Getting in on the action

Poker pros beware – starting next year Uncle Sam will know if luck was a lady for you.

Starting in March, casinos and other sponsors will be required to report players’ poker tournament winnings in excess of $5,000 to the IRS, the agency announced.

From the IRS press release:

Tournament sponsors who comply with this reporting requirement will not need to withhold federal income tax at the end of a tournament. If any tournament sponsor does not report the tournament winnings, the IRS will enforce the reporting requirement and also require the sponsor to pay any tax that should have been withheld from the winner if the withholding requirement had been asserted. The withholding amount is normally 25 percent of any amounts that should have been reported.

Something tells DC Dicta that sponsors would rather report winnings than fork over 25 percent of the players’ booty to the IRS, so poker players should come ready to give their tax ID numbers to the casino starting next year.

Meanwhile, other poker lovers, including former New York Sen. Alphonse D’Amato, are in Washington today to join with the Poker Players Alliance in lobbying to end the federal ban on online gaming for cash, at least for poker play.

D’Amato – who gave up his weekly poker game to come to the nation’s capital, USA Today reports, will tell lawmakers that poker is a game of skill – not chance – and therefore should not be subject to a ban. More here.

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