Vegas Gang #119 – March 6th, 2015

This time on the show:

– The Riviera will close.
Hard Rock turns 20.
– Elaine & Steve.
– and more…

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** Sure Bets **

Chuckmonster – Rain buckets.
Dr. Dave – Natural Las Vegas.
Hunter – OmniOutliner.

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6 thoughts on “Vegas Gang #119 – March 6th, 2015

  1. Great article Dr. Schwartz about the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The Hard Rock would have done great on the Strip where New York New York resides. The Hard Rock was packed all the time on the weekends when I lived in Las Vegas in the mid to late 90’s. I would go there when my friends would visit from out of town and the Center Bar was tons of fun. The original Sports Book was real small there and obviously they had no keno.

    Peter Morton’s brother Michael owned the Drink nightclub down the street (it also opened in 1995 along with the Hard Rock) on Harmon Avenue and the combination of those two places brought lots and lots of young people to Las Vegas.

  2. Great show guys! Thanks for all the hard work and love you put into this project.

    For the tax thing, there are a couple irritating things about the way w-2G’s affect your returns. The way this is all reported on our returns, all of the winnings get added to your adjusted gross income (AGI) and any losses, up to the amount of winnings, get deducted after the AGI. This has the possibility of causing you to pay more taxes even if you end up loosing since several deductions and credits you may be eligible for get phased out based on your AGI.

    So, for example, let’s say in one singe day you hit a $100,000 jackpot, get a cashout, walk over to the baccarat pit and lose all of it. That 100K will be added to your AGI and you will record the loses as a deduction. It is entirely possible that several credits you were otherwise eligible for (student loan deductions for instance) are now phased out due to the jackpot reporting. Without the W-2G and a journal of gaming activity, you can treat that all as a single session and not have to report it above the line.

    That is an extreme example but now imagine you play a lot of video poker and you start racking up a lot of w-2G’s even though you aren’t winning. These all hit your AGI and can add up fast.

    This move doesn’t have to be about the IRS directly collecting taxes on gambling or preventing money laundering as they can also get paid in a roundabout way by artificially jacking up the AGI of gamblers.

    This message is brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

  3. HillBilly’s comment is absolutely right. Higher taxes in ways one doesn’t think about. Even though my losses offset any winnings, my Social Security deductions went up for Medicare because of AGI adjustments. Further, in some states, like my former Michigan, losses may not be deducted from winnings on the state income tax.

  4. After going to google earth and looking at the Riviera from above I could see why the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority bought the Riviera. It is a long and narrow property and I would guess that the Strip fronatge for the Riviera is around 150 to 200 feet. The length of the Riviera from the Strip to Paradise Road might be around 1/2 mile or so. So now the long, narrow $2.3 billion dollar Las Vegas Global Business District will try and bring more huge conventions to Las Vegas.

    Unfortunately almost everyone would rather have that piece of $H!T Fountainebleau be removed from the Strip instead of the Riviera but the dice did not roll that way. King Carl probably wants at least $200 million dollars for the Fountainbleau and this might take a long, long time……

  5. I heard a congressman/senator suggesting the reduction to $600 reporting level because if you pay someone over $600 (to do work, etc.) you’re suppose to issue them a 1099.

    I heard this reporting figure was instituted in the mid 60s. If so, the value of $600 then is worth $4,500 now. Instead of lowering it, they should be raising it.

  6. The tax comments above are entirely correct. It is a very ‘unfair’ system where the ‘win’ is counted as income and ‘lose’ is taken as a deduction. Most people do not have enough deductions to exceed the standard deduction and so will not be able to offset the win with their loses.

    Also, as I have had happen to me many times under the current system, my income puts me into alternative min tax and I lose these types of deductions. I have paid taxes on payouts even though my yearly win/loss shows clearly that I net lost 2x the amount won. it sucks.

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