Biggest News for Horseplayers & Bettors in Decades

Treasury/IRS Issue Updates Tax Rules

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today announced that they will formally adopt modernized regulations regarding the withholding and reporting of pari-mutuel proceeds. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association(NTRA) has long pressed for these updated regulations that will allow horseplayers to keep more of their winnings, thereby increasing the amount wagered on U.S. pari-mutuel racing by as much as 10 percent annually, or upwards of $1 billion, according to independent estimates. The new rules were posted late Monday afternoon as a Public Inspection Document. They are scheduled to be officially published in Wednesday’s edition of the Federal Register and will go into full effect by no later than Nov. 14, giving racing associations, totalisator companies, and advance deposit wagering (ADW) operators up to 45 days to implement these important changes; however, some may elect to start as soon as Thursday.

Washington DC“These landmark U.S. Treasury regulations will have an enormously positive impact on horseplayers, the racing industry, and the federal government,” said NTRA President & CEO Alex Waldrop. “I am extremely proud of the NTRA’s legislative team for spearheading this effort, which will prove to be among the most meaningful regulatory advances made by our industry in decades. The results of this much-needed measure will be horseplayers keeping more of their winnings, racetracks generating more pari-mutuel handle, and government collecting additional tax revenue. This is a sure bet where everyone wins!”

Added Waldrop: “This day would never have come without the persistence of Thoroughbred racing’s friends in Congress, especially Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, Rep. Pat Meehan of Pennsylvania, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and our many bipartisan supporters on Capitol Hill. We also are indebted to the industry stakeholders and thousands of customers of Thoroughbred racing who signed our petition or submitted public comments in favor of these changes.”

Under the new regulations, the IRS will consider the inclusion of a bettor’s entire investment in a single pari-mutuel pool when determining the amount reported or withheld for tax purposes, as opposed to only the amount wagered on the correct result.

For example, the amount wagered by a Pick Six player who hits with one of 140 combinations on a $1-minimum wager now will be $140, which is the total amount bet into the Pick Six pool. This more accurate calculation will remove the significant reporting and withholding obligations on horseplayers and the unnecessary paperwork for the IRS that was a result of the prior rule that used only the $1 bet on the single winning combination as the amount wagered.

Chris Larmey

“This is a major victory for all pari-mutuel wagering customers,” said Judy Wagner, the Horseplayers’ Representative on the NTRA Board of Directors and winner of the 2001 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). “It would not have occurred without the leadership of the NTRA and the support of thousands of horseplayers who actively participated in the process to modernize these regulations.”

In 2015 longtime horseplayers Judy Wagner and Chris Larmey traveled to Washington D.C. to discuss this vital issue with the Treasury Department.

The amended regulations, advocated by the NTRA and its legislative team, define the “amount of the wager” to include the entire amount wagered into a specific pari-mutuel pool by an individual – not just the winning base unit as is the case today – so long as all wagers made into a specific pool by an individual are made on a single totalisator ticket if the wager is placed onsite. The modernized regulations will have the same positive results for ADW customers and will not impact how those wagers are currently made.

View the full text of the new rule under section 3402(q) of the Internal Revenue Code here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2017-20720.pdf.

The NTRA has pushed for the modernization of pari-mutuel withholding and reporting rules for several years. As more and more pari-mutuel wagering was directed toward exotic wagering pools it become clear that the tax rules were becoming an increasing and unfair burden on horseplayers as those outdated rules significantly increased the incidence of winning tickets subject to withholding and reporting. These new rules are the product of all the work the NTRA, and other industry stakeholders, undertook with Congressional representatives and Treasury and IRS officials.

“This represents a great triumph by the entire NTRA legislative team, including the bipartisan Horse PAC, which played an instrumental role in the passage of these regulations that will benefit all segments of the industry,” said Horse PAC chairman William S. (Bill) Farish. “We thank the hundreds of individual stakeholders who contribute to Horse PAC; they played a major role in today’s victory.”

Waldrop noted that the NTRA has been working behind the scenes since January with industry groups – including totalisator companies, ADWs, and racing organizations – to ensure a smooth implementation for customers.

“For the industry to fully realize the benefits of modernized regulations for pari-mutuel withholding and reporting it is essential that we deliver a seamless transition to our customers,” he said. “We are optimistic that the industry will be fully prepared to institute these landmark changes by no later than November 14.”

Congratulations to all horseplayers nationwide!

New Federal Legislation Defining Games Of Chance Also Seeks To Abolish The IRS

New Federal Legislation Defining Games Of Chance Also Seeks To Abolish The IRS

CardPlayer.com Poker is widely considered a game of skill , and a federal court found that to be the case in 2012. Moran’s legislation is apparently separate from forthcoming sports betting legislation from New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, a Democrat.

Source: New Federal Legislation Defining Games Of Chance Also Seeks To Abolish The IRS

Easy Way for Bettors to Contact the United States Treasury Department

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that a system has been established at https://www.ntra.com/comment for individuals to submit an e-mail comment directly to the United States Treasury Department in support of newly proposed regulations related to withholding and reporting of pari-mutuel winnings.

Washington DC The proposed regulations, which would replace outdated regulations adopted nearly 40 years ago, more accurately reflect today’s pari-mutuel wagering environment and will positively impact a significant percentage of winning wagers, particularly those involving multi-horse or multi-race exotic wagers. It is believed that the proposed changes will result in tens of millions of dollars in additional pari-mutuel wagering annually. If adopted, the new regulations will not only  promote greater compliance and more accurate reporting and withholding by taxpayers but also reduce burdensome and needless paperwork system-wide.

Efforts spearheaded by the NTRA on behalf of the industry over the past two and a half years came to fruition on December 30 when Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed guidelines designed to modernize withholding and reporting regulations. The 31-page Treasury document, “Withholding on Payments of Certain Gambling Winnings,” clarifies the phrase “the amount of the wager” to include the entire amount wagered into a specific pari-mutuel pool by an individual–not just the winning base unit as is the case today.

In the NTRA’s official response to Treasury on behalf of the industry, submitted Wednesday, NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop thanked the Treasury and IRS for recognizing the need to modernize regulations related to the withholding and reporting of pari-mutuel winnings and noted that the newly proposed regulations sufficiently address the industry’s concerns. Waldrop asked the Treasury and IRS to enact the new regulations as quickly as possible following a 90-day comment period that concludes on March 30.

This will positively impact a significant percentage of winning wagers, particularly those involving multi-horse or multi-race exotic wagers.

“With horseracing’s all-important Triple Crown season fast approaching, the NTRA urges Treasury and the Service to adopt the proposed regulations as final regulations as soon as it is administratively feasible. Horseplayers, tracks and other industry stakeholders, including governments, are eager to begin reaping the benefits that will result from these updated withholding and reporting rules,” Waldrop said.

The public comment system at NTRA.com/comment provides each person with a clear, consistent message asking the Treasury to adopt the proposed regulations and urging prompt action.

“A unified message of support is critical as the industry urges Treasury and the IRS to finalize the proposed regulations,” Waldrop added. “We ask all who participate in the horse racing industry to submit a comment to Treasury and the IRS using the NTRA system so that we can send the message loud and clear that all of horse racing supports these changes.”

Appropriations Bill Encouraging Modernization of Pari-Mutuel Tax Rules Passed by House

House Passes Appropriations Bill Encouraging Modernization of Pari-Mutuel Tax Rules – NTRA

Larmey_congrats655x330  Editor’s Note: We’d like to give a shout out to our friends Judy Wagner and Chris Larmey who were extremely instrumental in pitching the case for horseplayers to the representatives in Washington D.C. last year.

July, 2016

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the fiscal year 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill Thursday evening that includes report language detailing Committee on Appropriations instructions for the U.S. Treasury to “expedite final consideration of the guidance which would modernize the rules governing pari-mutuel wagering.”

The bill (HR 5485) provides $21.7 billion in annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other related agencies. A companion bill in the Senate containing identical “Guidelines for Pari-mutuel Winnings” has been passed out of committee and now awaits passage by the full Senate.

Language in the House Appropriations Committee Report reads:

Guidelines for Pari-mutuel Winnings.—The Committee appreciates the Department of the Treasury’s proposed rule (REG– 132253–11) published on March 4, 2015, along with the associated public hearing held on June 17, 2015. The Committee encourages the Treasury to expedite final consideration of the guidance which would modernize the rules governing pari-mutuel wagering. 

“The House [has] passed a bill that prioritizes funding where it will be best used, and makes policy reforms that improve efficiency and accountability and rein in executive overreach,” House Appropriations Chairman and U.S. Representative Hal Rogers (KY) said.

Recent actions by the House and Senate are the latest in a concerted, industry-wide effort to modernize regulations relating to pari-mutuel winnings. Updates proposed by the NTRA would clarify regulations by redefining the “amount of the wager” to include all of a bettor’s investment into a single pari-mutuel pool, and not simply the base amount of the winning combination. The effort has received support from Members of Congress as well as all segments of the horse racing industry, including customers, who last year submitted nearly 12,000 comments to the Treasury and IRS in support of the proposed change.

“Modernization of tax regulations relating to pari-mutuel winnings is a top priority of the NTRA in Washington,” NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop said. “We appreciate the fact that the House recognizes the need to modernize pari-mutuel tax regulations that are outdated and burdensome. It is time for the Treasury to act.”

Horseplayers, Support the Change for Pari-Mutuel Tax Withholdings

Washington DC smallWe all need to join the fight in D.C. to get the tax code to reflect today’s wagering and not outdated wagering limits from many decades ago.  Only in Washington would it make sense that a $608 score on a wager that cost $540 would get taxed the full amount!  Needless to say, it’s time for this archaic code to be changed in favor of horseplayers!

Use this form to send your message directly to policymakers in Washington, D.C.   Let them know that you want modernization of the tax regulations relating to withholding and reporting of winning pari-mutuel wagers because the current method is unfair and outdated.

 

With regard to pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, I am writing in response to the invitation by the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for comments on amending the regulations under Treas. Reg. sec. 31.3402(q)-1.

Treas. Reg. section 31.3402(q)-1 needs to be modernized to ensure that both withholding and reporting of winnings from pari-mutuel wagering accurately and fairly reflect the realities of wagering today.

I respectfully request that the Treasury and the IRS amend Treas. Reg. sec. 31.3402(q)-1 to make it clear that the definition of the “amount of the wager” includes the total amount wagered by a bettor into a specific pari-mutuel pool for purposes of determining whether any wagering proceeds paid to the bettor from that pari-mutuel pool are subject to withholding and reporting.

I appreciate this opportunity to comment on Treas. Reg. sec. 31.3402(q)-1 in connection with the proposed regulation project (REG-132253-11).

Sincerely,