BOISE, Idaho (AP) – A northern Idaho lawmaker is off to the races after proposing new legislation that would limit Idaho’s lucrative slot-like machines known as instant horse racing terminals. Republican Sen. Bob Nonini of Coeur d’Alene is looking to limit instant racing to just three locations in Idaho – Les Bois Park in Boise, Greyhound… [Read more…]
February 9, 2015 by Leave a Comment
June 4, 2014 by Leave a Comment
NTRA, KEY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS PUSH TO CLARIFY REGULATIONS REGARDING TAX REPORTING AND WITHHOLDING FOR PARI-MUTUEL CUSTOMERS
NEW YORK CITY (Tuesday, June 3, 2014) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today released a copy of a bipartisan letter from key members of Congress asking the Department of Treasury to clarify regulations regarding the way pari-mutuel winnings are calculated for tax purposes.
The NTRA is also calling on horse racing industry participants and customers to express their support of the effort by signing a Change.org petition available here: http://chn.ge/RXZ6DW.
The letter to the Secretary of the Department of Treasury was co-authored by Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) and co-signed by more than a dozen other congressmen.
The request for clarification urges the inclusion of a bettor’s entire investment in a single pari-mutuel pool to determine the amount reported or withheld for tax purposes, as opposed to only the amount wagered on the correct result. This issue typically arises in the context of increasingly popular exotic wagers.
For example, under the proposed clarification, the amount wagered by a Pick 6 player who hits with one of 140 combinations on a $1-minimum wager would be $140, which is the total amount bet into the Pick 6 pool. Currently the amount wagered is calculated using only the $1 bet on the single winning combination. By understating the amount wagered in this manner, the Internal Revenue Service is erroneously imposing significant additional reporting and withholding obligations on horseplayers. The clarification would directly benefit pari-mutuel customers by reducing burdensome tax obligations and allowing them to retain more of their winnings, some of which will likely be reinvested through increased handle.
The proposal also aims to lessen racing’s competitive disadvantage against other forms of gaming that have never been subject to such an aggressive tax ruling.
“Under an archaic IRS ruling currently in place, players’ winnings are being erroneously reported or withheld without regard for how much they actually wagered,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. “If granted, the clarification will allow horseplayers to keep more of their winnings, reduce the administrative burden on tracks and ADWs and ultimately generate more revenue for tracks, horsemen and government.
“We applaud congressmen Boustany, Yarmuth and others for their leadership and their awareness of the significant economic contributions that horse racing and breeding make in their states. We look forward to working with them on this important issue.”
Current guidelines regarding the calculation of pari-mutuel winnings for tax purposes are based largely on a 1978 ruling by the IRS that pre-dates the expansion of simulcasting and exotic wagering. However, that ruling, which was issued in response to an inquiry over a “box” wager totaling $6, is in conflict with Treasury regulations stating that wagers in the same pool shall be treated as one bet.
“This ruling appears to ignore the fact that even though the $6 box ticket represented the placing of a $1 bet on each of six different combinations, all of those wagered amounts were part of a single pari-mutuel pool,” the letter states.
Boustany and Yarmuth go on to explain the impact current regulations have on the racing industry:
Statistics show that each pari-mutuel dollar returned to the bettor in the form of winnings is re-bet seven times throughout the course of the day. Tax withholding reduces the amount of re-betting, which not only has an effect on the bettor and the track but also serves to reduce the collection of additional tax revenues that are paid by each racetrack operator on its net revenues. The ultimate adverse impact is a downward economic spiral for the industry with reduced purses, less wagering, less tax and economic benefit to localities and states and job losses at tracks, farms, breeding operations and related entities.
A copy of the full Boustany-Yarmuth letter, which is expected to attract additional signatures from Democrats and Republicans alike, can be accessed here: http://www.ntra.com/media/8717067/Treasury%20Pari-Mutuel%20Ltr.pdf
December 22, 2012 by Leave a Comment
From the NTRA News Desk:
As part of the fiscal cliff negotiations, members of Congress and President Obama have recently proposed capping or otherwise limiting itemized deductions in an effort to raise revenue for the U.S. government. Some horseplayers may be negatively impacted if they are unable to fully deduct pari-mutuel wagering losses as itemized deductions.
Under current tax law, winnings from pari-mutuel wagering are fully taxable and must be reported on the taxpayer’s federal tax return. For most horseplayers, losses from pari-mutuel wagering in any tax year are only deductible as a miscellaneous itemized deduction and only up to the amount of their winnings in the same tax year. This is already a very burdensome requirement for horseplayers.
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) recently proposed a $50,000 maximum on total itemized deductions. Other proposals include limiting itemized deductions to a value of no more than a tax rate of 28 percent. Any of these proposals could be harmful to horseplayers unless all wagering losses are eligible to be deducted against winnings.
Congress has excluded gambling losses from past limitations on itemized deductions. The NTRA is working to ensure similar treatment in the current situation.
December 19, 2011 by Leave a Comment
Little Suffolk Downs in Boston, MA is making strides towards turning the racetrack into a much larger complex that includes a full-scale casino.
“We would hope that the strength of having 76 years as a responsible participant in the gambling business would be a factor in our favor,’’ said Chip Tuttle, COO of Suffolk Downs.
Tuttle conceded that even with modest improvements, racing is still fighting for survival, not only in New England, but nationally.
September 8, 2011 by Leave a Comment
Legislative leaders in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts released a new bill this month to license three destination resort casinos, including one in Southeastern Massachusetts for a Native American tribe, and a single, competitively bid slot machine parlor license.
Mr. Patrick, who first called for three casinos in 2007, last year rejected a bill because it included two racetrack slot parlors. The governor recently offered a compromise, saying he would go along with a bill with three destination resort casinos and one publicly bid slot parlor license.
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said any of the existing tracks could bid for the slot facility that would include up to 1,250 slot machines.
The speaker said the bill, which would divert 9 percent of the revenues from the slot machine facility to a fund to increase horse racing purses, will provide a lifeline to the race tracks at Suffolk Downs and Plainville.
August 14, 2011 by Leave a Comment
“This legislation will protect the domestic horse racing industry, preserving the foundation of many local communities. In the midst of another successful meet at Saratoga, I am proud to introduce this legislation in the United States House of Representatives,” explained Gibson.