CALL TO ACTION – Stop IRS CHANGES

I have changed my mind – asserting a woman’s prerogative!

Recently, when asked about the IRS proposal to lower the figure for W-2Gs on slot wins from $1200 to $600, I wrote the following:

Some are suggesting a mass write-in effort by gamblers to protest, but I don’t think there would be enough participation to be influential. More successful will likely be the casinos’ efforts. They hate this idea as much as the players do and their lobbyists are already busy in Washington citing the problems of increased paperwork, irritated customers, and added costs, to name just a few. So I’m going to sit back and quit worrying about what might happen in the future. There’s time enough to deal with any negative tax changes if/when they do happen.

However, I have been receiving emails from the American Gaming Association (AGA) that have convinced me that there needs to be a strong grass-roots protest.  Here is part of the most recent email, with some specific recommendations on how we each can individually effectively join this protest:

We believe it is critical that the IRS hear from American consumers who enjoy the first-class entertainment experience that the U.S. casino industry provides and from the millions of U.S. workers whose job depends on gaming.  With a looming June 2 deadline for public comments regarding the IRS’ potential consideration to lower the slot gaming winnings threshold from $1,200 to $600, it’s imperative that the IRS hears from a wide array of voices about the negative implications that any reduction would have.

Their recommended message:

  • The IRS could soon force casino guests to dramatically increase the level of paperwork, which would severely undermine the customer experience.
  • Specifically, the IRS may consider lowering the tax reporting threshold on slot machines from $1,200 to $600. 
  • Not only has this $1,200 threshold existed since 1977, but when accounting for inflation indexing the threshold should actually be nearly $4,700 today.
  • This potentially burdensome requirement, for taxpayers and for the IRS, would cost states and cities significant tax revenues that pay for vital public services, such as teachers, firefighters and road improvements.
  • Please tell the IRS not to reduce the slot gaming winnings threshold from $1,200 to $600 because it would severely harm the customer experience and reduce state revenues.

Here are ways to spread the word: Continue reading

Posted in Taxes | 4 Comments

A Great Show

Show

A very entertaining show – but such high energy that I came out exhausted just from watching.  Amazing how they can still do it just like they did when they were young.

Donny and Marie do a very personal meet-and-greet after the show.  Since Brad and I have been on Nutrisystem for several months, Continue reading

Posted in Show Review | 2 Comments

SENIOR CASINO PROGRAMS

Most Vegas locals casinos, plus many downtown, have senior days.  Here is a quickie promotional round-up for those of us in our golden years.  This is not a complete list – you should check casino Websites for more.  And I haven’t given many details, since they often change from month to month.  So you need to check individual casino websites often even if you are familiar with the programs.  Almost all senior programs are for ages 50+ and almost all have food discounts.  I have listed some special extra benefits that I thought were more valuable or more unusual. Continue reading

Posted in Senior Promotion | 3 Comments

Join Me at an Unusual Speaking Gig

Tuesday evening, May 12th, I will be speaking at a meeting of the SOUTHERN NEVADA CASINO COLLECTIBLES CLUB in the Founders Room at the downtown El Cortez Casino.  Guests are welcome at both the 7 p.m. meeting and the casino memorabilia trading /selling sessions at 6 p.m. and after the meeting.   Brad and I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting some new ones.  I’ll have some autographed books on hand but I am always happy to sign a well-worn copy you can bring from home!

Valet parking is available and the parking garage for the El Cortez is directly behind the casino with a security guard at the entrance!

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By the way, there’s been some work done here on my blog page –  and you may have noticed the new cleaner look.  So if you have had some technical problems here in the past, signing up for the notification e-mails or making a “Comment,” you might want to see if your problems have been solved.

Posted in Public Appearances, Technical Note | 2 Comments

MAY VEGAS PROMOTIONS

This first weekend in May is predicted to be a monster.  I am not interested in a monster prize fight, but I am concerned about monster traffic jams.  You won’t find us near the Strip.  However, because it is also Derby weekend, it might be worth your time to check out promotions off the Strip.

First, you can make going to Today’s News, right at this site, a regular habit: http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/whatsnews.cfm#20016.  Frequently they report on good up-coming promotions, especially on holidays or other special days.  Also Continue reading

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Interesting Reads

First a warning:  A business associate, with whom I gave an interview in the past, has published an article on a US software provider that he has caught rigging their games.   He said, “It’s actually likely to be all their games, but we caught them on VP.” http://thepogg.com/skybook-cheating-video-poker-amigotechs-software/  I don’t know how many readers here play online but, although I have never done so and don’t know much at all about this particular gambling area, I thought I needed to share this information.

Now for some reads I found interesting. Continue reading

Posted in Good Reads, Online | 4 Comments

When Casinos Cut VP Benefits – Part 4

In the last two parts of this series, I talked about “advantage players” and “skilled players.”  Some may feel that I look down on “recreational” players.  In fact, some of my friends and relatives feel they need to “apologize” when I see them at a slot machine or a video poker game with a really bad paytable.

There is no need for such apologies.  What you play in a casino is no reflection on your character.  As is true in so much in life, understanding and accepting individual differences is the key to being a valuable member of the human race.

That being said, I guess I will never stop feeling that I would like to help recreational gamblers not lose so much money.  I am not judging them; I understand their goal is entertainment, but I want to help them be able to have more fun by showing how to make their bankroll last longer.

The current casino environment that is seeing cuts in all areas is not hitting just the skilled gamblers.  The recreational gamblers are feeling the pain in their pockets too.  But there are many ways players can stretch a casino bankroll, some that take little or no effort or study: Continue reading

Posted in Book Recommendation, Video Poker | 10 Comments

When Casinos Cut VP Benefits – Part 3

Skillful Play

(Scroll back to last month’s blogs if you missed Part 1+2 of this series.)

In Part 2  I talked about how advantage players are coping with casino cuts, and I suggested that some may decide to leave the “Advantage Play” category and move into “Skillful Play.”   They will continue to do the “good” plays whenever they can find them, but will sometimes do the under-100%-EV plays when they still want to enjoy the casino entertainment option.

There are also some advantage players who are not deliberately or consciously moving to this “skilled” category but are gradually slipping into it. Continue reading

Posted in Video Poker | 2 Comments

Happy Tax Day!

tax cartoon

Just a little smile on a day that you may not feel like smiling!

Posted in Taxes | Comments Off on Happy Tax Day!

Last-Minute Tax Help

Yes, I know – you are dreading this weekend – you can’t put off doing your taxes any longer!

Is some of this dread due to puzzling gambling issues?  Should you finally consider filing a Schedule C for your gambling “business”?  Should you take the standard deduction or itemize so you can write off your gambling losses?  What should you do about the 1099 forms you received that are connected to fantasy sports activity or casino tournaments – add them to your W-2G forms?  What about your W-2G’s from another state showing they took out state taxes – any way to get that money back?  Can I use casino win/loss statements to get figures to use on my tax return since I didn’t keep a gaming diary?

I know some of you are struggling with these questions because you are writing to me in private e-mails about them. Continue reading

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