positive e.v. lotteries

From: James Wetterau (jwjr@ignition.name.net)
Date: Thu May 11 2000 - 08:58:09 MDT

Dwayne says:
> James Wetterau wrote:
> > The foreign consortium
> > was not operating a business as far as Australia is concerned, just
> > gambling. I believe at the time the U.S. tax code did not require
> > Australians who place bets on U.S. lotteries to pay capital gains
> > taxes to the U.S., but rather to pay them to their home country (at
> > least from what I recall in the Time or Newsweek article). Of course
> > Australia had no capital gains tax on gambling winnings.
> This is weird. Is this recent? I know an Australian guy who was in a
> consortium several years ago to do just this, with the aim of eventually
> starting a sovereign country with the proceeds (last I heard they were
> in negotiations with the Govt of Vanuatu or some other Pacific nation)
> but the guy who put it all together skipped with the cash, and they are
> still trying to get it back.
> This was about 95 or so I think.

I recall reading an article after in Newsweek or Time about this
particular consortium after they scored their first big win in a
U.S. state. (I vaguely recall Tennessee). I believe this was early
'90's, maybe shortly after the gulf war. Anyway, there was much
speculation that the U.S. would move to close loopholes which taxed
foreigners less on lottery winnings in the U.S. than it taxed
U.S. citizens.

As Mr. Lorrey points out, this could still be a good deal in certain
cases, because paying only U.S. capital gains taxes and no other tax
to any other entity can still be a relatively good deal on a high
E.V. lottery, and those do turn up with some frequency in the U.S.

Anyway, I don't recall any further details.


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