? We’ll finally have the paper trail to force these people to pay taxes on their winnings… I’m sure a number of professional players are now cursing at me J

The Socialist, Maoist, Fascist, Communist takeover group…

The final group was perhaps the most worrisome: A few people took the first group’s thinking about higher taxes on themselves a step further down the Crazy Trail. These people were concerned that taxing a “business” meant the entire Internet was fair-game to be taxed. Somehow taxing online poker would mean that reading Yahoo or using Google would open you up to taxation.

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  • Posted in: Poker
  • Comments: 1
  1. John said on April 20th, 2010 at 9:49 am

    The feedback I have seen on that post were shocking. People don’t seem to understand that taxing and regulating poker would be a good thing as a whole. The government would love to be able to tax and regulate a billion dollar industry, and most of the tax burden would fall on the businesses who are currently paying zero taxes.

    Most likely the offshore sites would continue to operate in a shady way. But major land based casinos would go online, generate huge profits, and pay taxes on those profits.

    Great post.

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