Frank Scoblete (Casino Gambling Expert & Bestselling Author) gives expert video advice on: Where is gambling legal?; Do I have to report gambling winnings on my tax returns?; Is there any way for the government to know if I won money by gambling? and more...
Where is gambling legal?
Gambling is actually legal in 48 states but casino gambling is only legal in about 38 of them. There are only two states without gambling, and they are Hawaii and Utah.
What are "offshore" and "online" gambling?
Well there are really two types of gambling. You can go to a casino and gamble, or you can go into your den, turn on the computer and gamble online, over the computer. Most of the casinos that you deal with over the computer are in other countries so it's called offshore, because it's off our shores, but offshore gambling is online because it's on your computer.
Are offshore and online gambling legal?
Offshore and online gambling is illegal. There was something called the "Wire Act" in 1961, which banned all gambling over a telephone, and Congress has stated that internet gambling is similar to gambling over a telephone. In 2006, however, they passed the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Act", which banned all gambling on the Internet. Luckily, they're not arresting the people who are actually gambling, but instead, they are going after the companies that are sponsoring the gambling. At the moment, it is illegal for Americans to gamble on the internet.
What scams are common with online or offshore gambling?
Players have to be really careful when gambling online. The first problem, with gambling online, is that you have to be able to trust the company which you're dealing with, something that isn't always possible. The trust issue is also relevant in terms of whether or not you'll actually get your money back; you are handing over funds in good faith and that can be risky. The third problem is that you can't be certain that the games aren't fixed, it isn't something that's easy to determine on the internet and you could easily become the victim of a scam.
What can I do if I am the victim of an online or offshore gambling scam?
If you are a victim of an online, or offshore, gambling scam then there is very little you can do about it. You can write to the company who runs the site but you can't approach your congressmen as it's against the law to gamble on the internet. Getting scammed by an online gambling company is a serious risk.
Do I have to report gambling winnings on my tax returns?
The government wants your money, perhaps even more so than the casinos want your money. If you win a certain amount of money from gambling then you're going to have to report it as an income and it will be taxed. There was a time when gambling was considered a recreational activity and any winnings went untaxed, but not any more.
Can I deduct gambling losses on my tax return?
Here is some good tax news for gamblers. On your tax return, you are allowed to write off your gambling losses against your gambling wins and, hopefully, you'll break even. There is a story about a man, however, who once won a million dollars on New Years Eve and on New Years day he lost it all. As a result, he had to pay taxes on the million and he lost the million the next day.
Is there any way for the government to know if I won money by gambling?
A lot of people think that the government doesn't know that you have won money from gambling, but unfortunately, they do. If you win approximately twelve hundred dollars on a slot machine, then a notification of this is sent to the government. There are various amounts of paperwork for different amounts of money and the best advise is: if you have won money, report on your tax return.
What states are currently considering legalizing gambling?
There are many states that are now considering legalizing gambling. In fact, the only two states that don't have gambling, Hawaii and Utah, seem to be the only two not considering it. The other dozen states that are wishy-washy about gambling are probably going to increase the level of legalized gambling in the near future, in order to take advantage of the financial gains.
Is "River Boat" gambling different from casino gambling?
"River Boat" gambling is exactly the same as casino gambling; the same rules and the same games. The only difference between "River Boat" gambling and Las Vegas gambling is that one is on water and the other is on sand.