December 12, 2020 2 min read


Professional Poker Player Faces Prison Time over Tax Evasion

A professional poker player is facing up to 5 years in federal prison after failing to disclose business and gambling earnings over a period of 5 years.

Poker Player Evades Taxes

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has indicted a professional poker player for failure to report over $1m in gambling winnings over several years. The player now faces federal prison time.

Guy Smith, 62, is a professional poker player based in Shelton, Connecticut. The state has a complex relationship with gambling, but is likely to legalize sports betting in the coming year. The move would be accompanied by a so-called “sin tax” on betting income.

On Thursday, Mr. Smith pleaded guilty to tax evasion during a video conference call with Connecticut court authorities. Court documents revealed that Mr. Smith owns Centerline Interiors – a commercial interior construction business – and failed to declare revenue taxes during a several-year period.

Authorities have also stated that Mr. Smith has been an active participant in the Connecticut gambling scene for years. He has taken part in poker tournaments not only in the state of Connecticut, but across the US and the Bahamas, authorities claim.

Furthermore, investigators have revealed that Mr. Smith had withdrawn funds from his business and personal bank accounts only to transfer them to his gambling business.

Years of Evasion

According to the court, Mr. Smith failed to report taxes for the 2012 to 2016 tax years. During this time, his Centerline Interiors businesses yielded about $482,000 income, which the defendant neglected to disclose to authorities.

In addition to this sum, Mr. Smith also neglected to file a tax preparer for his substantial gambling winnings. He has paid no income taxes on his over $1m gambling income, despite being urged to do so by the IRS.

Authorities said that Mr. Smith has failed to pay a staggering $821,415 in income taxes during the 2012-2016 tax years.

Mr. Smith has agreed to cooperate with the IRS and to pay all outstanding taxes, penalties and interest. He has been released on a $50,000 bond but still faces up to 5 years in federal prison due to tax evasion.

His sentence hearing is scheduled for 4 March, 2021.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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