07 July 2012

Taxman targets professional punters' winnings

Bet more, yer'get more!
Wagering industry bosses will be gagging on their wheaties this morning reading The Daily Telegraph report that the Australian Tax Office is going after big professional punters, ruling that the huge profits on turnover generated by an exclusive group of punting titans are outside the tax exemptions on gambling winnings. The Tele says "the case could set a precedent for professional gamblers deemed to have a business-like approach to betting." With a reported turnover in 2006 of more than $2 billion dollars, the club, which includes the legendary Zeljko Ranogajec, often dubbed the world's biggest gambler, and arts patron David Walsh, owner of Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art, originally met studying maths at the University of Tasmania. The report says the ATO claims:
"... the professional nature of the group's activities means the usual rule that gambling winnings are tax-exempt do not apply.
The ATO says taxpayers are owed $900 million in unpaid taxes and alleges "the club deliberately destroyed its gambling records and used computer encryption software to make prosecuting the members difficult."

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