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Level 2

Can gambling be a business?

My wife I decided to go professional as gamblers. We create more income from gambling that our other two businesses.  

3 Replies
Level 10

Can gambling be a business?

We create more income from gambling that our other two businesses.  

Your other 2 businesses? The problem is you're going to have a hard time convincing the IRS that gambling is your business unless you devote a significant amount of time to it and even more than your other 2 businesses. You have to at least do this on a continuous and consistent basis and spend a ton of time on it.

Opus 17
Level 15

Can gambling be a business?

Yes, there are such things as professional gamblers. 


A business activity (that allows you to deduct business expenses such as travel and losses) must be "an ongoing trade or business" that is pursued with a profit motive and doing such things as are common to this type of business (a contractor would be expected to advertise, for example). 


You would report your income on a schedule C like your other businesses.  You need a separate schedule C for each distinct business.


If you are in a partnership, you would report that as a partnership or as a qualified joint venture, as already discussed.


You should probably see an enrolled agent for advice on proper reporting of your gambling as a business activity.  This is an area where you could be hit with big penalties if you get it wrong. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
Level 10

Can gambling be a business?

@mdcowan you might want to take this into account.....from Sec 165(d):

Wagering losses

Losses from wagering transactions shall be allowed only to the extent of the gains from such transactions. For purposes of the preceding sentence, in the case of taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, the term "losses from wagering transactions" includes any deduction otherwise allowable under this chapter incurred in carrying on any wagering transaction.

Look at this article.....

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