The Gambling Treaty 2021 regulates not only online casinos, but also poker on the Internet. Although poker online is now subject to nationwide regulation (and thus official permission) for the first time, no licenses have been issued yet. Instead, providers that adhere to the licensing requirements are more or less officially tolerated.
Gambling regulation and taxes
Part of the online poker regulation is a 5.3% percentage that poker sites have to pay to the treasury. Unfortunately, this special tax is not levied on the profit of the providers, but on the tournament buy-in or the money you take to the table in the cash game.
As a result, some providers have eliminated parts of the offer, others have increased the rake and fees for buy-ins.
Do I have to pay taxes on poker winnings?
You do not have to pay taxes on gambling winnings. Although poker is generally considered gambling by law, the situation is a bit more complicated.
If you usually make a living playing poker (online, in the casino and/or at tournaments), then the net winnings are subject to income tax.
However, if you are a hobby player, then even a one-time high win does not have to be considered income – and accordingly not taxed.
Online Poker vs Live Poker
Now it’s time for the big comparison: Where is poker better? On the Internet or live on site? Where is it easier to win and what suits which type of player best?
To make it more human, let’s first look at a few faces of both worlds. Some of the most famous personalities on the live poker scene include:
- Phil Hellmuth: His nickname is The Poker Brat. He can mob fellow players at the table really nasty and is a diva, but can allegedly also be quite nice. He won the Poker World Championship (WSOP Main Event) once, in 1989.
- Phil Ivey: He has never won the Main Event, but he is world famous. That’s because of his high-stakes games, his risk-taking, his many crazy side-bets and a spectacular dispute with the Borgata Casino. He won several million dollars playing baccarat with a cunning trick, but had to pay the money back.
On the Internet, the following players made it to international fame:
- Isildur1: The Swede caused a sensation when he suddenly started playing cash games on the Full-Tilt platform for extremely high stakes, which were actually reserved for established poker pros. Within a short time, he won and lost several million euros. His then unknown real name is Viktor Blom.
- CrownUpGuy: Fedor Holz hides behind this nickname. He appeared on the scene by winning an online poker tournament worth millions.
Comparison poker online/gambling house/tournament
When you play poker online, it is the most convenient and almost stress-free alternative. You can concentrate 100% on your game and are not distracted unnecessarily.
In the casino you often sit at the table with other regulars. In live cash games, you may be able to read other players, but you could also have some tells yourself.
Larger tournaments promise adrenaline and the chance to win big. Realistically, however, they end quickly for most players.
Is bluffing easier online than in live games?
When it comes to bluffing, some say so, others say so. If you are a good actor, you may be able to mislead other players in the live game with certain facial expressions, gestures and announcements. Even trash talk to throw fellow players off their game is only possible in live poker.
On the other hand, online you don’t have to mimically hide your weak hand when you bluff.