New Tax Rules Concerning Gambling Activities

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has historically required that gambling winnings and gambling losses be separately accounted for. The reason for this has to do with the way gambling losses are deducted for tax purposes. Gambling losses are treated as an itemized deduction and reported on Schedule A of the individual income tax return (Form 1040). This creates a problem in the cases in which taxpayers cannot itemize (as is the case when a standard deduction is greater) or in which the taxpayer’s income exceeds a certain threshold (in which case the taxpayer loses part of their itemized deduction via a phaseout). In such cases the taxpayer does not get the full benefit of the gambling losses to offset against the gambling winnings. What the IRS is really after is the reporting and taxation of gross gambling winnings.

New Tax Rule:
According to a recent tax court case (Shollengerger, TC Memo 2009-36) taxpayers are allowed to net gambling winnings during a given day with gambling losses. This is a significant setback to the IRS. As an example, imagine if you were to win $2,000 in the morning at a casino and lose $900 later that afternoon. Prior to this court case, the IRS would require that you report the $2,000 in gambling winnings and then separately itemize the $900 in gambling losses on your tax return. The court instead ruled that the taxpayer in this case was permitted to net the gambling winnings for the day and report $1,100 as net gambling winnings instead of the $2,000 gross amount, the IRS mandated. The court went on to state that this “netting rule” only applied on a daily basis. It stated that a taxpayer could not net gambling winnings and losses for the entire year.

Irrespective of this change in reporting and taxation of gambling activities, there are specific accounting requirements for gambling activities. The IRS requires taxpayers to keep a diary or ledger of all gambling activities. This tax accounting requires the taxpayer to record the following information concerning various gambling activities:
1. Type of gambling activity
2. Location of gambling activity
3. Amounts won and amounts lost for every activity
4. Number of games played
5. Cost of Bingo cards purchased
6. Winnings for each Bingo card
7. Copies of Keno tickets validated by the gambling establishment
8. Copies of casino credit reports
9. Copies of casino check cashing records
10. Records of the number of races bet on (horse, harness, dog)
11. Amount of racing wagers
12. Amount of racing winnings and losses
13. Record of slot machine number
14. Record of slot machine winnings by date and time per machine
15. Table number played (blackjack, craps & roulette)

16. Table credit card data including where credit was issued

All of the above items can be supplemented by receipts, tickets etc.

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Online Casinos and Problem Gambling

An estimated 20 million people worldwide gamble online at internet casinos. In 2007, Americans (who were technically not allowed to use online gambling venues) spent $34 billion on gambling in bricks and mortar casinos, and that number does not include the amount spent at Native American casinos.

There is no question that visiting a casino or gambling online is an exciting activity. Most people play purely for entertainment, while some online gamblers take the necessary time to learn the skills required for games like the many variations of online poker with the aim of winning money (at least more often than they lose it). For many people, there is a definite “high” associated with risking money on games, and for a small subset of those people, gambling turns into a full-fledged addiction that can cost them their livelihood, their family, and their entire way of life.

Problem gambling can be thought of as a spectrum of problems. While some people do become seriously addicted, others sometimes get carried away in the thrill of betting, lose more money than they expected, and then stop when they realize the consequences of their actions. Others gamble when they are anxious or depressed, coping with life changes and trying to enjoy a temporary distraction from the problems in their lives.

Most people are able to keep their gambling under control by simple measures such as limiting their bankroll and practicing their own standards as to when to walk away after a certain level of loss (or gain, for that matter). But there are others for whom gambling shows signs of turning into an addiction. How can you tell if your online casino visits are no longer an entertaining diversion, but a real problem?

One serious red flag is when a person gambles to obtain money with which to solve financial problems, such as paying bills or debts. Borrowing money or selling important possessions to finance gambling is another strong indicator that a person’s gambling is out of control. If gambling causes a deterioration in a person or their family’s standard of living or general welfare, it’s a problem. And if a person does something illegal (or considers doing so) to fund gambling, that means gambling has gone well beyond being a form of entertainment.

Resources are readily available to those who think they may have an addiction to gambling. Counseling, peer-support groups, step-based programs, and even medications are used to treat problem gambling, though no medications have been approved specifically for treating pathological gambling in the US by the Food and Drug Administration. Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step program for treating gambling problems patterned after the 12-step program used in Alcoholics Anonymous.

The bottom line is that with gambling addiction, as with any addiction, the addict has to admit he or she has a problem and choose to address it; the problem will not go away on its own. If you or a loved one has a problem with pathological gambling, then a good place to start is either with a local Gamblers Anonymous group (In the US, you can call 888-424-3577 toll free) or at gamblersanonymous.org.

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Gambling Addiction is a Waste of Money

In medical terms gambling addiction is termed as ludomania. This implies a person needs to gamble despite knowing the harmful consequences. Gambling addiction is a behavior which can affect most of the major aspects of life, for example it can affect you psychologically, physically and hamper your social life. Sometimes gambling addiction is referred as a hidden illness as you cannot see any physical symptoms. According to the American Psychological Association, addictive gambling is a mental health disorder and those affected have no control over it. Gambling addiction is a disease which is chronic and progressive. This means a person gets more and more addicted towards it every time he or she gets the opportunity to gamble. According to a survey about 4 percent of the American population has a gambling addiction.

According to Dr. Richard Rosenthal there are three criteria for a person to be listed down as a pathological gambler or a person affect with gambling addiction. An intolerable feeling or state, which is a person feeling helpless for no reason. Depression can be a reason; a person might get depressed due to problems at work place, problems with family, etc. Another criterion is when a person develops a high capacity for self-deception. When a gambler falls under these criteria, he is affected with gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is however classified into two types, action gambling and escape gambling.

Action gambling means a person is addicted to take risks, people falling under this category want to play with other gamblers, and they want to prove themselves as a winner in front of everyone. They want to identify themselves and create an image, they will continue gambling until and unless they reach the position. Escape gambling is where a person gambles because of the reason that they are affected with some personal matters. The person is having problems with emotional aspects in life or the person is not comfortable with life. People having escape gambling addiction usually play alone or they like to sit alone, they are rather found playing black jack or at slot machines. Escape gamblers just avoid human contact. It is found that men are more addicted towards action gambling and women are addicted towards escape gambling. It is also found that young people tend to have gambling addiction rather than adults. Teens are generally 3 times more likely to fall under gambling addiction. This is completely reversed in reference to other addictions where problems among adults are more prevalent than children.

Gambling addiction is a mental disorder having no impulse in controlling it but it is diagnosable and treatable. A very effective way to get treated is by the help of hypnosis. Hypnosis has a very high rate of success in healing people from gambling addiction. You can download mp3 versions available on the Internet. As soon as you are over with all the sessions of hypnosis you will no more be losing money at the casinos. You will be a winner and will set an example in front of everyone on how fast and easily you could get rid of gambling addiction.

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