Published on April 6, 2015 in Industry News

PokerWith elections around the corner in the United Kingdom, parties promising to create a several million new jobs and an ever looming deficit the UK Government might very well be turning to new data on the validity of poker as a game of skill in order to determine how to tax it.

The current UK legislation does not impose any level of taxation on winnings from gambling, and this includes poker and lottery. Nor do they distinguish between online or land based gambling winnings.

The reason for this is that whether you win or lose when gambling is determined to be beyond the gamblers control. Even so-called Professional Gamblers are safe from taxation as it is virtually impossible to measure your ability to influence a return – although pro gamblers will swear they can read or even outplay a Croupier.

This is where poker starts to stand out from the crowd.

According to the data collected by analysts and researchers from the University of Nottingham, the Erasmus University Rotterdam and the VU University in Amsterdam by the time competent poker players have reached around the 1500 hand mark the difference in win-loss ratios between them and unskilled players can be as high as 75%.

This is no rough guess, rather it is the result of collating data from several sources for over a year. In total they collected 456 million player online samples.

Dr Dennie van Dolder (University of Nottingham's School of Economics) stated that since it possible to consistently determine your return on play over time then it “follows that poker involves an element of skill and can't be merely a game of pure chance”.

It is therefore probable that much like any other skill, which allows you to determine your income, poker winnings could be classified as earnings, and no longer random winnings. This in turn could lead to it being seen as a viable taxable revenue stream for a cash strapped government.