Gambling practices around the world
Money is a tool people use to get the things they want; and people want to make more money so they can buy more things or do more things.
It’s the excitement that has made gaming so popular across the world. The only issue is that some countries have stricter laws than others. These governments don’t smile as kindly on gambling and try to protect their citizens from the issues that gambling, in the eyes of the authorities, may trigger. Below is a look at some of the countries in which gaming is most popular and how these countries collect their revenue from gaming and other forms of gaming.
The British have a very liberal attitude to gaming and it’s possible to bet on just about anything in the country, from whether Kate Winslet would cry in her acceptance speech at the Oscars to the result of political elections. In one crazy bet and in an effort to sidestep a potential inheritance tax on his estate, one punter bet that he’d be dead by the end of the year. The bookmaker won the bet.
The UK is a big fan of playing the National Lottery and of buying scratch cards, but also has a major passion for sports betting, especially for betting on horse racing. In the last few years, casino gaming has really come into its own in the UK. This is especially the case of virtual versions of old favourites like online blackjack, which gives players the opportunity to play regardless of how busy they might be.
Fans of gaming enjoy a lot of freedom when it comes to taxation on winnings. In fact, they don’t pay any tax on their winnings, regardless of whether they’re playing online or playing live in a brick-and-mortar casino. Instead, the government tax operators on their profits. Online operators pay a 15% duty.
Australia is renowned for its love of gaming and, unfortunately for those who love a flutter, the Australian government has stepped in and imposed restrictions on online casino gaming. Australians can still play slot machines and lay wagers online on political events, however. Slot machines, or “pokies” as the nation refers to slot machines, are still one of the preferred forms of gaming in Australia. At least half of these machines are thought to be located in New South Wales.
Although Australia’s government may be trying to curb its citizens’ love of gaming, the revenue gaming activities generate are good news for the State. According to statistics reported on the website of consumer and market data company Statista, the Australian government raked in nearly 6.6 billion Australian dollars in the financial year 2019. Statista also reports that since financial year 2010, the annual revenue from gaming in Australia has increased by more than 1.5 billion dollars. The government distributes funds from gaming taxes, levies and voluntary contributions from the industry via state-wide funding and benefit schemes to assist the community.
The United States is another nation of which the government has frowned somewhat upon gaming, but the nation has proved itself to be one that likes a flutter.
The important ruling on sports betting by the Supreme Court enabled states to decide for themselves whether to legalise sports betting. Now the different states are in various stages of legalising sports betting, from maintaining the ban on sports betting through to having implemented laws and allowed operators to start offering their services. Since legalisation in 2018, American citizens have spent more than $125 billion on sports betting at legal outlets.
Unlike in the UK, the US tax authorities have no qualms about getting their cut of the player’s gains. Whether the winnings are from casinos, horse races, the lottery, playing at gameshows or other prize money, you must pay tax on it. If you win over a certain amount, the operator will deduct 24% from your winnings in the form of taxation, transfer it to the IRS and provide you with a copy of IRS form W-G2 to record the deduction.
When preparing your tax declaration, you must declare your winnings and the amount of tax you’ve already paid on them. Note that the amount deducted is only an approximate amount. You may have to pay more in tax or less.
Gaming is a highly popular activity throughout the world, even though the governments of some countries may not smile as kindly on as it others do. The UK is one country that allows players to enjoy major freedom in both what they gamble on and the amount of tax they pay, whereas Australia and the USA are a little more restrictive. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the citizens of these nations from displaying their appetite for it.