Taxation of Electronic Gaming

90 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2020

See all articles by Bryan Camp

Bryan Camp

Texas Tech University School of Law

Date Written: April 26, 2020


At a doctrinal level, the subject of this Article is timely. During this time of the coronavirus pandemic, casinos have been closed and large populations have been subject to stay-home orders from local and state authorities. One can reasonably expect a large increase in electronic gaming and thus an increased need for proper consideration of its taxation. This Article considers the proper way to tax electronic gaming of all kinds. It argues that a cash-out rule is the proper rule.

At a deeper level, the subject of this Article is timeless. Tax law is wickedly complex. This Article explores that complexity through the example of electronic gaming. It grapples with the source of that complexity: an inherent and unresolvable tension between economic theories of income and the practical needs of administering a system of taxation to a large population in a democracy. That tension has led some scholars to argue for a standards-based approach to taxation. This Article considers and rejects that argument. It argues that legal rules are necessary to mediate between theory and practice. Hence, this Article demonstrates the continued relevance and importance of doctrinal analysis in legal scholarship.

Keywords: constructive receipt, gambling, gaming, casinos, poker, electronic gaming, internet poker, internet gaming, economic substance, accouting periods, consumption, wealth, income, definition of income, history, economic thought, accounting theory, stocks, flows,

JEL Classification: B10, B13, B19, K19, K34, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Camp, Bryan T., Taxation of Electronic Gaming (April 26, 2020). 77 Wash & Lee L. Rev. 661 (2020), Available at SSRN:

Bryan T. Camp (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University School of Law ( email )

1802 Hartford
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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