France: only poker pros will be taxed

It is a question that is periodically in the news of poker; should we impose online poker players who play professionally?

A few months ago, a Bill wanted to make sure to impose the "pros" poker players. The problem with this legislation is that, as we know, the exact salary of a poker player is difficult to calculate (and predict). A day, you win $ 500, the next day, you lose $ 200 and the next day, it is winner of pennies. Worse still, a player could be earning $ 50,000 a year and losing $ 20,000 the next year. There the right to a cheque for compensation by the Government for its "bad run"?

We will not go further with these considerations that have been mentioned several times already. Turning now to the news of the day.

A little more than a week ago, the Ministry of the budget has confirmed that only poker players winning their 'professionally' lives will be taxed on their earnings. In other words, amateur players will see their earnings exempt of taxes while the professionals will be taxed. Is once again a question of definition of Word: what is meant by "pro player"?

But here, there is another problem (the same problem again and again): that of the qualification of the poker game.

In the current French laws, one can read: "the same usual practice of gambling such as lotteries, raffles or other games, does not constitute a lucrative occupation or a source of profit to give rise to taxation on behalf of the persons attending these games".

You have also read as we 'games of chance'... Is poker a game of chance? We will not respond to this question we have asked thousand times, and leave the care to our readers to respond by themselves.

This summer (, the High Court of Toulouse found poker as a game of skill and this decision has clearly jurisprudence on this notion of 'professionalism '.

The Department has also quickly reacts on this case by indicating:

"This [ie, the absence of hazard] position is fully applicable to the usual practice of the game of poker, including online, as the poker game can be viewed as a game of pure chance and provided that it is exercised in conditions which amount to a professional activity".

The Government therefore considers that "the notion of chance disappears before the skill and knowledge of players.»

We say once again that our readers will have several questions in mind. You know as we that the schedule of a poker player is not static; After all, this is not the bankers who work 9 to 5 Monday to Friday, but poker players.

If I factor from Monday to Thursday and I play NL 400 hours every day and my earnings are $ 4,000 per month ($ 48,000 per year), am I a pro? By 'pro', will you hear a player who spends a lot of hours playing poker or rather a player who wins a lot of money to play a few hours only per week? If Takechip plays 3 session per year and it is winner of $ 100,000 at each session, is a pro? If Kidam ends 1st Sunday million and won 2 M$, but he played only 3 hours per week to the poker, will it be a pro this year there?

In conclusion, we know that only French pros will be taxed, but we don't know yet what is a pro.

Details coming soon.

For further details and details in this folder, you can consult the assessment report for the Government published last October: "Openness to competition and the regulation of the sector's money and online gambling games".

You can read in this document the list of the 49 recommendations made by the Government in this matter. It is worth noting that this report has no force of law and that it is that of recommendations for the moment.

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