Isn't There An Easier Way To Tax Online Gambling?

from the roundabout dept

One of the founders of British online gambling site PartyGaming yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of transmitting bets across state lines — and agreed to pay the US government $300 million. The exec, Anurag Dikshit, wasn’t one of those nabbed by US authorities as they changed planes in the US, but rather he came forward on his own in an attempt to clear the legal air surrounding him and his company. It appears that the US government has rewarded him with leniency: he’s free on $15 million bond with some loose travel restrictions ahead of his sentencing — scheduled for December 2010. This latest news follows the guilty plea of an executive of NETeller, which processed payments for gambling sites, who forfeited $100 million to the government, while the company itself coughed up $136 million. So from these three instances alone, the government has taxed, er, fined, gaming sites and execs over half a billion dollars. If revenue generation is the goal, why not simply legalize online gambling, then regulate and tax it? That way, the government gets its slice, while US citizens can enjoy some protection while betting, instead of being forced into the grey market where they’re largely at the whim of site owners.

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Companies: partygaming

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Comments on “Isn't There An Easier Way To Tax Online Gambling?”

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Mark Regan (user link) says:

That Might Set a Precedent

If we legalize gambling then we’d take organized criminals out of the mix. Then pro football and basketball would be fair.

Then we’d have to legalize drugs next to get organized criminals out of that industry. Then who would kill 5000 Mexican Mules annually, along with an equal number of US overdoses which kill OUR citizens.

Next our country Sheriff (I live in a DRY country) would have to put his campaign contributors out of business so they would not compete with LEGAL beer and wine sales in the retail stores. It’s better to have the evil alcohol sold out of living rooms and garages instead of restaurants, right?

And what about prostitution? Legalizing gambling would create a precedent for legalizing purchased sex. Then all the drug addicted hookers would lose customers to good looking housewives competing for the same business out of their living rooms.

We LOVE organized criminals running our gambling industry, our sporting contests, our recreational drug marketplace, our underground “untaxed” alcohol business, our sex traders, and let us not forget our elected officials who cater to the organized criminals who BUY them with their campaign contributions.

We are happy in our complacency. Please do not disturb us with such complicated, unromantic “tax” issues. That’s what we hire our legislators for.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’ve worked for a number of online gambling companies in Europe and they are already regulated – according to the Countries in which they are based.

This includes a company I worked with in Gibraltar which uses a system of law very closely derived from English law –

These companies are lawful, audited and in some cases listed on stock exchanges which add additonal levels of regulation.

PartyGaming are already compliant with these local laws yet are still able to operate legally and ethically in other non-EU countries so why should they also have to comply with tax-hungry US laws when they have no physical base there?

Techdirt surely doesn’t pay tax to Gibraltar so why should a Gibraltar based company pay tax to America?

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