But given earlier decisions by federal courts, it was critical that we follow a correct and appropriate path to curtail new court challenges and expensive litigation.
Voters approved the idea of legal sports betting in 2011 and the following year Christie signed a bill allowing the wagering.
“I believe we have found that path in this bipartisan legislative effort,” he added.
The new law allows sports betting at state-licensed casinos and racetracks. But the U.S.
Lesniak believes it is up to the state to determine whether sports gambling can occur and said the wagering will jump-start New Jersey’s sagging gaming revenues.
“How can that be determined when Las Vegas is taking bets already, every single day? The NFL has three games at Wembley Stadium (in London) every year where people are betting right across the street from the stadium.”
(Reporting by Steve Ginsburg; editing by Andrew Hay)
The federal court sided with the leagues, so the state appealed. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, leaving the lower court ban in place.
In a statement Friday after signing the legislation Christie said: “I am a strong proponent of legalized sports wagering in New Jersey. Monmouth Park, a thoroughbred race track in Oceanport, is planning to offer sports betting on Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to placing the first legal bet in the state of New Jersey on a sporting event next Sunday,” Lesniak said.
“If the 2014 Sports Wagering Law is not declared unlawful… the proliferation of state-sponsored and approved sports gambling in Atlantic City casinos and at New Jersey racetracks will cause immediate and irreparable harm” to the sports leagues,” the lawsuit said.
They claimed that the law violates the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 federal ban on state-sponsored sports betting.
“In order to get an injunction, the leagues have to show that they will be irreparably damaged if Monmouth race track starts taking bets on sports sporting events on Sunday,” New Jersey State Sen. states except four.. Raymond Lesniak told Reuters in a telephone interview.
The National Football League and other sports leagues filed a lawsuit on Monday in an attempt to block New Jersey from offering legalized wagering on sporting events.
In calling for the injunction, the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and the NCAA are seeking to block enforcement of a law that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed on Friday, which partially repeals a ban on sports wagering in the state.
But the sports leagues sued, saying it violated a federal ban on the activity in all U.S
Another interesting fact of note is this: Since the NCAA established the Division 1A and 1AA separation in 1978, only 5 Division 1A schools have not played a Division 1AA school: Washington, Southern California, UCLA, Michigan State and Notre Dame. Three 1AA conferences are then rated above the last 1A conference–the Sun Belt–at 58.26.
Sometimes a 1AA school can beat a 1A school (like Appalachian State beating Michigan at home 34-32), not because they are necessarily better but because the 1A school did not take them seriously.
Even Jeff Sagarin in his Sagarin Ratings lists the SEC as the top conference with a central mean (that is Sagarin math talk) of 79.89 with the Pacific 10–better known as the Pac 10–second at 79.19. 5, so 3 of Top 5 teams in strength of schedule are from the Pac 10.
The “tough” SEC played exactly 10 Division 1AA opponents this season, more than any other conference in the country. By comparison, the Big 12 played 10, the ACC and Big Ten played 7 games, the Big East 6, and the Pac 10 only 2.
Sagarin rates all of the 242 individual 1A and 1AA teams and then combines them among conferences to arrive at these figures.
There is so much buzz and hype about the Southeast Conference–better known as the SEC–you would think there are no other NCAA football conferences that can compare.
Knowing that the SEC is legion for scheduling Division 1AA teams in its non-conference schedule, I suspect that the SEC’s strength of schedule (the quality of its opponents) may not be as strong. 3, California No. 4 and Colorado No. Again 3 of the 5 teams come from the Pac 10.
I read other factors into his mathematical formula for deciding which conference is the toughest (best) conference.
If you are wondering, the team that has played the toughest schedule during the first 12 weeks of the 2007 college football season is the Washington Huskies, and that is why they are ranked No. The SEC already has 7 of its 12 teams with 7 or more wins and bowl eligible by NCCA standards, and now you know one of the reasons why.
It is the same reason why Hawaii is unbeaten at 10-0, having defeated two 1AA schools in fattening up its impressive win record while racking up the 153rd toughest schedule against the other 119 Division 1A schools.
For the record, Nebraska is No. 1 among the 242 Division 1A and 1AA schools.
Ranked 11th among Division 1A conferences is Conference USA at 58.88. Who plays the tougher schedule between the top two dogs? It is easily the Pac 10.. 2, Stanford No. On a scale of 100 the difference is 70/100ths of 1, or close enough to not make a difference in my mind.
When I add up the strength of schedule for the 12 SEC teams I get an average of 30 compared to an average strength of schedule of 14 for the Pac 10. Turns out that I am right.
Please, do not give me this garbage about the SEC playing the toughest schedule
Note that these records are for sides only and do not include totals.
The NFL sports betting is generally considered the toughest sport to beat, yet blindly following this method produced an exceptional 59.2 percent win rate last season, improving the two year record to 328-249-12, 56.8 percent, +59.06 units. This would make Miami +6 the RLM play.
So what causes RLM when the aim of most sportsbooks is to get as close to balanced action on both sides as possible? The answer to this is quite simple: the sharp bettors; the one’s who give sports betting advice. Carib ruled the roost season at 93-66-9, 58.5 percent, +18.55 units after ABC held the penthouse spot in the 2007-08 season.. Quite a few RLM followers watch the moves until almost game time, and then bet accordingly. Furthermore, they list the RLM records for many individual sportsbook, making it easy to spot which books this system is working at and which books it may be best to ignore.
Now do the sharps win every single time? Absolutely not! However, they are right more often than they are wrong, so being on the same side as the sharps is a prudent strategy over the long run, and again, the best thing is that there in absolutely no conventional sports handicapping necessary..
By: Manny G
The proper way to make a sports bet using reverse line movement is to place your bet as soon as there is an RLM of one full point (or 10 cents in MLB and NHL) off of the opening line. Another important recommendation is to use a slow moving (but reliable) sportsbook. Last year was a good RLM season for NFL sports betting (45-29, 60.8 percent, +11.91), but two sportsbooks that were in the top five in NFL RLM in both seasons.
NBA sports betting has the lowest two-year five-book RLM winning percentage among the 11/10 sports, but then again, every gambler in the world would kill to go 382-301-9, 55.9 percent, +48.90 units, and the 57.5 percent win rate this past season is nothing to sneeze at. Keep a close eye on Canbet here, as that Australian sportsbook cracked the top five both years.
Thus, following reverse line movements is the same thing a following the smart money. It should be noted that many fewer MLB games have qualified so far this season (is the whole world using RLM now?), but smaller profits is still profit.Again, these records are for Money Lines only and do not include totals.Finally, NHL sports betting has picked up 148.49 units in two years, and unlike MLB, NHL had four sportsbooks out of the top five gain double-digit units this past season. However, instead of the line rising as you might expect, it instead drops to Chargers -6. This is where an important word of caution is in order though. The huge problem with this is that the nfl line, ncaaf line or nhl line may have moved too much by that time, and all of the value has been sucked out of the unpopular side.
To back this up, our friends over at Prosportsonline.net have tracked the records for games where over 60 percent of the public has been on one side, yet there was reverse line movement of at least one full point from the opening number at the top sportsbooks in NFL, NCAAF, NBA and NCAAB. Keep in mind that NCAAB was the most liquid sport in terms of top-five sportbooks however, with not a single sportsbook making the top five both years. This may enable you to get the stale more favorable sports betting line at the time the reverse line movement hits at the triggering Sportsbook. Keep an eyes on the top five sportsbooks at Sports Insights though, as NCAAF sports betting has been very liquid in that regard, with only one sportsbook (believe it or not, Bodog) finishing in the top five both years.
So what we recommend is to only use the top five each season for each individual sport (in terms of units won). The records quoted below are based on the bets being made at the triggering books, so beating the move by a half-point or a few cents now and then would actually make your record even better.
College Basketball sports betting was not too shabby either, with a two-year mark of 492-356-22, 58.0 percent, +91.96 units.
Also, games where over 60 percent of the public are on one side, yet there is reverse line movement of at least 10 cents on the Money Line from the opening number at the top five sportsbooks in MLB and NHL sports betting has also been profitable. RLM takes place when more money/ sportsbook picks are bet by the small percentage of bettors that are on the unpopular side (the sharps) than is bet by the huge majority of players betting the popular side (the squares). To illustrate, let us say that San Diego Chargers open at -7 over the Miami Dolohins, and over 70 percent of the sports bets placed on the game are on San Diego.
So what exactly is reverse line movement? RLM takes place when a large majority of bets are on one team, yet the line moves in the opposite direction. Sure, using this approach leaves open the possibility of the line turning around and moving back against you, but as you will see in bit, betting as soon as an RLM qualifies has been profitable in every major North American sport such as the last two seasons, so if one line turns around, so be it. All of this will be fun to follow (not to mention profitable) when every sport except baseball are going on simultaneously during the winter months.
The highest two-year winning percentage using RLM from the top five books belongs to College Football, which went 480-341-10, 58.5 percent, +95.10 units. We tracked the top five books for each of the pointspread sports for the last two years, as as you can see, this strategy has been profitable in every sport
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The early players were not armored-up like today-a uniform devised by the Princeton player L.P. In both these games, the field was considerably larger than it is today, each team was made up of 25 players, and there were no officials to referee the games.
Shortly thereafter, in 1870, a match was held between Columbia University and Rutgers College, and the sport soon spread to other colleges. The forward pass was introduced, and mass momentum plays like the flying wedge tackle were banned. The popularity of college football continued to grow, and was eclipsed only by the sheer brutality of the game. The game took place on College Field, which is now the site of Rutgers University’s College Avenue Gymnasium. There have also been many short-lived bowl games like the Oil Bowl, the Salad Bowl, the Cigar Bowl, the Delta Bowl, the Harbor Bowl, and the Raisin Bowl, to mention some.
College teams are ranked in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) and the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as I-AA). The idea of the Rose Bowl was adapted all around the country, and gave rise to other events like the Sugar Bowl, the Orange Bowl, and the Fiesta Bowl. A week later, another game was held on the Princeton home grounds, and this time, Princeton won 8-0. The term ‘bowl’ came about from the shape of the Pasadena Stadium in California, where the first ever bowl game, the Rose Bowl, was played in 1902 between Michigan and Stanford. Smock (yes, that was really his name), some padding and a thick head with a full hair thatch, was all the protection the players had in the rough and tumble of the game. The playing rules for all the divisions are decided by the NCAA. Michigan won 49-0, a lopsided score, which freaked out the organizers into thinking that fans wouldn’t show up for another football match the following year. A team must win six games in the season to qualify for playing in a bowl game. In response to this, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was established, and they issued new rules intended to make the game less deadly. These four bowls are the main staple of the BCS championship series, but there are also other bowl games like the Gator Bowl, the Florida Citrus Bowl, and the Alamo Bowl. So, they held a chariot race instead, trying out amateurs first and then professionals, and failing miserably to please the audiences with both. So, it was back to football then. The bowl game they then get to play in depends upon what their conference ranking is. These games continued to thrive and retained a strong fan following even after the formation of the National Football League (NFL).
After playing a series of bowl games, the annual national champion is decided by a vote of non-playing sport authorities, like sports writers and commentators.
Then of course, Mr. This game took place on 6 November, 1869, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, between Rutgers College (now known as Rutgers University) and the College of New Jersey (now called Princeton University). A game between Tufts University and Harvard, played on 4 June, 1875, bore some resemblance to its modern-day counterpart, with each team having eleven players, the players being allowed to run carrying the ball and tackle each other, and the ball itself being egg-shaped rather than spherical.. Another NCAA rule is that the players don’t receive salaries for playing; many, however, receive college scholarships and grants.
Before Camp arrived on the scene, football was played with rugby style rules, and it should be noted that the first intercollegiate football game in the USA was played in this style two whole years before an official codified rugby game was played in England. Post-season games are known as college football bowls. Rutgers won this game 6-4. Serious injuries and even deaths were not unknown, and this led to a public outcry against the game, with some colleges temporarily banning the game, and President Theodore Roosevelt threatening a more permanent ban.
The games usually begin towards August end, a few weeks before the NFL games start, and continue through December to the beginning of February. Camp came along and made the game more like it is now
And this isn’t the first time that allegations of underaged gymnasts have plagued the Chinese team. Ten years after the 2000 Games, the International Olympic Committee stripped that Chinese Team of its bronze medal, after uncovering evidence that star gymnast Dong Fangxiao was only 14 when she competed.
So, if a gymnast looks like she couldn’t possibly be 16, there’s a good chance she isn’t yet.
Though He Kexin’s passport officially says that she was 16 at the time of the 2008 Olympic Games, Chinese media reported that she and other teammates may have actually been as young as fourteen at the time.
However, questions were later raised about her potentially being too young to compete.
He Kexin of China poses after winning one of two gold medals in the women’s uneven bars at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
If you are going to go with a favorite, it is best to place your bet early in the week when the sharps are laying heavy money on the points. “The key to proper money management is to be sure not to bet more than you can afford to lose.”
“In an average season, fewer than one bettor in twelve turns a profit,” Gordon says. “He is not jaded by teams and does not bet with his heart. Bet at the Right Time – “The sharp bettors tend to bet underdogs, and they tend to bet them early,” Moseman says. “Squares usually bet later in the week and they tend to pick the favorites. “As for me, the best bet in football is betting the point spread or over/under totals on individual games. Avoid Exotic Bets – “For very skilled handicappers, with a proven track record, there can, at least in theory, be value in betting parlays,” says Gordon on the type of bet that combines two or more individual wagers. Big underdogs often find ways to cover the spread and they rarely give up toward the end of a game in front of the home crowd.”
2. If North Texas is his best bet on a Saturday then that is his bet.
Newspapers and popular sports sites routinely publish the lines or point spreads for games, and football insiders offer their picks to viewers each week on ESPN and other cable networks. There are almost an infinite number of scenarios that can happen in a single football game. Thanks to the juice, the only one who profits in this scenario is the bookmaker. These books change their numbers according to the betting patterns of their customers, so it is not entirely uncommon to find two or three point differences in the lines.”
Michael Konik, a sports writer and best-selling author of The Smart Money (Simon & Schuster 2006), explains why it is so hard for the recreational gambler to win at betting on football. There is a wealth of information on the Internet; it is just up to you to find it and research it daily.”
So, is it possible for the average square to become a little sharper in making football bets this season? According to professionals like Vacarro, Konik and Gordon, amateur bettors have the best chance to win if they demonstrate a little patience and follow the 10 basic tips below. “If you become an expert on a smaller conference like the WAC, you have a good chance to beat the house because sports book operators do not have the time or resources to follow this conference the way you can. To be a successful sports bettor you need to operate with a clear mind.”
Although exact figures are impossible to calculate, according to Jimmy Vaccaro, widely considered to be Las Vegas’ most influential bookmaker, Americans probably wager more than $50 billion a year on NFL and college football combined. Oakland comes to mind) seem like the Super Bowl. “Teams play inspired ball at home. Drinking and Gambling Don’t Mix – “There is a reason the casinos in Las Vegas supply you with free drinks while you are gambling,” Moseman says. Locks Don’t Exist – “Anyone who has watched sports for about a month realizes that the difference between winning and losing, especially against the spread, can be infinitesimally small,” Gordon says. They use powerful computers that can process millions of bits of data and produce a more accurate point-spread line than the bookmakers.”
But that doesn’t mean you have to bet like a “square” and throw away your hard-earned money.
9. Not all games work according to this formula, but it is usually a good rule of thumb.”
Ted Sevransky, a well-known Las Vegas gambler and sports consultant with Sportsmemo.com, agrees.
4. Shop For Numbers – “Another important aspect of betting on football is shopping for the best number,” Moseman explains. “If you listen to their advice, you are sure to lose. On college you will be able to find different lines at different sports books. “In the NFL, a game will often be totally turned around by one or two plays, or even a single penalty. So underdogs tend to be slightly undervalued – except by the sharps.”
So, how much should you bet a game?
“The bookies fear and despise a tiny coterie of professional bettors known as ‘the sharps,'” Konik says. “Thus, the bookies love and cherish the squares.”
However, Konik adds that there are some bettors who actually know how to beat the bookies. “For example, if you have a $1,000 bankroll for the season, you should generally bet no more than $50 a game.”
But even though the math says it’s virtually impossible to win on a consistent basis, Americans continue to bet on football. Slim underdogs regularly win outright. The only locks that exist are those that need keys to open them.”
“Most people with an understanding of football gambling bet between 3 percent and 5 percent of their bankroll, increasing when they win and reducing when they lose,” Vaccaro says.
3. “The sharps are usually members of a betting syndicate privy to the most up-to-date information on injuries, weather, game plans, and, most important, the real power of the teams involved.
And remember, in the immortal words of “Fast” Eddie Felson, “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”
“A square or recreational player might have a vague plan, but after two Corona’s he will definitely run to the window and make a hasty decision on the USC-Notre Dame game because he wants to be involved in the party atmosphere,” Vaccaro says. “There will be more discrepancy in the numbers at different sports books. If you like an underdog, it is best to get your bet in as late as possible, where there is heavy action from squares on favorites.
Betting on football games; whether it’s through a local bookie, an offshore Internet site or a Nevada casino (still the only legal place in America to make football bets), most of us have done it or know of someone who has. “Over the course of several seasons, the percentage of bettors who turn a profit is minuscule.”
And where does all that money go?
While these tips don’t guarantee you’re going to win, hopefully they can make you a little less square and a little more sharp in your picks this season. Otherwise, you’re better off doing your own research.”
Certainly not back into the pockets of the average bettor.
“The talking heads on TV know nothing about sports betting,” says Sevransky. “Common wisdom says that over the course of a long football season the average man or woman will pick approximately 50 percent winners. The NFL, for example, will have very similar numbers at most of the betting shops you visit. Also, being “in action” can make a dull late-afternoon game (Buffalo vs.
Another difference between squares and sharps is how they approach betting on game day.
“The standard bet requires gamblers to lay $11 for every $10 they want to win with the extra $1 or 10 percent known as the juice,” Konik says.
“A square is the average, unsophisticated gambler whose decision making is based on hunches, media manipulation, or spurious systems that cannot overcome the bookmaker’s inherent mathematical advantage,” Konik explains. Focus on Conferences – “The best way to win money betting football is to develop a niche and follow it closely,” Moseman advises. “Because alcohol clouds your judgment and usually helps you to make rash decisions you usually wouldn’t otherwise make. “When you’re in a good rhythm and winning, you want to increase your bets. The payout is just the same as far as he is concerned.
“The biggest mistake that amateur bettors make is they increase their bets when they are losing,” Sevransky says. The only touts bettors should consider are the ones who talk about the long haul and realistic winning percentages, which are in the upper 50 percent to lower 60 percent range.”
5. Consider Underdogs – “In the long-run, it’s easier to win betting on the underdog,” Konik says. He is not taken in by being involved in USC-Notre Dame just because it is the biggest watched game of the day.
“A sharp or smart has a plan of what he wants to do,” says Vaccaro, the director of sports operations and public relations at Lucky’s Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas. “In trying to bamboozle potential customers, many services make claims about having scouts all over the country that give them inside information and promise 70 or even 80 percent winners, as if the bookmakers were the biggest suckers in the world. Avoid Chasing Bets – “Don’t do it! There is no worse way to mismanage your bankroll than to chase your bets after a losing day,” cautions Moseman on the dangerous practice of trying to immediately win back your losses. But, when you’re struggling, that’s when you want to reduce your bet size until you get out of your slump. Money Management – “This is without a doubt the most important aspect of betting on sports and possibly the most neglected,” says Morey “Doc” Moseman, a professional gambler and sports consultant with DocSports.com for nearly 40 years. And why not? We have unconditional love for the sport and betting $50 or $100 on a game adds an extra rush of adrenaline. In fact, sports bettors must pick 52.4 percent winners just to break even.”
So, how much are we gambling each football season?
7. Chasing losses is the fastest way to the poor house.”
Even Hollywood is not immune – think Two for the Money with Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey.
Moseman agrees and especially likes home underdogs. Giving 11 to 10 odds is almost always the cheapest price you can give.”
Also, it’s probably a good idea to disregard advice from the myriad of ex-players and football experts you see on television each week. Research Football Services – “Most sports services realize that most people who sign up with them are insecure,” Gordon warns. If you want advice about sports betting, find someone who has a successful track record. He loses year after year, according to Dan Gordon, a top football handicapper and author of How to Beat the Sports Books (Cardoza Publishing 2005). “Most people prefer to bet on the ‘better’ team, the one that will probably win the game.
“There is probably no better bet in sports than playing an underdog at home,” Moseman says
However, there’s a price attached to wagering on a moneyline favorite, which will always pay less than a winning bet on an underdog.
Boston 8.5o -130
Handicapping small favorites and underdogs, particularly home underdogs, while watching out for good pitchers on bad teams, can go a long way in helping you steadily build your bankroll.
BETTING MLB TOTALS
MLB totals betting allows you to wager on the total number of runs that will be scored by both teams in a game. A successful MLB betting strategy takes into account the performance of starting pitchers and bullpens, team home/away records and head-to-head records, and what to expect from each team’s offense.
With even the best teams typically losing about 40% of their regular season games, regularly siding with big favorites can be a risky proposition for novice sports betting fans.
New York -1.5 +110
Moneyline odds can also be attached to the line, as such:. During the offseason, the regular season, the pennant races, and the postseason, sports bettors can wager on who will win the next World Series, league pennants, and division titles.
Boston +1.5 -140
New York -200
During the summer months baseball takes center stage, offering sports bettors a variety of unique wagering opportunities. Boston +170
New York 8.5u +110
The above game line means a bet on the favored Yankees costs $200 to win $100. Oddsmakers establish a betting line representing the total number of runs, with the sports bettor wagering either OVER or UNDER that number.
While the Yankees may be -200 moneyline favorites to defeat the Red Sox, their odds of winning by 1.5 or more runs could be dramatically longer, and may even make them underdogs, while the Red Sox could lose the game by a run but pay off as a favorite.
BETTING MLB FUTURES
Baseball futures betting is available all year long. Conversely, a Red Sox victory would win $170 with just a $100 wager.
For example, let’s say the New York Yankees are hosting the Boston Red Sox:
Odds can change daily in MLB futures betting with current performances, injuries, and personnel moves playing key roles in where the sportsbooks set the lines.
In the above example, the total is set at 8.5 runs but the OVER is favored, requiring a $130 wager to win $100.
BETTING THE MLB RUNLINE
The MLB runline is a 1.5-run spread on a game, as seen in this example:
And baseball lines are available daily, allowing both novice and hardcore sports betting fans to get in on the action with moneylines, totals, runlines, and futures.
BETTING THE MLB MONEYLINE
Betting on the moneyline in a baseball game is as simple as picking an outright winner
Linda Stern can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; Editing by Gunna Dickson.; Linda Stern tweets at www.twitter.com/lindastern.; Read more of her work at blogs.reuters.com/linda-stern)
. “Maybe five years from now, you’re going to see a number of new games online; many of them have yet to be invented,” said Michael Pollock, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group, a research and consulting firm.
— Some states are better than others. If you are deemed a professional gambler, you can deduct more than you make, producing losses that can reduce your tax bill significantly. unfair toward gambling,” says Russell Fox, a Las Vegas tax expert who prepares the returns of poker aficionados, horse bettors, slots players and more. At least you’ll cut down on travel expenses.
The main limitation, from Fox’s point of view, is that the IRS distinguishes between recreational and professional gamblers — and only pros can take lucrative tax losses for their expenses. tax court disallowed the claim of a taxpayer who spent much of his spare time playing the slots, winning $25,534 in the process. You still have to take the income as taxable, but you’ll lose the deductions.
(The Personal Finance column appears weekly, and at additional times as warranted. Of course Nevada’s kind to those who play (or work) at gambling, so living in Las Vegas instead of traveling there may always be an option. And only the pros can take tax losses for their expenses.
Does that mean you can now write off all those Knicks games and bar nights you and your fantasy league buddies attend? What about the Vegas sprees that support your habit? Sorry, not so much.
Here’s what you need to know if you enjoy the games of chance and want to save money on your taxes.
— You can win, but you can’t hide. According to Fox, if you’ve got gambling income and losses, you probably don’t want to be from Hawaii, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, or a handful of other states, because they have various rules which either disallow gambling deductions or subject them to alternative minimum taxes, or add extra taxes onto gambling businesses. Some states disallow gambling losses, or subject them to their state’s alternative minimum tax rules. Here’s how: You’re allowed to take as much in gambling losses (the actual amount you bet and lose) as you won. If you win a bunch of money, but aren’t a pro, you can only deduct your losses up to the amount that they zero out your winnings. But Florida has outlawed fantasy leagues. And whether they are businesses is a whole other question that doesn’t seem to have been tested. “Gambling winnings are always taxable income,” the IRS notes. It’s very hard to prove that your gambling activity is a business. He claimed betting losses of that amount plus expenses of $15,455. And they appear in different places on your tax return, so anyone who doesn’t itemize their deductions will lose out. The IRS has a checklist of behaviors that it looks at to decide if something’s a business, and having fun is on it. If you really enjoy gambling and have other income coming in, and don’t keep good records, you’re probably just going to be considered a recreational gambler, even if you recreate a lot, says Fox.
— Hobbyist gamblers don’t get the same breaks. The good news for people who field their own fantasy football, basketball or baseball teams is this: It’s usually legal to do so. If that results in a gambling business income that is a negative number, you can use that negative number to reduce any other taxable income you may have.
— Of course, there’s a catch. and I could add many more ‘verys’… The law, which regulates online gambling — the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 — specifically carves out fantasy leagues as a protected activity. That enables them to reduce that taxable income by the amount they bet or spent on participating (as long as they don’t create a loss.) But proving you are a professional fantasy sports player? “I seriously doubt it,” says Fox. The Justice Department cleared the way for states to start legalizing online poker and other online betting games. The bar is higher for a professional gambler than it is for a professional painter, babysitter, dogwalker or eBay merchant, Fox suggests. “You have to prove it’s your livelihood, and that’s hard to see.”
Fox and other analysts do believe that the administration’s new position will eventually lead to many more legal games and gambling opportunities. Fox is an enrolled agent — a special class of tax preparer that qualifies him to represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service.
But whether the people who spend money on those ‘opportunities’ can actually cash in on the tax breaks that might be associated with them is another question.
— The fantasy leagues are still operating in the grey. But the tax court agreed with the IRS’s claim that he wasn’t really running a gambling business, largely because he had a day job as an X-ray technician that supported him, and because he wasn’t running his gambling business in a businesslike manner. Then you can also deduct your expenses, such as travel costs, tournament fees and the like. That includes the $250 you get if you call the final four right in your office NCAA pool, and the amount you win when the players in your fantasy football team have a good week.
By Linda Stern
WASHINGTON In the waning days of 2011, the federal government has handed gamblers two gifts. As recently as July of this year, the U.S. “The tax code is very very very… Some fantasy players are getting 1099 forms listing their winnings. And the Internal Revenue Service agreed to a tax court decision that will allow professional gamblers to take big tax losses.