As the coronavirus continues to spread lockdown orders it’s putting a lot of people out of work. Bartenders, chefs; pretty much any job that requires your physical presence – except for essential workers – has been shut down.
That has led to a lot of new unemployment claims – more than were filed at the height of the Great Depression.
But there is one group that you may not think of when you think about people being out of work – professional gamblers.
Less than one percent of all people who wager are considered professional. To be a professional gambler means that the majority if not all of your income comes from making bets.
With all of the casinos closed in Nevada many professional gamblers are out of “work.” If you are great a playing poker and reading the tells of other players you can’t do that if there are no other players.
While it’s obvious that if you are a bartender and laid off from work you should be able to claim unemployment the question of whether or not it applies to professional gamblers has come up in the state of Nevada.
Now the state has made their ruling. If you are a professional gambler and have in the past paid taxes on your gambling revenue then you can claim unemployment benefits until the casinos will reopen.
If on the other hand, you have not declared your gambling revenue then you cannot claim unemployment on those benefits. Since the vast majority do pay taxes on their gambling revenue then this is a welcome ruling.
It will put some cash in people’s pockets so they can pay rent and eat until the games start up again.
Of course, they could simply try betting on online casinos, but depending on your skills, this might not work for you. Online poker is all about strategy, for example, and not about reading what people are doing when you decide to make your bet.