Archive for the ‘Gambling’ Category

On Exchanging Cryptocurrency for Casino Chips (or Cash)

Monday, August 22nd, 2022

The high stakes poker world works a little differently than you might think.  Most of the players frequenting these games know each other, and borrowing money from one another is common.  Another common occurrence is the exchanging of cryptocurrency for casino chips.  Let’s look at an example.

Russ, a professional poker player, is playing high stakes, and he’s not having a good day.  He needs another $100,000 to stay in the game.  He asks Alice (another professional poker player), can I send you $100,000 of Bitcoin for $100,000 of casino chips?  (Alice knows that Russ will send her the cryptocurrency.)  Russ logs into his online wallet, transfers the Bitcoin to Alice’s address (her Bitcoin wallet), and Alice hands Russ $100,000 of casino chips.  All is well, right?

Not exactly.  Sure, Alice received $100,000 worth of Bitcoin for $100,000 of casino chips but she now might be guilty of money laundering.  At minimum, a currency transaction report (CTR) might be required.

The anti-money laundering laws are complex, and I’m not an attorney.  But the basic idea is that exchanging one kind of cash-valued item for something considered to be cash requires knowing your customer and following the rules and regulations set by FINCEN (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) under the Bank Secrecy Act and the Patriot Act (and there are others, including state laws).  If you regularly take in cash (or a cash equivalent) and are exchanging it for something else (or vice versa), you may fall under the definition of non-bank financial institution.  And a single transaction (like the one above) may make someone guilty of money laundering.

So let’s say you’re playing high stakes poker, and someone wants to exchange some Bitcoin for casino chips.  Should you do this exchange (knowing you will get the cryptocurrency)?  My advice is that because of the anti-money laundering laws you should not.

When Bad Recordkeeping Helps You (And Bad News for Some Canadian Professional Poker Players)

Monday, July 18th, 2022

As we previously reported, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) thought that Jonathan Duhamel, the winner of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in 2010 was a professional gambler, and that he conducted himself as a professional gambler.  Thus, his gambling winnings should be subject to Canadian income tax.  Mr. Duhamel argued that poker is a game of chance and not subject to tax in Canada, and that even if it were a game of skill Mr. Duhamel did not conduct himself as a professional poker player.  The case was tried in front of the Tax Court of Canada last November, and a decision was released late last month.  (I am indebted to a friend of mine who speaks French for translating the key points of the decision — his translation runs 40 pages.)

The evidence as presented to the court showed that Mr. Duhamel was bad at recordkeeping.  He apparently only kept track of his tournament results, and never tracked cash games (even though he played lots of cash games).  For a Canadian who doesn’t want to be considered a professional gambler, bad recordkeeping appears to be a plus as this was a factor that influenced the court.

(Of course, if you are an American—and this blog caters to Americans—a warning is needed.  Bad recordkeeping is not what you want to do as either an amateur or a professional gambler in the United States.  All gamblers in the United States must pay tax on their winnings, and a gambling log is a must.  But I digress….)

The Court noted (as translated) [1]:

Because the evidence shows that chance is a very important element in poker game results, that Mr. Duhamel’s poker game activities do not demonstrate an ability to generate profits, that the probability Mr. Duhamel’s ruin in his poker gambling business is well over 50% (but less than 87%), that Mr. Duhamel does not act like a serious businessman in his poker gaming activities, that Mr. Duhamel has not developed any system for managing or mitigating risks in connection with his poker gaming activities and that the financial results of his tournaments do not show any consistency or progress in the results, the Court concludes, on a balance of probabilities, that Mr. Duhamel’s poker gaming activities are not carried on in a sufficiently commercial manner to constitute a source of business income for the purposes of the Act. Accordingly, the net earnings from Mr. Duhamel’s poker gaming activities should not be included in the calculation of his income under sections 3 and 9 for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 taxation years.

The court looked at the activities of Mr. Duhamel, and found that he acted as an amateur; for Mr. Duhamel, this decision is excellent news.  Mr. Duhamel won in part because he didn’t act like he was in business.

However, there is bad news implicit in this decision for some Canadian professional poker players:  It’s clear that there are Canadian poker players who consistently make their living from poker, and who would likely be considered professional gamblers if the CRA were to look at their activities.  I don’t practice in Canada, but I would advise any Canadian professional poker player to seek advice from a Canadian tax professional who understands gambling activities and this decision.

 

[1] This paragraph in French reads, “Puisqu’il ressort de la preuve que le hasard est un élément très important dans les résultats au jeu de poker, que les activités de jeu de poker de M. Duhamel ne démontrent pas une capacité de générer des profits, que la probabilité de ruine de M. Duhamel dans le cadre de ses activités de jeu de poker est bien supérieure à 50 % (mais inférieure à 87 %), que M. Duhamel n’agit pas comme un homme d’affaires sérieux dans le cadre de ses activités de jeu de poker, que M. Duhamel n’a mis au point aucun système de gestion ou d’atténuation des risques dans le cadre de ses activités de jeu de poker et que les résultats financiers de ses tournois ne démontrent aucune constance ni progression dans les résultats, la Cour conclut, selon la prépondérance des probabilités, que les activités de jeu de poker de M. Duhamel ne sont pas exercées de manière suffisamment commerciale pour constituer une source de revenu d’entreprise aux fins de la Loi. Conséquemment, les gains nets tirés des activités de jeu de poker de M. Duhamel ne doivent pas être inclus dans le calcul de son revenu aux termes des articles 3 et 9 pour les années d’imposition 2010, 2011 et 2012.”

The Real Winners of the 2022 World Series of Poker

Sunday, July 17th, 2022

Yesterday afternoon, the 2022 Main Event of the World Series of Poker concluded. First, congratulations to Caesars for putting on a mostly great series at the Paris and Bally’s casinos on the Strip. This was the first year the events ran on the Strip (previously, they were held at the Rio Casino about one mile west of the Strip), and the events attracted near-record crowds.

This year, the Main Event had 8,663 entrants, each ponying up $10,000. The prize pool was $80,782,475 (the difference is the funds kept by Caesars for running the event). We focus on the final table of ten, but 1,300 of the 8,663 received winnings from the prize pool; a minimum cash was worth $15,000. The winner received a whopping $10 million…but that’s before taxes.

One important note: I do need to point out that many of the players in the tournament were “backed.” Poker tournaments have a high variance (luck factor). Thus, many tournament players sell portions of their action to investors to lower their risk (and/or “swap” action with other entrants). It is quite likely that most (if not all) of the winners were backed (or had swaps) and will, in the end, only enjoy a portion of their winnings. I ignore backing and swaps in this analysis (because the full details are rarely publicized). Now, on to the winners.

Congratulations to Epsen Uhlen Jorstad, a professional poker player and a native of Norway now residing in London. On the final hand, Mr. Jorstad flopped three of a kind (holding Q-2 in his hand, with the flop being 4-2-2). Adrian Attenborough, the second place finisher, flopped top pair (holding J-4); in heads-up play, any pair is usually a good hand. This was definitely not the case this time, with the 8 on the turn changing nothing. The river Queen gave Mr. Jorstad a full house, and when Mr. Attenborough called Mr. Jorstad’s river all-in bet, we had a winner. Mr. Jorstad is a popular poker streamer on Twitch, and he’s also an instructor at the Run It Once poker training site. Mr. Jorstad’s first place prize of $10 million will be his—just his—to enjoy. Had he still resided in Norway, he’d be looking at 39% vanishing in taxes. However, as a resident of the United Kingdom he benefits first from the tax treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom; gambling winnings are exempt. He also benefits from how gambling is taxed in the United Kingdom, or rather, how it’s not taxed. Yes, the U.K. doesn’t tax gambling.

In second place was the aforementioned Mr. Attenborough. A native of Australia, Mr. Attenborough, now resides here in Las Vegas. A professional poker player, Mr. Attenborough will owe US income tax and self-employment tax. Of his $6 million in winnings, I estimate he’ll have to fork over $2,388,875 to the IRS; his actual winnings after taxes are an estimated $3,611,125. State income taxes are a non-issue for Mr. Attenborough: Nevada doesn’t have a state income tax.

In third place was Michael Duek winning $4 million. Mr. Duek resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida but is a native of Argentina. Mr. Duek, a professional poker player who focuses on pot-limit Omaha, decided to enter the Main Event (the event plays no-limit hold’em). It was an excellent decision, and of his $4 million third-place prize he’ll end up paying an estimated $1,593,064 in tax to the IRS (like Nevada, Florida doesn’t have state income tax) and keep $2,406,936 of his winnings.

John Eames, of Southport in the United Kingdom, finished fourth for $3 million. Mr. Eames is another professional poker player who benefits from the US-UK tax treaty and the United Kingdom’s 0% rate of taxation on gambling. Yes, Mr. Eames gets to keep all of his $3 million.

Finishing in fifth place for $2,250,000 was Matija Dobric of Slatina, Croatia. Mr. Dobric, a professional poker player who mostly plays online, finished 32nd in the 2021 Main Event and bested that this year. The United States and Croatia have just completed negotiating a tax treaty, but it’s definitely not in place today. That means that 30% of Mr. Dobric’s winnings ($675,000) will be withheld and remitted to the IRS. Croatia does tax gambling, but with a maximum tax rate of 30% it is likely that Mr. Dobric won’t owe anything to Croatia: he should be able to take a tax credit on his Croatian tax return to avoid double-taxation of his income. Thus, he should be able to enjoy his $1,575,000 of after-tax winnings.

The sixth place finisher was the first of two amateur poker players at the final table. Jeffrey Farnes, of Dallas, Oregon (near Oregon’s state capital of Salem) ended in sixth place for $1,750,000. As a non-professional poker player, he avoids self-employment tax. However, as a resident of Oregon he owes state income tax on his worldwide income. I estimate he’ll only get to keep $950,312 of his winnings, with $621,968 going to the IRS and $177,720 to the Oregon Department of Revenue.

The other amateur gambler, Aaron Duczak of Kamloops, Canada (in British Columbia) finished in seventh place for $1,350,000. The US-Canada Tax Treaty specifies that Canadians face 30% withholding on their gambling winnings but can get some of this back based on gambling losses. It appears that based on the recent Tax Court of Canada decision in Duhamel c. La Reine that some professional gamblers in Canada will owe Canadian income tax. (Mr. Duhamel, who won the 2010 Main Event, was held to be an amateur gambler in that decision (decision in French); however, it’s clear from the decision that Quebec law would allow for taxation of some professional poker players.) But Mr. Duczak isn’t a professional gambler, so the only tax he’ll owe is the $405,000 withheld to the IRS (he’ll keep the other $945,000).

In eighth place was Phillipe Souki of London. The French professional also moved to the United Kingdom to avoid French taxation. His eighth place finish was worth $1,075,000 and he gets to keep all of it. Had he stayed in France, he’d owe an estimated 47.5% in tax. That’s about 510,000 reasons to be in London rather than Paris.

The ninth place finisher was Matthew Su. A professional poker player residing in Washington, DC, he didn’t have much luck at the final table when his pair of Queens lost to an opponent’s pair of nines. Finishing ninth earned Mr. Su $850,675. That’s before taxes, and Mr. Su will owe an estimated 47.70% of his winnings to tax: $332,898 to the IRS and $72,856 to the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue (leaving Mr. Su with just $444,921).

This year, ten players made the final table rather than the usual nine. Day 7 of the Main Event ran so long that the WSOP stopped play with ten left. Finishing tenth was Asher Conniff of Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Conniff’s final table appearance did not last long. On one of the first hands, he went all-in with a pair of tens versus his opponent’s Ace-King. That’s a classic “flip” (a nearly 50% chance for either player to win), but after the flop of three Kings Mr. Conniff was “drawing dead” (he could not win the hand). A professional poker player, Mr. Conniff’s winnings of $675,000 face the highest marginal tax rate of any of the final ten players: 48.21%. I estimate that Mr. Conniff will only keep $349,598 of his winnings, with $253,733 going to the IRS and $71,669 headed to the New York Department of Taxation and Finance.

Here’s a table summarizing the tax bite:

Amount won at Final Table $30,950,675
Tax to IRS $6,270,538
Tax to Oregon Department of Revenue $177,720
Tax to D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue $72,856
Tax to New York Dept. of Taxation and Finance $71,669
Total Tax $5,512,783

That means 17.81% of the winnings at the final table goes toward taxes.

Here’s a second table with the winners sorted by their estimated take-home winnings:

Winner Before-Tax Prize After-Tax Prize
1. Epsen Jorstad $10,000,000 $10,000,000
2. Adrian Attenborough $6,000,000 $3,611,125
4. John Eames $3,000,000 $3,000,000
3. Michael Duek $4,000,000 $2,406,936
5. Matija Dobric $2,250,000 $1,575,000
8. Phillipe Souki $1,075,000 $1,075,000
6. Jeffrey Farnes $1,750,000 $950,312
7. Aaron Duczak $1,350,000 $945,000
9. Matthew Su $850,675 $444,921
10. Asher Conniff $675,000 $349,598
Totals $30,950,675 $24,357,892

Once Again, players residing in the United Kingdom ended up finishing higher than their actual results (based on after-tax winnings). Both Mr. Eames and Mr. Souki get to enjoy more of their winnings based on the favorable tax regime of Britain. Someone recently asked me why don’t American poker professionals all move to the UK? Ignoring immigration law, the problem is that Americans pay tax on their worldwide income even if they reside outside the United States (subject to tax treaties and the foreign tax credit to avoid double taxation). An American residing in the U.K. would still owe tax to the IRS on their gambling winnings.

The Internal Revenue Service did not end up with taxes that exceeded the first place winnings; the agency will have to be content with finishing in third place (based on pre-tax prizes). With three winners exempt from US taxation, the IRS didn’t rack in its usual haul. Tax agencies are left with “only” $5.5 million of the nearly $31 million awarded at the final table. Still, you can’t say that the IRS didn’t do poorly because the house always wins.

Online Gambling and Cryptocurrency Addresses for 2022

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

If you have one or more foreign financial accounts and you have $10,000 aggregate in those account(s) at any time during 2019, you must file the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (the “FBAR”). This is Form 114 from FINCEN. (The IRS and FINCEN now allege that foreign online poker accounts are “casino” accounts that must be reported as foreign financial accounts. The rule of thumb, when in doubt report, applies—especially given the extreme penalties.) You also should consider filing an FBAR if you have $10,000 or more in a non-US Cryptocurrency Exchange.

There’s a problem, though. Most of these entities don’t broadcast their addresses. Some individuals sent email inquiries to one of these gambling sites and received politely worded responses (or not so politely worded) that said that it’s none of your business.

Well, not fully completing the Form 114 can subject you to a substantial penalty. I’ve been compiling a list of the addresses of the online gambling sites. It’s presented below.

FINCEN does not want dba’s; however, they’re required for Form 8938. One would think that two different agencies of the Department of the Treasury would speak the same language…but one would be wrong.

You will see the entries do include the dba’s. Let’s say you’re reporting an account on PokerStars. On the FBAR, you would enter the address as follows:

Rational Intellectual Properties Limited
Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Rd
Onchan, IM31DZ Isle of Man

Here’s how you would enter it for Form 8938:

Rational Intellectual Properties Limited dba PokerStars
Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Rd
Onchan, IM3 1DZ Isle of Man

You will also see that on the FBAR spaces in a postal code are removed; they’re entered on Form 8938. You can’t make this stuff up….

Finally, I no longer have an address for Bodog. If anyone has a current mailing address, please leave it in the comments or email me with it.

Foreign cryptocurrency exchanges with just cryptocurrency do not have to be reported on the FBAR. However, if the account holds anything else (such as ‘fiat’ currency like US dollars, Euros, etc.) the account is reportable.

There is no dispute, though, about reporting foreign cryptocurrency exchanges on Form 8938: They must be reported on Form 8938 (if you have a Form 8938 filing requirement).

Note: This list is presented for informational purposes only. It is believed accurate as of February 22, 2022. However, I do not take responsibility for your use of this list or for the accuracy of any of the addresses presented on the list.

The list is in the cut text below.

The list is in alphabetical order by the common name (not the legal name) of the gambling site. An entry is:

Common Name
Legal Name
Address
City, State/Territory, Postal Code, Country

Note that not all entities have states/territories or postal codes.

IMPORTANT: When reporting on Form 114, the dba’s are not included. When reporting on Form 8938, the dba’s are included.

10Bet
Ocean Star Limited dba 10bet.com
Dragonara Business Center, 5th Flr, Dragonara Rd
St. Julians, STJ3141, Malta

12Bet (except U.K.)
Pacific Sea Marketing International Ltd. dba 12bet.com
MillMall, Ste 6, Wickhams Cay 1, PO Box 3085
Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

12Bet (U.K.)
TGP Europe Limited dba 12bet.uk
22A Castle St
Douglas, IM1 2EZ, Isle of Man

188Bet
Cube Limited dba 188bet
Ground Floor, St. George’s Court, Upper Church St
Douglas, IM1 1EE, Isle of Man

5dimes
5Dimes Casino and Sportsbook
Edificio Equus
San Jose, Costa Rica

888poker (except U.K.)
Virtual Digital Services Limited dba 888 Poker
Level G, Quantum House; 75, Abate Rigord St
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1120, Malta

888poker (U.K.)
888 UK Limited dba 888 Poker
Ste 601-701, Europort
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

AA Poker
Memoriki Limited dba AA Poker
18/F, Star Centre, 35 Hung To Rd, Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

America’s Cardroom
BMX Entertainment dba America’s Cardroom
71C Georgio A, Office 3, Germasogeia
Limassol, 4047, Cyprus

Asianconnect88
Asianconnect N.V. dba Asianconnect88
E-Zone Beheer van Engelen N.V., Van Engelenweg 21A
Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

BestPoker
Best Global N.V. dba Best Poker
BS Building, Level 1, Triq Il-Mosta,
Lija, LJA 9012, Malta

Bet365
Bet365
Hillside, Festival Way, Stoke-on-Trent
Staffordshire, ST1 5SH, United Kingdom

Betanysports Casino and Sportsbook
Betanysports Casino and Sportsbook
Edificio Equus
San Jose, Costa Rica

Betclic
Managas Gaming Malta Limited dba Betclic
Level 3, Tagliaferro Business Center; High St c/w Gaiety Ln
Sliema, SLM1551, Malta

Betcoin.ag
Global Limiting Holding EOOD dbaBetcoin.ag
Nikola Vaptsarov Blvd
Sofia, Bulgaria

BetCris
TV Global Enterprises Ltd dba BetCris
Villa Seminia, 8 Sir Temi Zammit Ave
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1011 Malta

BETDAQ
LC International Limited dba BETDAQ
Ste 6, Atlantic Suites
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

BETDSI
Diamond Sportsbook International dba BETDSI
Santa Ana
San Jose, Costa Rica

Betfair
PBB Counterparty Services Limited dba Betfair
Triq il-Kappillan Mifsud
St. Venera, SVR1851, Malta

Betfred
Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited
5/2 Waterfront Place
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Betmost Poker
WHG (International) Limited dba Betmost Poker
6/1 Waterfront Place
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Betonline
BLS International dba Betonline.ag
cs@betonline.ag
Panama City, Panama

Betsafe
BML Group Ltd Limited dba Betsafe Poker
Betsson Experience Center, Ta’Xbiex Seafront
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1027, Malta

Bettson
BML Group Ltd dba Bettson
Betsson Experience Center, Ta’Xbiex Seafront
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1027, Malta

BetUS
Firepower Trading Ltd dba BetUS
Anthinodorou, 3 Dasoupoll, Strovolos
Nicosia, 2025, Cyprus

betusa.ag
Online Management Services dba betusa.ag
Jasmine Ct, Ste 17, Friar’s Hill Rd
St. Johns, Antigua

BetVictor
Victor Chandler International Ltd dba BetVictor
Ste 23, Portland House, Glacis Rd
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Binance
Binance Marketing Services Limited
C85602 Melita Ct, Level 3, Triq Giusseppe Cali
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1420, Malta

Bitfinex (non-US users)
BFXNA Inc dba Bitfinex
Ste 13/F, 1308 Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Rd, Central
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Bitfinex (US users)
Finex Inc. dba Bitfinex
Chaucer Group Limited, 10 Lower Thames
London, E3R 6E14, United Kingdom

BitMax.io
BitMax.io
114 Lavender St, #09-88, Ct Hub 2
Singapore, 338729, Singapore

BitMex
100x Grouop dba BitMex
Second Flr, Capital City, Independence Ave, PO Box 1008
Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles

Bitrue
Bitrue Singapore Pte. Ltd.
73 Upper Paya Lebar Rd, #06-01C, Centro Bianco
Singapore, 534818, Singapore

Bitstamp
Bitstamp Ltd.
5 New Street Square
London, EC4A 3TW, United Kingdom

Black Chip Poker
BMX Entertianment S.A.
Sabana Sur, Edificio La Colmena Contigo a Grupo Sama
San Jose, Costa Rica

Blockchain
Blockchain.info
Rue de Merl, 741, Rue Phillipell
Luxembourg, 2340, Luxembourg

Bluetrade.com
Bleu Digital Enterprises Ltd
527, St. Paul’s St
St. Paul’s Bay, Malta

Bodog
Bodog
service@bodog.eu
Manila, Philippines

Bookmaker.eu
Costa Rica International Sports dba Bookmaker.eu
Edificio La Colmena; 75m W Contraloria de la Sabana Sur
San Jose, Costa Rica

Bovada
Lynton Limited Ltd dba Bovada
Craig Plaza, 51-55, Fountain St
Belfast, BT1 5EB, United Kingdom

Boylesports
Boylesports Ltd
Finnabair Industrial Estate, Dundalk
County Louth, Ireland

Bwin
ElectraWorks Limited dba BWIN
Ste 6, Atlantic Suites, Europort Ave
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Cafe Casino
Lynton Limited dba Cafe Casino
Craig Plaza, 51-55 Fountain St
Belfast, BT1 5EB United Kingdom

Carbon Poker
PDC Global Collections Ltd dba Carbon Poker
19/21 Circular Rd
Douglas, Isle of Man

CaribSports
Carib International Entertainment Ltd dba CaribSports
35 New Rd
Belize City, Belize

Cashpoint
Cashpoint (Malta) Ltd.
Level 1, Salvu Psaila St
Birkirkara, BKR9077, Malta

Casino77
Mandarin Gaming NV dba Casino 77
Soho Office 3A, Edge Water Complex, Elia Zammit St
St. Julians, Malta

Celeb Poker
Wizplay OS (Cyprus) Limited dba Celeb Poker
Flat 22, 6 Tassou Papadopolou St
Agios Dometios, Nicosia, 2372, Cyprus

Celsius Network Limited
Celsius Network Limited
The Harley Bldg, 77-79 New Cavendish St
London, W1W 6XB, United Kingdom

CEX
CEX.io Ltd
24th Flr, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf
London, E14 5AB, United Kingdom

Click and Buy
Click and Buy International Ltd
6-9 Cynthia St
London, N1 9JF United Kingdom

Cloudbet
Halcyon Super Holdings BV dba Cloudbet
Pareraweg 45
Willemstad, Curacao

CoinEgg Ltd
CoinEgg Ltd
38 Hunstanton Ave
Birmingham, B17 8TA, United Kingdom

Coinmate
Confirmo Ltd. dba Coinmate
The Shard Floor 24/25, 26 London Bridge St
London, SE1 95G, United Kingdom

ComeOn! Poker
Co-Gaming Limited dba ComeOn! Poker
3rd Flr, Spinola Park, Tirq Mikiel Ang Borg
St. Julians, SPK1000, Malta

Coral Poker
Gala Interactive (Gibraltar) Ltd dba Coral Poker
Ste 6, Atlantic Suites
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Crypto.com
Foris Dax, Inc. dba crypto.com
Unit 1506-07, 15/F, Pacific Plaza 418, Des Voeux Rd W
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Crypto.games
MuchGaming B.V. dba crypto.games
Fransche Bloemweg 4
Willemstad, Curacao

CryptoPay
CryptoPay
WeWork Bldg, 12 Hammersmith Grove
London, W6 7AP, United Kingdom

CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair Ltd
Colm House, 91 Pembroke Rd
Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland

Dafabet
Bayvieew Technologies Ltd dba Dafabet
RCBC Plaza, Makati
Cagayan Valley, Philippines

ecoPayz
PSI-Pay Ltd dba ecoPayz
Afon House, Worthing Rd
Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1TL, United Kingdom

Electrum [Bitcoin Wallet]
Electrum
63-65 Blvd Massena
Paris, 75013, France

Entropay
Ixaris Systems (Malta) Ltd. dba Entropay
2 Stephen St
London, W1T 1AN, United Kingdom

Expekt Sportsbook
Mangas Gaming Malta Limited dba Expekt Sportsbook
Level 3, Tagliaferro Business Center, High St c/w Gaiety Ln
Sliema, SLM1551, Malta

Fabulous Poker
Investments Manager, S.A. dba Fabulouspoker.com
Sabana Sur
San Jose, 10000, Costa Rica

Fairlay
Fairlay LLC
200 Meters norte de la Cruz Roja de Santa Ana, 8vo Piso
San Jose, San Rafael, Costa Rica

Foxbit
Foxbit
Av. Eng. Luis Carlos Berrini, 550; Cidade Moncoes
Sao Paulo, Brazil

FTX
FTX Trading Ltd.
Lower Factory Road, PO Box 990
St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda

Gala Poker
LC International Limited dba Gala Poker
Ste 6, Atlantic Suites
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Gate.io
Gate.io
PO Box 31119, Grand Pavilion, Hibiscus Way; 802 W Bay Rd
Grand Cayman KY1-1205, Cayman Islands

Gatehub
GateHub Limited
Level 3, 207 Regent St
London, W1B 3HH, United Kingdom

gbets
Dynamex (Pty) Ltd dba G-bets
PO Box 7383, Westgate
Roodeport, 1734, South Africa

GGPoker
GG International Limited dba GGPoker
8 Upper Dukes Rd
Douglas, IM2 4BA, Isle of Man

Global Poker
VGW GP Limited dba Global Poker
5-7 Matilda Ct, Giuseppe Cali St
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1423, Malta

Goalwin Poker
Merkur Interactive Italia SpA dba Goalwin Poker
Via dei Lavorsatirn 136/138 20092
Cinisello Balsamo, Italy

GTBets
gtbets.eu dba GTBets
support@gtbets.eu
Willemstad, Curacao

Heritage Sports
Heritage Sports
customerservice@heritagesports.com
San Jose, Costa Rica

HitBTC
Hit Tech Solutions Development Ltd dba HitBTC
Ste 15, Oliaji Trade Centre, Francis Rachel St
Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles

Huobi
Huobi Technology Holdings Ltd
Rm 1404-05, 14F, Nan Fung Tower 88
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Iconomi
Iconomi Ltd
10 Orange St
London, WC2H 7DQ, United Kingdom

Ignition Casino
Lynton Limited dba Ignition Casino
Craig Plaza, 51-55 Fountain St
Belfast, BT1 5EB, United Kingdom

Intertops
International Gaming & Entertainment Ltd dba Intertops
PO Box W427, Teledome bldg, Old Parham Rd
St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda

Interwetten
Interwetten Gaming Ltd.
2nd Flr, Global Capital Bldg, Testaferrata St
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1403, Malta

iPoker
Playtech (Cyprus) Limited dba iPoker
Ground Flr, St. George’s Ct, Upper Church St
Douglas, IM1 1EE, Isle of Man

Iron Poker
Universe Entertainment Services Malta Limited dba Iron Poker
Level 3, Valletta Buildings, South St
Valletta, VLT1103, Malta

J88 Poker
J88Ent Ltd dba J88 Poker
Unit 1101, 11th Flr, Tower 1, Enterprise Square, No. 9, Sheung Yuet Rd; Kowloon Bay
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Jazz Sports
DPT Sports Group dba jazzsports.ag
DPT Building, Pavas
San Jose, Costa Rica

Juicy Stakes Poker
Thinkquick Ltd dba Juicy Stakes Poker
3997 Armory Bldg
Basseterre, St. Kitts (Saint Kitts and Nevis)

Justbet.co
Investments Manager, S.A. dba Justbet.co
Edificio La Colmena
San Jose, Costa Rica

Just Dice
Just-Dice.com
PO Box 0823-03411
Panama City, Panama

KuCoin
KuCoin Co., Limited
20 Science Park Rd
Singapore, Singapore

Ladbrokes
LC International plc
Ste 6, Atlantic Suites
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Ledn
Ledn (USA) Inc.
700-350 Bay St
Toronto, ON, M5H 2S6, Canada

Libertyslots.lv
Liberty Slots Group dba Libertyslots.lv
support@libertyslots.com
Willemstad, Curacao

Livecoin
Red Velvet Investments Ltd dba Livecoin
help@livecoin.net
Belize City, Belize

LooseLines
DPT Sports Group dba looselines.ag
DPT Building, Pavas
San Jose, Costa Rica

Lowvig
Lowvig.ag
support@lowvig.ag
San Jose, Costa Rica

Luxon Payments
Luxon Payments Ltd
Cobden Chambers, Pelham St
Nottingham, NG1 2ED, United Kingdom

MarathonBet
MarathonBet.com
Abraham de Veerstraat 9
Willemstad, Curacao

Matchbook
Triplebet Limited dba Matchbook
Inchalla, Le Val
Alderney, GY9 3UL, Channel Islands (Guernsey)

Mercatox
104363744 Ltd dba Mercatox
Mailboxes E.T.C., Peel House 30
Altincham, WA14 2PX, United Kingdom

MuchBetter
MIR Limited UK Ltd dba MuchBetter
Finance House, 20/21 Aviation Way
Southend, Essex, SS2 6UN, United Kingdom

MyBookie.ag
Duranbah Limited N.V. dba MyBookie.ag
7 Abraham de Veerstraat
Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

Natural8.com
Run Good N.V. dba Natural8.com
9 Abraham de Veerstrat
Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

NetBet
NetBet Enterprises Ltd dba NetBet
209, Marina Street
Pieta, PTA9041, Malta

Neteller
Paysafe Financial Services Ltd. dba Neteller
Compass House, Vision Park, Chivers Way
Cambridge, CB24 9BZ, United Kingdom

Nexo Financial LLC
Nexo Financial LLC
1 Canada Sq, Level 39, Canary Wharf
London, E14 5AB, United Kingdom

Nitrogen Sports
Nitrogen Sports
support@nitrogensports.eu
San Jose, Costa Rica

Nordic Bet
BML Group Ltd dba NordicBet
Betsson Experience Center, Ta’Xbiex Seafront
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1027, Malta

Noxwin
Galaxy Grouop Ltd dba Noxwin.com
Intershare Chambers
Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Oanda Europe
Oanda Europe Limited
Flr 3, 18 St. Swithin’s Ln
London, EC4N 8AD, United Kingdom

Oddsmaker Casino
OddsMaker.ag
support@oddsmaker.ag
Curacao, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

OKEx
Aux Cayes FinTech Co. Ltd dba OKEx
Unit 10-02, Level 10, Menara Binjai, No. 2, Jalan Binjai
Kuala Lumpur, 50450, Malaysia

OKPoker
Loto Quebec dba OKPoker
500 Sherbrooke St W
Montreal, QC H3A 3G6 Canada

Pacific Poker
Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Limited dba Pacific Poker
Suite 601-701, Europort Ave
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

PaddyPoker
PBB Counterparty Services Limited dbaPaddyPoker
Triq il-Kappillan Mifsud
St. Venera, SVR1851, Malta

Party Poker
Electra Works dba Party Poker
Suite 6, Atlantic Suites, Europort Ave
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Pinnacle Sports
Ragnarok Corporation N.V. dba Pinnacle.com
Pletterjweg 43
Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

Planetwin365 Poker
SKS365 Malta, dba Planetwin365 Poker
Corso Vittoria Emanuel 11, 282-284
Rome, 00188, Italy

Players Only
Gaming Ventures Ltd. dba Players Only
60 Nevis St
St. John’s, Antigua (Antigua and Barbuda)

Poker4u
Olincorp Limited dba poker4u
7, Florints St, Greg Tower, 6th Flr
Nicosia, 1065, Cyprus

Poker770
Mandarin Gaming NV dba Poker770
PO Box 4920
Curacao, Netherlands Antilles (Curacao)

Pokerhost
PH Multitech Curacao N.V. dba Pokerhost
E-Commerce Park, Vredenberg
Willemstad, Curacao, (Netherlands Antilles)

PokerKing
King Enterprises BG Ltd. dba PokerKing
Plaza P.L. Brion Unit 4
Willemstad, Curacao

PokerStars
Rational Intellectual Holdings Limited dba PokerStars
Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Rd
Onchan, IM3 1DZ Isle of Man

PokerStars.eu
Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd dba PokerStars.eu
Villa Seminia, 8, Sir Temi Zammit Ave
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1011, Malta

PokerStars.fr
REEL Malta Limited dba PokerStars.fr
Villa Seminia, 8, Sir Temi Zammit Ave
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1011, Malta

Poloniex
Polo Digital Assets, Ltd. dba Poloniex
F20, 1st Floor, Eden Plaza
Eden Island, Seychelles

PPPoker
AceKing Tech Limited dba PPPoker
OMC Offices, Babrow Bldg
The Valley, 2640, Anguilla

PredictIt
PredictIt Europe Limited
6 Agar St
London, WC2N 4HN, United Kingdom

Red Kings
SkillOnNet Ltd. dba Red Kings
Office 1/5297 Level G, Quantum House, 75 Abata Rigord St
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1120, Malta

Red Stag Casino
DeckMedia.NV
Heelsumstraat 51, E-Commerce Park
Willemstad, Curacao

RedStar Poker
RSP Entertainment N.V. dba RedStar Poker
12 Georgiou Grive Digeni, Stephanie House, Office 101
Nicosia, 3101, Cyprus

Run It Once [Poker]
Run It Once Ltd.
35 Strait St
Valletta, VLT1434, Malta

Skrill (formerly Moneybookers)
Skrill Limited
Floor 27, 25 Canada Square
London, E14 5LQ, United Kingdom

Skybook Sportsbook and Casino
Azure Ventures Limited dba Skybook Sportsbook and Casino
G1, Haven Ct, 5 Library Ramp
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

slots.lv
Lynton Limited dba slots.lv
Craig Plaza, 51-55 Fountain St
Belfast, BT1 5EB, United Kingdom

Smarkets
Smarkets (Malta) Limited
The Hedge Business Center, Level 7, Triq Ir-Rampa ta’ San Giljan
St. Julians, STJ1062, Malta

Sorare
Sorare SAS
5, Avenue du General de Gaulle
a Saint Mande, 94160, France

sportbet.com
5Dimes Casino and Sportsbook dba sportbet.com
Edificio Equus
San Jose, Costa Rica

Sports Interaction
Mohawk Online dba Sports Interaction
2006 Old Malone Rd, PO Box 1539
Kahnawake, QC, J0L 1B0, Canada

Sportsbetting.ag
Blue High House S.A. dba Sportsbetting.ag
Area Bancaria, Avenida Balboa
Panama City, Panama

Sportsbook
Paddy Power Betfair dba sportsbook.eu
Belfield Office Park, Beech Hill Rd
Clonskeagh, Dublin, 4, Ireland

swcpoker
OrangeWebsite.com dba swcpoker (aka Seals With Clubs, swcpoker.eu)
Kapparstigur 7
Reykjavik, Iceland

The Greek
WS Processing Ltd. dba The Greek Sportsbook
#1 Mangrove Way, M.B.F.Z.
Freeport, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Tiger Gaming
Troy Logic Limited dba Tiger Gaming
170, Patar House, Level 1 (Ste A203), Psaila St
Birkirkara, BKR9077, Malta

Titan Poker
Universe Entertainment Services Malta Limited dba Titan Poker
Level 3, Valletta Bldgs, South St
Valletta, VLT1103, Malta

TrransferWise
TransferWise
6th Flr, The Tea Bldg, 56 Shoreditch High St
London, E1 6JJ, United Kingdom

True Poker
BMX Entertainment dba True Poker
71C Georgio A, Office 3, Germasogeia
Limassol, 4047, Cyprus

Unibet
Trannel International Ltd. dba Unibet
Level 6, The Centre, Tigne, Point
Sliema, Malta

Vietbet
5Dimes Casino and Sportsbook dba Eurobet
Edificio Equus, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, 7mo Piso
San Jose, Costa Rica

WagerWeb
WagerWeb.ag
support@wagerweb.ag
San Jose, Costa Rica

William Hill
WHG (International) Ltd
6/1 Waterport Place
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Winamax.fr
Winamax
CS 50746, CEDEX 07
Paris, 75345, France

Winner Poker
Universe Entertainment Service Malta dba Winner Poker
Level 3, Valletta Bldgs, South St
Valletta, VLT 1103, Malta

WPTPoker.com
Electraworks Limited (bwin.party digital entertainment plc) dba WPTPoker
Ste 711, Europort
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Yobit
Yobit.net
support@yobit.net
Moscow, Russia

Youwager.eu
Dowson Universal Technologies Limited dba Youwager.eu
20 Stuart Ct
Consett, County Durham, DH8 5GA, United Kingdom (hide)

If anyone has additions or corrections to the list feel free to email them to me.

The 2021 Real Winners of the World Series of Poker

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Last night, the Main Event of the World Series of Poker concluded.  (While there are still a few events to be decided in the WSOP, this is the event that everyone thinks of as the big one.)  Before  I get to the winners (and the tax impacts), I want to give some credit to Caesars Entertainment.  Generally, the WSOP ran without hitches.  There were worries about Covid (especially given the past history of the Rio Hotel and Casino), but until this week that was basically a non-issue.

The Main Event attracted 6,650 entrants, each ponying up $10,000.  The prize pool was $62,011,250 (the difference is the funds kept by Caesars for running the event).  We focus on the final table of nine, but in actuality 1,000 of the 6,650 received winnings from the prize pool; a minimum cash was worth $15,000.  The winner received a cool $8 million…but that’s before taxes.

One important note: I do need to point out that many of the players in the tournament were “backed.” Poker tournaments have a high variance (luck factor). Thus, many tournament players sell portions of their action to investors to lower their risk (and/or “swap” action with other entrants). It is quite likely that most (if not all) of the winners were backed (or had swaps) and will, in the end, only enjoy a portion of their winnings. I ignore backing and swaps in this analysis (because the full details are rarely publicized). Now, on to the winners.

Congratulations to Koray Aldemir, a native of Berlin, Germany who currently resides in Vienna, Austria. On the final hand, Mr. Aldemir flopped top two pair (holding 10-7 in his hand).  George Holmes, who finished in second place, had a King in his hand.  That was disastrous for Mr. Holmes when a King appeared on the turn.  The remaining money went in on the final card (the ‘river’) which didn’t change the result.  Mr. Adlemir, a professional poker player who is a regular on the high stakes circuit, benefits from the US-Austria Tax Treaty (his income is exempt from withholding by the IRS).  And there’s a taxing reason why Mr. Aldemir moved from Germany to Austria: Austria does not tax gambling income of its residents.  It sure beats the 46% tax rate he’d be facing if he was residing in Germany.

Finishing second place and winning $4,300,000 was (as previously noted) George Holmes. Mr. Holmes, a resident of Atlanta, is an amateur gambler who mainly plays cash games though he plays the Main Event every year.  I estimate he’ll owe $1,802,011 in tax to the IRS and Georgia leaving him with just under $2,500,000 of his winnings to enjoy.

In third place was Jack Oliver. The resident of Manchester in the United Kingdom benefits from both the US-United Kingdom Tax Treaty (gambling winnings are exempt from withholding) and UK law on gambling: His winnings are not subject to tax in the UK. He gets to keep all $3 million of his winnings.  It’s always nice when your after-tax income legally equals your before-tax income!

Joshua Remitio of Gilbert, Arizona (suburban Phoenix) finished in fourth place winning $2,300,000.  Mr. Remitio previously had entered poker tournaments with a maximum buy-in of $300; by far, he was the individual who came out of nowhere.  Arizona is luckily not a high-tax state; I estimate he’ll owe $1,004,393 in tax to the IRS & Arizona and be able to keep $1,295,607 of his winnings.

Finishing in fifth place was Ozgur Secilmis, of Istanbul, Turkey.  The US-Turkey tax treaty exempts his winnings from US withholding. Turkey, like the United States, taxes the worldwide income of its residents.  Also like the United States, Turkey has a graduated income tax.  The top tax bracket (40%) begins at 650,000 TRY (Turkish Lira); the Turkish Lira today is worth $0.09.  I estimate Mr. Secilmis will owe 7,773,055 TRY (or $699,575) to the Turkish Revenue Administration.

The sixth place winner, Hye Park of Holmdel, New Jersey, is a professional poker player who normally plays cash games.  But his foray into the Main Event sure paid off: sixth place paid $1,400,000.  Unfortunately, New Jersey is not a low tax state (plus as a professional gambler Mr. Park must pay self-employment tax).  I estimate he’ll owe just over $650,000 in tax and get to keep just $749,709 of his winnings.  Mr. Park owes the highest percentage in tax (an estimated 46.45%) of any of the final table finishers.

Alejandro “Papo” Lococo of Buenos Aires, Argentina is an MC and also an ambassador for PokerStars (an online poker site).  Finishing seventh earned Mr. Lococo $1,225,000 but that’s before taxes.  The US and Argentina do not have a tax treaty, so 30% of his winnings are withheld to the IRS.  He’ll be able to take a tax credit on his Argentina tax return for the tax withheld to the IRS; that will lower the tax paid to Argentina to an estimated 5% of his winnings ($61,250) and he overall pays $428,750 in tax. His net winnings are $796,250.

In eighth place was Jareth East of Redhill, England won $1,100,000 for his eighth place finish.  A professional poker player, his winnings are not subject to US tax nor does the United Kingdom currently tax gambling.  Yes, Mr. East gets to keep all $1,100,000 of his winnings.

The ninth place finisher was Chase Bianchi. Mr. Bianchi is a former professional gambler (he is now a software engineer), so he won’t owe self-employment tax.  Still, as a resident of Massachusetts he will pay an estimated 37.56% of his winnings in taxes to the IRS and Massachusetts leaving him estimated after-tax winnings of $624,357.

Here’s a table summarizing the tax bite:

Amount won at Final Table $24,125,000
Tax to IRS $3,676,973
Tax to Turkey Revenue Administration $699,575
Tax to Georgia Department of Revenue $247,250
Tax to New Jersey Division of Taxation $122,671
Tax To Arizona Department of Revenue $102,944
Tax to Administracion Federal de Ingresos Publica (Argentina) $61,250
Tax to Massachusetts Department of Revenue $50.000
Total Tax $4,960,663

That means 20.56% of the winnings at the final table goes toward taxes.

Here’s a second table with the winners sorted by their estimated take-home winnings:

Winner Before-Tax Prize After-Tax Prize
1. Koray Aldemir $8,000,000 $8,000,000
3. Jack Oliver $3,000,000 $3,000,000
2. George Holmes $4,300,000 $2,497,989
4. Joshua Remitio $2,300,000 $1,295,607
5. Ozgur Secilmis $1,800,000 $1,100,425
8. Jareth East $1,100,000 $1,100,000
7. Alejandro Lococo $1,225,000 $796,250
6. Hye Park $1,400,000 $749,709
9. Chase Bianchi $1,000,000 $624,357
Totals $24,125,000 $19,164,337

The players from the United Kingdom did better than their results with Mr. Oliver finishing in second place and Mr. East finishing in 6th place based on after-tax winnings.  Mr. Park fell to eighth place (from sixth) because of taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service did not end up with taxes that exceeded the first place winnings; the agency will have to be content with finishing in third place (based on pre-tax prizes).  With three winners exempt from US taxation, the IRS didn’t rack in its usual haul.  Indeed, the tax agencies ended up exceeding only second place money this year due to those three individuals also being exempt from taxes in their home countries. Still, you can’t say that the IRS didn’t do poorly because the house always wins.

Why Did the WSOP Change the Rules on Lammers?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

With the World Series of Poker (WSOP) winding down (the Main Event champion will be crowned Wednesday evening–and, yes, I will have my customary post on the real winners of the WSOP on Thursday), an issue arose late in the series.  Why did the WSOP change the rules on players cashing in lammers?

For those of you not in the poker world, let me explain.  “Lammers” are the nickname for satellite chips.  The World Series includes all sorts of tournaments, from the Main Event (which costs $10,000 to enter), numerous other tournaments costing $500 to $10,000 which award WSOP commemorative bracelets, daily tournaments costing $100 to $500, and satellite tournaments.

Satellite tournaments allow someone to enter a larger buy-in tournament without spending the full price.  Let’s say you have $1,080 and want to enter the Main Event.  You could play a one-table satellite.  This mini-tournament has ten players; $1,000 of the $1,080 entry fee goes to the prize pool with the WSOP keeping $80 per player for running the tournament.  The tournament awards twenty $500 buy-in chips (called “lammers”) that can be used to enter any event at the WSOP.  The WSOP has satellite tournaments costing $100 and up awarding various numbers of lammers.

These lammers have printed on them, “No Cash Value.”  The problem with that is obvious: there is value with the lammers.  If you have 20 lammers, you can buy into the Main Event, so each lammer really has a value of $500.  An individual lammer cannot be turned into cash from the WSOP (the Rio Hotel, where the WSOP is being held, will not buy your ‘excess’ lammers).  However, every year there is a brisk trade in lammers.  Many players just play satellite tournaments, collecting lammers and selling them to other players.  The players buying the lammers simply go to the cashier and use the lammers to buy into whatever event they wish.

Until November 8th the WSOP didn’t do a thing about this.  Then Shane Schleger, a professional poker player, noted:

There was lots of speculation about why this happened.  Most of the speculation called it greed by the WSOP (unused lammers are completely worthless once the WSOP is over); I believe that’s almost certainly wrong.  This has nothing to do with greed by the WSOP.  Instead, it has everything to do with tax law.  Indeed, there are two separate issues in play.

For years the WSOP has played “wink-wink” in regards to the active market in lammers.  Unless the individuals running the WSOP were blind (and they’re not), they knew about the active marketplace in lammers.  This benefited the WSOP greatly because more individuals played satellites leading to more entrants in all their tournaments.  If the WSOP could, they would want the lammer marketplace expanded. 

Unfortunately, we have to juxtapose the way poker players want the poker world to work with how the IRS and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) demand it work.  We have to go into two areas to understand this: the rules regarding issuance of W-2Gs and FINCEN rules regarding cash and cash equivalents.

The WSOP is required to issue W-2Gs (or Form 1042-S for a non-American) if someone wins a prize in a poker tournament of more than $5,000 in cash (or cash equivalent) net of the buy-in.  Assume those lammers have cash value; that means the WSOP would be required to issue a W-2G if someone wins a one-table satellite awarding $10,000 in lammers.  It takes time and costs money for the issuance of a W-2G.  Indeed, the reason why the minimum prize for the WSOP main event is $15,000 relates to the IRS rule on issuing W-2Gs.  That’s a $5,000 net profit and a W-2G is not required (where it would be at $15,001).

Unfortunately, the IRS, FINCEN, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, or Caesars internal auditing likely noticed the wink-wink.  (Caesars Entertainment owns the WSOP.)  Gambling is heavily regulated, and the amount of paperwork required for a casino is staggering.  (That’s a subject for another day, but whatever you think it is, the correct answer is almost certainly to double or triple what you think.)  Paperwork has to be completed exactly right, too.  If there’s an active marketplace in satellites that the WSOP condones, then paperwork must be issued.  Thus, the order came from ‘higher up’ to put an end to the wink-wink.  If lammers can only be used to buy into another tournament, they truly have no cash value because they cannot be sold and turned into cash.

Second, casinos are financial institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act and are regulated by FINCEN.  Casinos must issue Currency Transaction Reports (for casinos, CTRCs) and Suspicious Activity Reports just like banks.  Indeed, the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, California was just fined $500,000 for not complying with money laundering laws.  If lammers are being used as cash (which they were), then they fall under BSA reporting.  That would be a near impossible task for the WSOP to deal with.  Thus, one of FINCEN, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, or Caesars internal auditing had a second reason to put a stop to the trade in lammers.

If greed had won out, the wink-wink would have continued forever.  Instead, the real world intruded.

 

The WSOP and Taxes (2021 Update)

Sunday, September 26th, 2021

The World Series of Poker will begin here in Las Vegas on September 30th.  While attendance is likely to be less than in previous years (it’s still difficult to travel internationally to the United States), thousands of poker players will be heading to the Rio Hotel with the hopes of winning a bracelet.  The biggest news isn’t tax-related; rather, all participants (and spectators) most be fully vaccinated against Covid.  From a tax standpoint, nothing has changed from this update I wrote in 2018.

For those of you attending, good luck!

 

Online Gambling and Cryptocurrency Addresses for 2021

Friday, February 19th, 2021

If you have one or more foreign financial accounts and you have $10,000 aggregate in those account(s) at any time during 2019, you must file the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (the “FBAR”). This is Form 114 from FINCEN. (The IRS and FINCEN now allege that foreign online poker accounts are “casino” accounts that must be reported as foreign financial accounts. The rule of thumb, when in doubt report, applies—especially given the extreme penalties.) You also should consider filing an FBAR if you have $10,000 or more in a non-US Cryptocurrency Exchange.

There’s a problem, though. Most of these entities don’t broadcast their addresses. Some individuals sent email inquiries to one of these gambling sites and received politely worded responses (or not so politely worded) that said that it’s none of your business.

Well, not fully completing the Form 114 can subject you to a substantial penalty. I’ve been compiling a list of the addresses of the online gambling sites. It’s presented below.

FINCEN does not want dba’s; however, they’re required for Form 8938. One would think that two different agencies of the Department of the Treasury would speak the same language…but one would be wrong.

You will see the entries do include the dba’s. Let’s say you’re reporting an account on PokerStars. On the FBAR, you would enter the address as follows:

Rational Intellectual Properties Limited
Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Rd
Onchan, IM31DZ Isle of Man

Here’s how you would enter it for Form 8938:

Rational Intellectual Properties Limited dba PokerStars
Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Rd
Onchan, IM3 1DZ Isle of Man

You will also see that on the FBAR spaces in a postal code are removed; they’re entered on Form 8938. You can’t make this stuff up….

Finally, I no longer have an address for Bodog. If anyone has a current mailing address, please leave it in the comments or email me with it.

Foreign cryptocurrency exchanges with just cryptocurrency do not have to be reported on the FBAR. However, if the account holds anything else (such as ‘fiat’ currency like US dollars, Euros, etc.) the account is reportable.

There is no dispute, though, about reporting foreign cryptocurrency exchanges on Form 8938: They must be reported on Form 8938 (if you have a Form 8938 filing requirement).

Note: This list is presented for informational purposes only. It is believed accurate as of February 27, 2021. However, I do not take responsibility for your use of this list or for the accuracy of any of the addresses presented on the list.

The list is in the cut text below.

The list is in alphabetical order by the common name (not the legal name) of the gambling site. An entry is:

Common Name
Legal Name
Address
City, State/Territory, Postal Code, Country

Note that not all entities have states/territories or postal codes.

IMPORTANT: When reporting on Form 114, the dba’s are not included. When reporting on Form 8938, the dba’s are included.

10Bet
Ocean Star Limited dba 10bet.com
Dragonara Business Center, 5th Flr, Dragonara Rd
St. Julians, STJ3141, Malta

12Bet (except U.K.)
Pacific Sea Marketing International Ltd. dba 12bet.com
MillMall, Ste 6, Wickhams Cay 1, PO Box 3085
Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

12Bet (U.K.)
TGP Europe Limited dba 12bet.uk
22A Castle St
Douglas, IM1 2EZ, Isle of Man

188Bet
Cube Limited dba 188bet
Ground Floor, St. George’s Court, Upper Church St
Douglas, IM1 1EE, Isle of Man

5dimes
5Dimes Casino and Sportsbook
Edificio Equus
San Jose, Costa Rica

888poker (except U.K.)
Virtual Digital Services Limited dba 888 Poker
Level G, Quantum House; 75, Abate Rigord St
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1120, Malta

888poker (U.K.)
888 UK Limited dba 888 Poker
Ste 601-701, Europort
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

AA Poker
Memoriki Limited dba AA Poker
18/F, Star Centre, 35 Hung To Rd, Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

America’s Cardroom
BMX Entertainment dba America’s Cardroom
71C Georgio A, Office 3, Germasogeia
Limassol, 4047, Cyprus

Asianconnect88
Asianconnect N.V. dba Asianconnect88
E-Zone Beheer van Engelen N.V., Van Engelenweg 21A
Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

BestPoker
Best Global N.V. dba Best Poker
BS Building, Level 1, Triq Il-Mosta,
Lija, LJA 9012, Malta

Bet365
Bet365
Hillside, Festival Way, Stoke-on-Trent
Staffordshire, ST1 5SH, United Kingdom

Betanysports Casino and Sportsbook
Betanysports Casino and Sportsbook
Edificio Equus
San Jose, Costa Rica

Betclic
Managas Gaming Malta Limited dba Betclic
Level 3, Tagliaferro Business Center; High St c/w Gaiety Ln
Sliema, SLM1551, Malta

Betcoin.ag
Global Limiting Holding EOOD dbaBetcoin.ag
Nikola Vaptsarov Blvd
Sofia, Bulgaria

BetCris
TV Global Enterprises Ltd dba BetCris
Villa Seminia, 8 Sir Temi Zammit Ave
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1011 Malta

BETDAQ
LC International Limited dba BETDAQ
Ste 6, Atlantic Suites
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

BETDSI
Diamond Sportsbook International dba BETDSI
Santa Ana
San Jose, Costa Rica

Betfair
PBB Counterparty Services Limited dba Betfair
Triq il-Kappillan Mifsud
St. Venera, SVR1851, Malta

Betfred
Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited
5/2 Waterfront Place
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Betmost Poker
WHG (International) Limited dba Betmost Poker
6/1 Waterfront Place
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Betonline
BLS International dba Betonline.ag
cs@betonline.ag
Panama City, Panama

Betsafe
BML Group Ltd Limited dba Betsafe Poker
Betsson Experience Center, Ta’Xbiex Seafront
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1027, Malta

Bettson
BML Group Ltd dba Bettson
Betsson Experience Center, Ta’Xbiex Seafront
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1027, Malta

BetUS
Firepower Trading Ltd dba BetUS
Anthinodorou, 3 Dasoupoll, Strovolos
Nicosia, 2025, Cyprus

betusa.ag
Online Management Services dba betusa.ag
Jasmine Ct, Ste 17, Friar’s Hill Rd
St. Johns, Antigua

BetVictor
Victor Chandler International Ltd dba BetVictor
Ste 23, Portland House, Glacis Rd
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Binance
Binance Marketing Services Limited
C85602 Melita Ct, Level 3, Triq Giusseppe Cali
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1420, Malta

Bitfinex (non-US users)
BFXNA Inc dba Bitfinex
Ste 13/F, 1308 Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Rd, Central
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Bitfinex (US users)
Finex Inc. dba Bitfinex
Chaucer Group Limited, 10 Lower Thames
London, E3R 6E14, United Kingdom

BitMax.io
BitMax.io
114 Lavender St, #09-88, Ct Hub 2
Singapore, 338729, Singapore

BitMex
100x Grouop dba BitMex
Second Flr, Capital City, Independence Ave, PO Box 1008
Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles

Bitstamp
Bitstamp Ltd.
5 New Street Square
London, EC4A 3TW, United Kingdom

Black Chip Poker
Black Chip Poker
3/4-8 Churchill St
Coolangatta, Queensland 4225, Australia

Blockchain
Blockchain.info
Rue de Merl, 741, Rue Phillipell
Luxembourg, 2340, Luxembourg

Bluetrade.com
Bleu Digital Enterprises Ltd
527, St. Paul’s St
St. Paul’s Bay, Malta

Bodog
Bodog
service@bodog.eu
Manila, Philippines

Bookmaker.eu
Costa Rica International Sports dba Bookmaker.eu
Edificio La Colmena; 75m W Contraloria de la Sabana Sur
San Jose, Costa Rica

Bovada
Lynton Limited Ltd dba Bovada
Craig Plaza, 51-55, Fountain St
Belfast, BT1 5EB, United Kingdom

Boylesports
Boylesports Ltd
Finnabair Industrial Estate, Dundalk
County Louth, Ireland

Bwin
ElectraWorks Limited dba BWIN
Ste 6, Atlantic Suites, Europort Ave
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Cafe Casino
Lynton Limited dba Cafe Casino
Craig Plaza, 51-55 Fountain St
Belfast, BT1 5EB United Kingdom

Carbon Poker
PDC Global Collections Ltd dba Carbon Poker
19/21 Circular Rd
Douglas, Isle of Man

CaribSports
Carib International Entertainment Ltd dba CaribSports
35 New Rd
Belize City, Belize

Cashpoint
Cashpoint (Malta) Ltd.
Level 1, Salvu Psaila St
Birkirkara, BKR9077, Malta

Casino77
Mandarin Gaming NV dba Casino 77
Soho Office 3A, Edge Water Complex, Elia Zammit St
St. Julians, Malta

Celeb Poker
Wizplay OS (Cyprus) Limited dba Celeb Poker
Flat 22, 6 Tassou Papadopolou St
Agios Dometios, Nicosia, 2372, Cyprus

CEX
CEX.io Ltd
24th Flr, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf
London, E14 5AB, United Kingdom

Click and Buy
Click and Buy International Ltd
6-9 Cynthia St
London, N1 9JF United Kingdom

Cloudbet
Halcyon Super Holdings BV dba Cloudbet
Pareraweg 45
Willemstad, Curacao

CoinEgg Ltd
CoinEgg Ltd
38 Hunstanton Ave
Birmingham, B17 8TA, United Kingdom

Coinmate
Confirmo Ltd. dba Coinmate
The Shard Floor 24/25, 26 London Bridge St
London, SE1 95G, United Kingdom

ComeOn! Poker
Co-Gaming Limited dba ComeOn! Poker
3rd Flr, Spinola Park, Tirq Mikiel Ang Borg
St. Julians, SPK1000, Malta

Coral Poker
Gala Interactive (Gibraltar) Ltd dba Coral Poker
Ste 6, Atlantic Suites
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Crypto.com
Foris Dax, Inc. dba crypto.com
Unit 1506-07, 15/F, Pacific Plaza 418, Des Voeux Rd W
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

CryptoPay
CryptoPay
WeWork Bldg, 12 Hammersmith Grove
London, W6 7AP, United Kingdom

CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair Ltd
Colm House, 91 Pembroke Rd
Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland

Dafabet
Bayvieew Technologies Ltd dba Dafabet
RCBC Plaza, Makati
Cagayan Valley, Philippines

ecoPayz
PSI-Pay Ltd dba ecoPayz
Afon House, Worthing Rd
Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1TL, United Kingdom

Electrum [Bitcoin Wallet]
Electrum
63-65 Blvd Massena
Paris, 75013, France

Entropay
Ixaris Systems (Malta) Ltd. dba Entropay
2 Stephen St
London, W1T 1AN, United Kingdom

Expekt Sportsbook
Mangas Gaming Malta Limited dba Expekt Sportsbook
Level 3, Tagliaferro Business Center, High St c/w Gaiety Ln
Sliema, SLM1551, Malta

Fabulous Poker
Investments Manager, S.A. dba Fabulouspoker.com
Sabana Sur
San Jose, 10000, Costa Rica

Fairlay
Fairlay LLC
200 Meters norte de la Cruz Roja de Santa Ana, 8vo Piso
San Jose, San Rafael, Costa Rica

Foxbit
Foxbit
Av. Eng. Luis Carlos Berrini, 550; Cidade Moncoes
Sao Paulo, Brazil

FTX
FTX Trading Ltd.
Lower Factory Road, PO Box 990
St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda

Gala Poker
LC International Limited dba Gala Poker
Ste 6, Atlantic Suites
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Gate.io
Gate.io
PO Box 31119, Grand Pavilion, Hibiscus Way; 802 W Bay Rd
Grand Cayman KY1-1205, Cayman Islands

Gatehub
GateHub Limited
Level 3, 207 Regent St
London, W1B 3HH, United Kingdom

gbets
Dynamex (Pty) Ltd dba G-bets
PO Box 7383, Westgate
Roodeport, 1734, South Africa

GGPoker
GG International Limited dba GGPoker
8 Upper Dukes Rd
Douglas, IM2 4BA, Isle of Man

Global Poker
VGW GP Limited dba Global Poker
5-7 Matilda Ct, Giuseppe Cali St
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1423, Malta

Goalwin Poker
Merkur Interactive Italia SpA dba Goalwin Poker
Via dei Lavorsatirn 136/138 20092
Cinisello Balsamo, Italy

GTBets
gtbets.eu dba GTBets
support@gtbets.eu
Willemstad, Curacao

Heritage Sports
Heritage Sports
customerservice@heritagesports.com
San Jose, Costa Rica

HitBTC
Hit Tech Solutions Development Ltd dba HitBTC
Ste 15, Oliaji Trade Centre, Francis Rachel St
Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles

Huobi
Houbi
Block 2, Liangsheng Bldg, Block 29B, 11
Beijing, China

Iconomi
Iconomi Ltd
10 Orange St
London, WC2H 7DQ, United Kingdom

Ignition Casino
Lynton Limited dba Ignition Casino
Craig Plaza, 51-55 Fountain St
Belfast, BT1 5EB, United Kingdom

Intertops
International Gaming & Entertainment Ltd dba Intertops
PO Box W427, Teledome bldg, Old Parham Rd
St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda

Interwetten
Interwetten Gaming Ltd.
2nd Flr, Global Capital Bldg, Testaferrata St
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1403, Malta

iPoker
Playtech (Cyprus) Limited dba iPoker
Ground Flr, St. George’s Ct, Upper Church St
Douglas, IM1 1EE, Isle of Man

Iron Poker
Universe Entertainment Services Malta Limited dba Iron Poker
Level 3, Valletta Buildings, South St
Valletta, VLT1103, Malta

J88 Poker
J88Ent Ltd dba J88 Poker
Unit 1101, 11th Flr, Tower 1, Enterprise Square, No. 9, Sheung Yuet Rd; Kowloon Bay
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Jazz Sports
DPT Sports Group dba jazzsports.ag
DPT Building, Pavas
San Jose, Costa Rica

Juicy Stakes Poker
Thinkquick Ltd dba Juicy Stakes Poker
3997 Armory Bldg
Basseterre, St. Kitts (Saint Kitts and Nevis)

Justbet.co
Investments Manager, S.A. dba Justbet.co
Edificio La Colmena
San Jose, Costa Rica

Just Dice
Just-Dice.com
PO Box 0823-03411
Panama City, Panama

KuCoin
KuCoin Co., Limited
support@kucoin.com
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Ladbrokes
LC International plc
Ste 6, Atlantic Suites
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Libertyslots.lv
Liberty Slots Group dba Libertyslots.lv
support@libertyslots.com
Willemstad, Curacao

Livecoin
Red Velvet Investments Ltd dba Livecoin
help@livecoin.net
Belize City, Belize

LooseLines
DPT Sports Group dba looselines.ag
DPT Building, Pavas
San Jose, Costa Rica

Lowvig
Lowvig.ag
support@lowvig.ag
San Jose, Costa Rica

Luxon Payments
Luxon Payments Ltd
Cobden Chambers, Pelham St
Nottingham, NG1 2ED, United Kingdom

MarathonBet
MarathonBet.com
Abraham de Veerstraat 9
Willemstad, Curacao

Matchbook
Triplebet Limited dba Matchbook
Inchalla, Le Val
Alderney, GY9 3UL, Channel Islands (Guernsey)

Mercatox
104363744 Ltd dba Mercatox
Mailboxes E.T.C., Peel House 30
Altincham, WA14 2PX, United Kingdom

MuchBetter
MIR Limited UK Ltd dba MuchBetter
Finance House, 20/21 Aviation Way
Southend, Essex, SS2 6UN, United Kingdom

MyBookie.ag
Duranbah Limited N.V. dba MyBookie.ag
7 Abraham de Veerstraat
Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

Natural8.com
Run Good N.V. dba Natural8.com
9 Abraham de Veerstrat
Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

NetBet
NetBet Enterprises Ltd dba NetBet
209, Marina Street
Pieta, PTA9041, Malta

Neteller
Paysafe Financial Services Ltd. dba Neteller
Compass House, Vision Park, Chivers Way
Cambridge, CB24 9BZ, United Kingdom

Nitrogen Sports
Nitrogen Sports
support@nitrogensports.eu
San Jose, Costa Rica

Nordic Bet
BML Group Ltd dba NordicBet
Betsson Experience Center, Ta’Xbiex Seafront
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1027, Malta

Noxwin
Galaxy Grouop Ltd dba Noxwin.com
Intershare Chambers
Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Oanda Europe
Oanda Europe Limited
Flr 3, 18 St. Swithin’s Ln
London, EC4N 8AD, United Kingdom

Oddsmaker Casino
OddsMaker.ag
support@oddsmaker.ag
Curacao, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

OKEx
Aux Cayes FinTech Co. Ltd dba OKEx
Unit 10-02, Level 10, Menara Binjai, No. 2, Jalan Binjai
Kuala Lumpur, 50450, Malaysia

OKPoker
Loto Quebec dba OKPoker
500 Sherbrooke St W
Montreal, QC H3A 3G6 Canada

Pacific Poker
Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Limited dba Pacific Poker
Suite 601-701, Europort Ave
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

PaddyPoker
PBB Counterparty Services Limited dbaPaddyPoker
Triq il-Kappillan Mifsud
St. Venera, SVR1851, Malta

Party Poker
Electra Works dba Party Poker
Suite 6, Atlantic Suites, Europort Ave
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Pinnacle Sports
Ragnarok Corporation N.V. dba Pinnacle.com
Pletterjweg 43
Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)

Planetwin365 Poker
SKS365 Malta, dba Planetwin365 Poker
Corso Vittoria Emanuel 11, 282-284
Rome, 00188, Italy

Players Only
Gaming Ventures Ltd. dba Players Only
60 Nevis St
St. John’s, Antigua (Antigua and Barbuda)

Poker4u
Olincorp Limited dba poker4u
7, Florints St, Greg Tower, 6th Flr
Nicosia, 1065, Cyprus

Poker770
Mandarin Gaming NV dba Poker770
PO Box 4920
Curacao, Netherlands Antilles (Curacao)

Pokerhost
PH Multitech Curacao N.V. dba Pokerhost
E-Commerce Park, Vredenberg
Willemstad, Curacao, (Netherlands Antilles)

PokerKing
King Enterprises BG Ltd. dba PokerKing
Plaza P.L. Brion Unit 4
Willemstad, Curacao

PokerStars
Rational Intellectual Holdings Limited dba PokerStars
Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Rd
Onchan, IM3 1DZ Isle of Man

PokerStars.eu
Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd dba PokerStars.eu
Villa Seminia, 8, Sir Temi Zammit Ave
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1011, Malta

PokerStars.fr
REEL Malta Limited dba PokerStars.fr
Villa Seminia, 8, Sir Temi Zammit Ave
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1011, Malta

Poloniex
Polo Digital Assets, Ltd. dba Poloniex
F20, 1st Floor, Eden Plaza
Eden Island, Seychelles

PPPoker
AceKing Tech Limited dba PPPoker
OMC Offices, Babrow Bldg
The Valley, 2640, Anguilla

PredictIt
PredictIt Europe Limited
6 Agar St
London, WC2N 4HN, United Kingdom

Red Kings
SkillOnNet Ltd. dba Red Kings
Office 1/5297 Level G, Quantum House, 75 Abata Rigord St
Ta’Xbiex, XBX1120, Malta

Red Stag Casino
DeckMedia.NV
Heelsumstraat 51, E-Commerce Park
Willemstad, Curacao

RedStar Poker
RSP Entertainment N.V. dba RedStar Poker
12 Georgiou Grive Digeni, Stephanie House, Office 101
Nicosia, 3101, Cyprus

Run It Once [Poker]
Run It Once Ltd.
35 Strait St
Valletta, VLT1434, Malta

Skrill (formerly Moneybookers)
Skrill Limited
Floor 27, 25 Canada Square
London, E14 5LQ, United Kingdom

Skybook Sportsbook and Casino
Azure Ventures Limited dba Skybook Sportsbook and Casino
G1, Haven Ct, 5 Library Ramp
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

slots.lv
Lynton Limited dba slots.lv
Craig Plaza, 51-55 Fountain St
Belfast, BT1 5EB, United Kingdom

Smarkets
Smarkets (Malta) Limited
The Hedge Business Center, Level 7, Triq Ir-Rampa ta’ San Giljan
St. Julians, STJ1062, Malta

Sorare
Sorare SAS
5, Avenue du General de Gaulle
a Saint Mande, 94160, France

sportbet.com
5Dimes Casino and Sportsbook dba sportbet.com
Edificio Equus
San Jose, Costa Rica

Sports Interaction
Mohawk Online dba Sports Interaction
2006 Old Malone Rd, PO Box 1539
Kahnawake, QC, J0L 1B0, Canada

Sportsbetting.ag
Blue High House S.A. dba Sportsbetting.ag
Area Bancaria, Avenida Balboa
Panama City, Panama

Sportsbook
Paddy Power Betfair dba sportsbook.eu
Belfield Office Park, Beech Hill Rd
Clonskeagh, Dublin, 4, Ireland

swcpoker
OrangeWebsite.com dba swcpoker (aka Seals With Clubs, swcpoker.eu)
Kapparstigur 7
Reykjavik, Iceland

The Greek
WS Processing Ltd. dba The Greek Sportsbook
#1 Mangrove Way, M.B.F.Z.
Freeport, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Tiger Gaming
Troy Logic Limited dba Tiger Gaming
170, Patar House, Level 1 (Ste A203), Psaila St
Birkirkara, BKR9077, Malta

Titan Poker
Universe Entertainment Services Malta Limited dba Titan Poker
Level 3, Valletta Bldgs, South St
Valletta, VLT1103, Malta

TrransferWise
TransferWise
6th Flr, The Tea Bldg, 56 Shoreditch High St
London, E1 6JJ, United Kingdom

True Poker
BMX Entertainment dba True Poker
71C Georgio A, Office 3, Germasogeia
Limassol, 4047, Cyprus

Unibet
Trannel International Ltd. dba Unibet
Level 6, The Centre, Tigne, Point
Sliema, Malta

Vietbet
5Dimes Casino and Sportsbook dba Eurobet
Edificio Equus, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, 7mo Piso
San Jose, Costa Rica

WagerWeb
WagerWeb.ag
support@wagerweb.ag
San Jose, Costa Rica

William Hill
WHG (International) Ltd
6/1 Waterport Place
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Winamax.fr
Winamax
CS 50746, CEDEX 07
Paris, 75345, France

Winner Poker
Universe Entertainment Service Malta dba Winner Poker
Level 3, Valletta Bldgs, South St
Valletta, VLT 1103, Malta

WPTPoker.com
Electraworks Limited (bwin.party digital entertainment plc) dba WPTPoker
Ste 711, Europort
Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Yobit
Yobit.net
support@yobit.net
Moscow, Russia

Youwager.eu
Dowson Universal Technologies Limited dba Youwager.eu
20 Stuart Ct
Consett, County Durham, DH8 5GA, United Kingdom (hide)

If anyone has additions or corrections to the list feel free to email them to me.

Ignoring W-2Gs and $482,000 of Income Led to a Sub-Optimal Result

Monday, December 14th, 2020

Bluffing in poker can work quite well. However, if your opponent will always call, bluffing cannot work. One poker player learned that the IRS always call your bluffs (especially when they have evidence).

Guy Smith owns an interior construction business in Connecticut. He also enjoys playing poker, and had some success. With that success comes W-2Gs: They’re issued if you have a cash of $5,000 or more (net of the buy-in). Mr. Smith has had many, winning a poker tournament in Connecticut and finishing fifth in another in Florida.

Mr. Smith apparently didn’t tell his tax professional about those winnings. The IRS computer would, of course, send notices noting the discrepancies on the returns. Given the tournament winnings were more than $1 million, this is a big issue. Ignoring tax forms that are sent to the IRS has about a 0% chance of long-term success.

But like a bid informercial, that’s not all. Mr. Smith ignored $482,000 of income from his business (and didn’t tell his tax professional about that, either). Unfortunately for Mr. Smith, the IRS discovered this. With nearly $1.5 Million of unreported income and over $800,000 of unpaid federal income taxes, IRS criminal investigation was interested.

Mr. Smith pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion last week; he is scheduled to be sentenced in March and faces up to five years at ClubFed. Given he has agreed to cooperate with the IRS and pay all outstanding taxes (and the penalties and interest), his actual sentence will likely be far less.


In just over two weeks I’ll be announcing this year’s winner of the “Tax Offender of the Year” award. To win this coveted award [1] it takes more than simply evading taxes. It has to be special; it really needs to be a Bozo-like action or actions. If you have any ‘deserving’ nominees, let me know.

[1] I’m not sure anyone really covets receiving this award, but given the actions of some of the previous winners it may be that some were actually trying to win the award.

Do Canadian Professional Poker Players Owe Income Tax?

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

In the United States, the tax law can be boiled down to two sentences: Everything is taxable unless Congress exempts it. Nothing is deductible unless Congress allows it. Gambling winnings are taxed–they are an accession to income. An American professional gambler clearly owes income tax.

However, in many countries like Australia only professional gamblers (those conducting a business) are taxed on their gambling winnings. This came up when Australian Joseph Hachem won the World Series of Poker. He successfully argued that at the time he won he was an amateur gambler and did not have to pay income tax on his winnings.

The law in Canada is not settled in this area. There is a court case from British Columbia that says that professional poker players do not have to pay tax on their winnings. But clarity is likely coming, as the Tax Court of Canada will hear the case of Jonathan Duhamel in March.

Mr. Duhamel won the 2010 World Series of Poker main event earning $8,944,310. Canada’s tax agency, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), argues that Mr. Duhamel was operating a business; thus, he owes income tax on his net income. CRA argues that Mr. Duhamel hasn’t paid $1,219,114 (Canadian Dollars) in tax from 2010-2012. That’s $934,695 (USD), well worth fighting over.

The case will probably come down to whether or not the business aspect of Mr. Duhamel’s career outweighs the luck that caused him to win specific events. Per an article in The Canadian, CRA believes that because he considers himself a professional poker player, he behaves like a “serious businessman” while playing poker, he has no other primary source of income, and he performs his occupation for 40 to 50 hours per week, he is in business and owes income tax. Mr. Duhamel argues it’s just luck that causes him to win.

The good news for Canadian poker players is that clarity on income taxes is coming (probably next summer). The bad news is that to this observer it appears that CRA is starting with pocket Queens versus Mr. Duhamel’s eight-seven suited.