Government to tax acne?

1/17/2007 05:03:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich /

Yesterday a court in London declared that poker is not a game of skill and is in fact, a game of chance and therefore is subject to the Gaming Act. The Gutshot poker club in London, which was being prosecuted, was therefore operating illegally and should feel thoroughly ashamed of itself (see any poker website for full details of the case).

Despite the fact that none of the jury members had played poker before, despite the fact that the Gaming Act makes no mention of poker and in fact it’s definition of a game of chance encompasses all games everywhere and the dude from the Gaming Commission had no idea how to play poker, the court upheld the stereotype that poker is played more than likely by dishonest shady looking types who smoke cigars, drink whiskey, win silly amounts of money by bluffing and refer to waitresses as toots. It’s bollocks. I’ve never called a waitress toots in my life.

Fair enough anyhoo, this won’t be the first time a court has spent thousands of pounds to determine something which is really not relevant to anything. What’s really absurd here is that they were essentially arguing about whether or not luck should be legal. Roulette, Craps, Baccarat, and according to the Gaming Commission, Poker, are all games of chance and thus require a very expensive license or else it’s illegal. Luck, is illegal!!

Can they do that? Can they make luck illegal anymore than acne? It’s something that happens to you or it doesn’t, teenagers don’t have to have licenses in order to be spotty? Will I have the police knocking on my door in the future if I drop a knife on the floor and it misses my toes by a millimetre? Or if I find my car keys just in time to make it to the shops before they close? “Are those your keys sir?” they’d ask me, “Found them at an opportune moment did we sir?” I’d have no defence. They’d throw the book at me if they ever saw me playing darts.

What this is really about is that the Government notices when people are spending lots of money on something and manufactures a way of taxing it. And they can’t have thousands of people playing poker in private clubs, which don’t pay the Government anything when they could be in casino’s that pay thousands for their licenses.

Now, I know, I’ve resigned from the world and this shouldn’t irritate me, but a sizeable chunk of my income comes from poker played in wee private clubs and if this is to stop I may not be able to afford things and that’s just not fair. For poker players who play in the big BIG games and make thousands and thousands, sometimes millions and millions, this ruling will be welcomed.

As long as Poker is considered “gambling” then any income received from it is not taxable. Had it been considered a game of skill, that income would have been taxable. Forty percent taxable too in the case of the big take-downs. But for me, that’s not an issue, I’m below that radar and I need these private clubs to stay open to safeguard my ability to make a damn good living without paying a penny in tax like normal people who have to work everyday of their lives for fifty years and have very little to show for it at the end.

What’s wrong with that? You can see why I'm annoyed can't you? Can't you? Oh, you can't.


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