AGA Denounces ‘Damaging’ IRS Proposals On Capitol Hill



Geoff Freeman, AGA president: ‘This would have implications that are enormous only for loyalty cards into the casino industry but in the broader hospitality industry.’

American Gaming Association (AGA) President and Chief Executive Geoff Freeman testified at an IRS hearing on Capitol Hill this week, voicing industry issues over intends to lower the tax reporting threshold for slot winnings from $1,200 to $600.

Also present during the hearing were casino executives and tribal representatives.

The opinion inside the casino industry is that the proposals would be harmful to customer experience, while increasing paper work for casinos and disrupting the casino floor.

Gambling enterprises would also need upgrades that are expensive their backend systems.

You can find concerns, in particular, about IRS suggestions that the proposed rule could be enforced through the electronic tracking of players’ gambling habits through their customer loyalty cards.

‘ The gaming industry is aware of no other industry in the national nation which is why the IRS has issued regulations requiring the industry to deploy its customer loyalty program for federal tax collection purposes,’ the AGA said recently.

‘Customer Would Walk’

‘we question the need to impose mandatory, across-the-board use of the player-tracking tool for tax reporting purposes,’ said Freeman while we recognize the IRS’ concerns and objectives. ‘Instead than mandating use that is across-the-board tax reporting, we believe a more targeted approach is achievable for achieving the IRS’ objective.’

‘The customer would walk away,’ Freeman said in an interview that is post-hearing the Las Vegas Review Journal. ‘This would have enormous implications maybe not only for loyalty cards into the casino industry but in the broader hospitality industry: hotels, airlines and others.’

‘The reduction in the threshold that is reportable have a devastating effect on our business, and we strongly oppose the decrease,’ included John Canham, VP of casino operations at Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway.

The AGA has launched an online petition opposing the proposals, already signed by 10,000 people. These signatures had been from casino employees and customers alike, from across all 50 states, said Freeman.

The AGA represents operators and gaming suppliers that collectively support 1.7 million US jobs.

Prohibited Gambling Advisory Board Established

Elsewhere, the AGA’s new Illegal Gambling Advisory Board held its inaugural meeting this week.

This really is not, while the name may suggest, a hotline offering advice on where to find top odds from illicit bookmakers, it is, in reality, the opposite.

The board was set up as part of the AGA’s ‘Stop Illegal Gambling: Play it Safe’ initiative, and seeks to distinguish the regulated gaming market from the ‘criminal networks that depend on illegal gambling to fund violent crimes and drug and human trafficking.’

‘The Illegal Gambling Advisory Board, along with forthcoming partnerships, will make sure that illegal gambling is taken to the forefront of public discussion so that we can clearly differentiate our highly managed industry from the illegal enterprises that investment negative activities and tarnish our reputation,’ explained Brian Cohen, director of Ally developing for the AGA.

Californians for Responsible iPoker Latest Effort to Legalize Internet Gaming in Golden State

Californians for Responsible iPoker is created to promote market inclusivity by PokerStars and its coalition lovers, calling for the end to ‘divisive politics.’ (Image: calvinayre.com)

A fresh PokerStars-backed coalition called Californians for accountable iPoker is looking for supporters in the Golden State through the new advocacy group. Also as collecting signatures from resident proponents, the alliance lays down its aims and principles in a ten-point plan for accountable regulation.

It also announces the establishment of the PokerStars Pro Tour, that will see well-known players like Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, and Jason Somerville visiting card spaces across California in an effort to win hearts and minds.

‘ The Morongo Band of Mission Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, California’s three largest card clubs (the Commerce Club, Hawaiian Gardens Casino and the Bicycle Casino) and Amaya Inc, which owns and operates PokerStars, have formed a business alliance to market legislation that authorizes and regulates intrastate real-money online poker in California,’ states your website.

Marketplace Inclusivity

‘Today, millions of California poker players cannot perform the game we love online, while other states and a large number of countries have authorized iPoker,’ it says. ‘Authorizing a well-regulated ipoker market in California will protect the state’s poker-playing consumers, support regional business, and produce both jobs and revenue in California.’

The coalition demands market inclusivity plus an end to the ‘failed, divisive politics of the past,’ which have derailed efforts that are previous regulation and is set to complete so this year. The group is compared by an alliance of tribal operators who wish to exclude PokerStars therefore the California racetracks from a regulated online poker market.

‘After more than six several years of failed attempts in California, it is obvious that stakeholders must achieve substantial consensus in order for any bill to pass. We should abandon the failed, divisive politics regarding the past that motivated anti-competitive and most likely unconstitutional legislative proposals specifically intended to exclude the most successful and well-regulated iPoker service provider from Ca’s market,’ the group’s message continues.

Implicit Support for Racetracks

CRP may or might not wish race tracks along for the ride, nevertheless the wording of its agenda would imply that tracks would be contained in any positive outcome.

‘ We must support legislation that allows California’s existing licensed gaming providers, including tribes, card rooms, among others, to engage available on the market after stringent vetting that is regulatory suitability.’

The group’s opponents, nevertheless, remain as steadfast as ever. The Viejas Band of Kumayaay Indians recently launched a radio ad campaign that went directly for the jugular.

‘California Legislature must certanly be attempting to stop Internet scam artists and conmen,’ it began, before it became clear that the Viejas includes PokerStars in that category.

The operator accused PokerStars of being ‘corrupt’ because of the Black Friday indictments and the securities that are current research into Amaya Inc.

‘This hasn’t stopped PokerStars from lobbying our state legislature in order for them to take part in internet poker here in California, gaining access to every computer, tablet and smartphone in their state,’ the spot proceeded.

The poker wars will no doubt be heating up for the second half of 2015 with this new coalition. a current $280 million investment in the global iPoker business’s parent’s parent Amaya by PointState Capital, a hedge fund, has had many wondering if at least the much-touted PokerStars New Jersey launch may at last be imminent.

Once the operator gains a foothold back in the United States market, A ca presence could become much more tenable. Possibly it is this possibility for which Californians for Responsible iPoker is readying itself.

Slot Machines At US Army Bases Generate $100 Million

The Department of Defense runs some 3,000 slot machines in military bases across the global world; that’s doubly many Caesars Palace. (Image: stripes.com)

Army slot machines rake in millions but none of that money goes to supporting soldiers with gambling problems.

As a result, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has demanded a report be conducted by the Governmental Accountability Office into whether recourses are needed to assist US servicemen who are battling gambling addiction.

This employs the revelation that the Department of Defense runs some 3,000 slot machines at US bases that are military the entire world that yield estimated annual revenues of $100 million each year.

The US Senate this week adopted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to be able to pave the way for the study.

‘If the military is going to use gambling facilities that make tens of millions of dollars in income, it needs to ensure there clearly was sufficient prevention, treatment, and financial guidance designed for service members suffering gambling addictions,’ casino-online-australia.net said Warren.

Problem Gambling High among Soldiers and Veterans

‘By examining the risk of issue gambling among service members and the resources currently available, this amendment is a significant very first step up assisting members of the armed forces and their loved ones who’re afflicted with issue gambling,’ she added.

Despite the millions that slot machines bring in each to Defense Department coffers, and the millions more generated by bingo games, it has never established any form of treatment program or prevention efforts to help combat gambling problems among its servicemen and women year.

Meanwhile, research reports have consistently unearthed that members of the armed forces have reached a greater risk of pathological gambling than the population that is general.

According to the nationwide Council on Problem Gambling, around 36,000 active-duty members of this meet that is military for a gambling problem.

A study by the University of Georgia recently reported that rates of pathological gambling and problem gambling was much higher than average among veterans, army recruits and present service members.

May Affect Military Readiness

‘Research suggests that army personnel have reached threat of experiencing negative consequences as a result of gambling associated issues such as stress from monetary debts, which may have effect that is negative military readiness,’ the research stated. ‘Furthermore, military and veteran populations are more at risk of drug abuse, psychological health issues, and suicide, each of which are highly co-morbid with issue gambling.

‘There is a need that is clear screen military personnel and veterans for problem gambling,’ it continued. ‘The identification of those at risk of and struggling with problem gambling provides opportunities to intervene, which might reduce steadily the incidence and prevalence of problem gambling, aswell as alleviate associated negative impacts to general public wellness.’

The research concluded that issue gambling is associated with increased risk-taking and overconfidence, while combat experiences, including experience of violent combat, killing somebody, and experiencing high levels of trauma, predicated a greater risk-taking propensity on return from implementation.

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