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Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-04-02

Bizarre Online-Poker Tax Battle Sinks Spanish Chess Grandmaster Francisco Vallejo Pons 1st April 2018 // Misc, News

Here’s a story we’ve been saving for April Fool’s Day, because even though it’s a real tale, it’s so bizarre and unbelievable on its face that it ought to be one of those farcical parodies other sites are offering today. To wit: This week a couple of Spanish news outlets broke the story of Francisco Vallejo Pons, the country’s youngest-ever chess grandmaster, who has been put close to financial and competitive ruin due to the misconstruction of Spanish laws regarding gambling winnings.

Vallejo Pons traveled frequently, playing chess around the globe, and around the start of 2011 he began dabbling in online poker. That’s a very natural thing; when one travels as a way of life, there’s a tendency to find a pastime that one can curl up with in quiet time, away from the distractions and people of outside life.

These awful, antiquated laws are still out there, all over the globe. Examined objectively, all these jurisdictions have been years, if not decades, behind grasping the nature of online gambling in general and poker in particular. Why, it’s as if opponents of gambling crafted those laws….

That failure to allow for gambling losses has also been a bane to poker players and companies over the years. In the US, such an antiquated law in Illinois served as the basis for a couple of comedic third-party lawsuits brought against the old Full Tilt Poker, and a similar statute is the basis for the ridiculous $870 million judgment the state of Kentucky essentially awarded itself in its still-active case against PokerStars,

So he was surprised when he was contacted by Spanish tax authorities in 2016 regarding his online-poker play, and even more stunned when he was hit with a tax bill for roughly half a million euros, or the equivalent of US $612,000. See, Vallejo Pons lost more than he won, and seemingly never even cashed out from the site or sites where he played.

First, governments around the globe have been tracking online results databases for years, with a particular eye on high-spending poker players whose results are out there… somewhere. Usually (but not always) it’s the big-score tourney player who gets noticed. There was this tale from Israel just a few months ago; Sweden has undertaken similar efforts for at least a decade, as have many other countries.

That still wouldn’t have helped Francisco Vallejo Pons. His sad tale is perhaps best looked at as an example of what happens when a global gambling industry clashes against a nation’s out-of-touch laws. It’s happened before, and it will happen again.

My manager told me something by email in April 2016, and the first thing I said was that they had to have made a mistake with the figure they had given us. I had never given any importance because I was sure I had never won or lost a very large number. In fact, it turns out that I have had losses: never, not once, I made a withdrawal from a bookmaker to my bank account, because simply, in the global I lost money. When I was really aware of the seriousness of the problem, it was towards October of that year, when I visited Menorca and met in person with my manager.

 and even more stunned when he was hit with a tax bill for roughly half a million euros online gambling problems


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