Gaming and gambling regulations can be an intricate web. State regulators must navigate various issues pertaining to sponsorship regulations and social responsibility measures, as well as monitoring online betting platforms to ensure players don’t engage in fraudulence or problem gambling activities.
However, many states have not been particularly active in enforcing these laws due to a potential conflict with the Dormant Commerce Clause doctrine – which holds that federal rather than state law applies when commerce occurs outside a state’s boundaries.
Video gaming is rapidly advancing, and gambling and video games have become inextricably linked. This poses particular problems for young people and children as the lines between gambling and entertainment become blurred. Many video games require a minimum age requirement of 18 years yet still feature elements of gambling such as an opportunity to win money or extra features like faster advancement.
As states legalize sports betting and other forms of gambling, tax practitioners are likely to see an upsurge in client inquiries regarding how best to report their winnings. According to IRS guidelines, any money or fair market value prizes you earn through activities involving chance must be reported as gambling income on your tax return; you can prove it by keeping casino credit statements, winning tickets and unredeemed ticket receipts as evidence of this income.
However, there are exceptions. The IRS has determined that U.S. citizens can measure gambling losses/gains on a session basis rather than bet-by-bet basis; nonresident aliens must report all their gambling winnings as income for taxation purposes. Given how deeply cut tax law cuts were to EITC and other key programs for working families under 2017 tax reform laws, policymakers need to rewrite our tax code in order to generate enough revenue and continue funding vital services such as EITC.
State and federal gambling regulations vary greatly. Certain forms are banned entirely, while in others certain locations or types may occur based on legislation; regulations also set minimum gambling ages such as in New Jersey where 21 is the minimum gambling age while 18 can purchase lottery tickets or bet on horse races.
Gaming and gambling enforcement require training that encompasses an array of technical, professional, and academic specializations. States typically rely on federally trained personnel for investigations and enforcement activities; they also train their own agents. Most jurisdictions mandate casinos and online/mobile operators implement self-exclusion programs and impose other responsible gaming provisions, such as training requirements for gaming employees on-floor. Such measures help prevent gambling addiction and related problems – some laws even set aside part of gaming revenues for treatment/research efforts.