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Hachem Wins Again

, 2005-12-23, by TwoGun

Different countries tax gambling income in different ways. For some countries, all gambling income is taxed. In others, gambling income is almost never taxed.

In Australia, the situation is more complicated. A professional gambler must pay tax on his income because it is considered his job. However, a casual poker player does not need to pay tax on gambling winnings.

Before his 2005 WSOP victory, Joe Hachem was a full-time mortgage broker in Australia. While he played poker several hours a week, he did not consider himself a professional.

When Joe Hachem won the WSOP, it was not clear if he would end up paying Australian income tax. Immediately after his victory, Hachem boasted that he took his poker playing seriously. However, when the tax issue became clear to him, it seemed that he clarified his position that while he enjoyed playing poker, it was just a hobby to him, not his occupation.

Since Hachem won the WSOP while poker was still just a hobby, the Australian Taxation Office decided he was not subject to income tax on his winnings. However, now that Hachem seems to be much more involved in the poker industry, through his association with PokerStars and his now frequent play in large buy-in tournaments, he may need to pay Australian income taxes on his next WSOP victory, if he is able to pull that off.

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