NJ Intrastate Bill Vetoed, Iowa Moves Forward, Changes in FBAR

This week’s edition of The Fight features two states appearing to go in opposite directions on the likelihood of intrastate poker. For those doing their taxes, a recent development from the US government gives online players one less thing to worry about.

Christie vetoes New Jersey intrastate poker bill

March 3rd, New Jersey governor Chris Christie vetoed S490, a bill that would have made the state the first to allow intrastate online gambling. In a four-page statement that explains his reasons for the veto, Christie gave several reasons for turning down the legislation. Some reasons mentioned by Christie: fears of “sweepstakes cafes” being created outside of Atlantic City a problem that has led states, including North Carolina and Virgina, to pass legislation to block their existence. Christie also cited issues with the law violating the state’s Constitution and online gambling revenue raised would be used to support the horse racing industry. In an interview with EGRmagazine.com state senator Raymond Lesniak, sponsor of S490, pledged to offer a reworked version of the bill to the governor’s desk later this year.

Iowa intrastate poker bill passes Senate committee

The day before New Jersey made their decision, the Iowa Senate State Government committee voted 9-6 to move SSB 1165, which includes a section dedicated to creating an intrastate online poker site for state residents, for a vote by the entire state Senate. State senator Jeff Danielson, chairman of the State Government committee, said in an interview with the Des Moines Register that 150,000 Iowans are currently playing online illegally, costing the state up to $35 million in lost revenues. Similar legislation was proposed last year, but was never considered for a vote. Chances of intrastate poker passing in Iowa this year, according to GamblingCompliance.com writer Chris Krafcik, appear slim as well as his sources say that the online poker section of the bill will be removed before a vote is taken.

Online poker players get less paperwork

Finally, this story from Russ Fox’s Taxable Talk blog reports that changes in regulations published by the The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) lead Fox to state that the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) no longer applies to online poker accounts. The prevailing opinion was that the FBAR needed to be filled out if the combined amount of money in your online poker accounts was over $10,000 at any time in the calendar year. However, if you use a third party payment service like Neteller or Moneybookers, the FBAR still needs to be filled out.

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Kevin Mathers

Widely known by his twitter handle "Kevmath", many consider Kevin a go-to source for news and information in the poker community. Kevin finished on the bubble in the 2014 edition of the BLUFF Power 20.
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