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And be ready to pay tax on your winnings Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Jimmy Garoppolo of the 49ers will lead their teams Sunday, Feb. 2, in Super Bowl LIV. Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Jimmy Garoppolo of the 49ers will lead their teams Sunday, Feb. 2, in Super Bowl LIV. I've been to Las Vegas. I love that city. But I know nothing about betting. My gambling, aside from a half hour or so at a Sin City slot machine years ago, is losing a few bucks on a lottery ticket every time the Powerball... Read more →

I am not a basketball fan. And aside from the occasional lottery ticket purchase, I'm not a big bettor. So I am in the definite minority for the next few weeks. Most of the United States, including Obama and a visiting U.K. dignitary, are following college hoops playoff games. And many of these National Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball fanatics are also betting on the games. Sure, a lot of the money is put into office pools and other casual betting options. But a big chunk of change also is put down at legal betting parlors. Vegas, baby! The Las... Read more →

When the classic board game Monopoly was created during the height of the Great Depression, its streets were named after the thoroughfares of Atlantic City, N.J. The residents of Monopoly City are proud of their game-related fame. In 1972, when the Commissioner of Public Works threatened to change the names of Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues, public outcry in the barrier island resort put an end to that bad idea. Nowadays there are hundreds of Monopoly editions specialized for other cities, as well as tweaked to tie into movies, television shows, sports teams (we own a NASCAR version) and other pieces... Read more →

Austin, so they tell me, is a hot, happening town full of creative folk doing impressive things in cool industries. And one of the biggest sectors, they also tell me, is video games. I have to rely on the word of others when it comes to video games. I'm old enough to remember Pong and the original Super Mario, but I've never been a big gamer. Apparently, I'm missing quite a bit, from entertainment, economic and tax perspectives. The Entertainment Software Association says that the video game industry generates more than $25 billion a year nationally. Texas ranked second nationally... Read more →

Casinos tend to like whales, those big-spending players who are willing to gamble large sums and generally leave a sizable amount at the betting parlors' tables. Well, things didn't work out so well for Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. One lucky blackjack player nearly single-handedly wiped out the Tropicana's April profit. Mark Giannantonio, Tropicana's outgoing chief executive officer, disclosed last week that the lone card player won $5.8 million, but he declined to release the gambler's name. "We ran very unlucky," Giannantonio told the Press of Atlantic City. "We had the single-largest winner in our history. If... Read more →

Nevada bookmakers are Super Bowl losers, too

Not only did the Giants upset the Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl, the New York football players and their betting fans upset the bookies, too. Nevada gambling regulators report that the state's sports betting operations lost a record $2.6 million on Super Bowl XLII. Jay Kornegay, the executive director of the Las Vegas Hilton race and sports book, told the Associated Press that "the anticipated large wagers that we expected on the Patriots just never materialized." The sports book losses took several forms: Some bettors picked the Giants to win outright on the "money line," taking home payouts of up... Read more →

Bet on it: IRS is big Super Bowl loser

Whether you just dropped a couple of bucks into the office Super Bowl pool, are in Vegas watching the game line (and your bank account) change all day, handed money over to a bookie or are bouncing between this blog and your online gambling account, the big money you make today when Da Bears beat the odds and win is taxable. The problem for the IRS, as detailed in this story, is that many people don't realize that Uncle Sam counts gambling winnings as taxable income. And even if they do, they tend to ignore the law. Obviously, it's a... Read more →