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Tax Help for Gamblers
by Jean Scott
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Tax Help for Gamblers deals with the innumerable nuances and gray areas of gambling and taxes. It covers all the whys and wherefores of this complex subject, including tax-code specifics, record-keeping, filing your tax return, state-tax considerations, and audits and other tax problems. Numerous charts and forms help you see the practical application of the information.  This book is for recreational and professional gamblers, including low and high rollers, table-game and machine players, video poker and live poker players, online enthusiasts, international and cruise ship players, and people who live or gamble in states with income taxes.
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Jean Scott Answers Readers' Questions

Since The Frugal Gambler was published, I've met hundreds of people who've read the book and who still have hundreds of questions about low rolling, comps, slot clubs, promotions, getting bumpedJean ScottJean Scott is known as the "Queen of Comps" and encourages smarter casino gambling. She appears on network and cable TV, especially on the Travel Channel. Her down-to-earth practical suggestions will save you both time and money in your quest to make your trip to the casino more fun and more profitable.  Jean's website is  off airplanes, and, of course, Brad's and my experiences in a casino. Here are a few of your most common questions, along with my typical replies.

Q: Which do you like best: cash or comps?

A:   That's like asking which of my grandchildren I love best. I like cash-back and comps, but at different times for different reasons. That's why I prefer a players club that offers both. Sometimes I have a hankering to eat a buffet or an Italian or Mexican meal, or to see a headliner, or to get a pedicure, and I'd rather get it comped than take the cash and actually have to pay for the meal or show or salon appointment. Other times I prefer to get cash and be able to spend it as I choose. Sometimes I just want to eat at Taco Bell, where so far I haven’t found a way to get comped.

Q: Where is the best casino to play?

A: This is a question I hear all the time, but it's almost imposible to answer. The best casino is simply not the same for everyone; in fact, it's not the same for the same person each time he or she plays. In our experience, we used to play all the time at casinos in which we haven't stepped foot for many years now. Either they no longer have good machines or promotions, or they've reduced their slot club benefits. Conversely, we may never have played at some other casino, but we suddenly start going there to take advantage of a good promotion, great comps, or the introduction of good machines, cash-back, or mailings. As out-of-towners, our main need was for comped rooms, while as local players we are more interested in free meals. Therefore, the "best casino" is a very individual matter, depending what comps and benefits you want.

Q: Do you still play just quarter video poker?

A: We usually play at much higher levels these days, but I haven't abandoned my frugal ways. Even though we have hundreds of dollars of comp values in many casino comp banks, I never waste them. Brad complains when I go to extremes in trying to stretch every comp dollar as far as possible. He says we'll never live long enough to eat all the free meals we've already earned. But frugality isn't something I have to practice to keep up my chops. It's automatic. It's probably genetic! What happens if I'm sick for a week and want to eat in a casino restaurant, but don't feel well enough to play video poker and earn my dinner? I always feel more secure when I have some money in a bank account and some meals in a comp account.

Q: What if everyone does what you do? How would casinos make ends meet?

A: I don't worry about the casinos going broke because of what we do, or what I wrote in  the Frugal series of books. For every expert casino customer, there are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of casual gamblers who don't want to study, who don't want to practice, who don't want to work at gaining gambling skills. For them, it's purely recreation, and they don't mind “paying” the casinos for this entertainment option.

Q: What's the strangest comp you ever asked for?

A: We once got a comp for banana splits and ate too much. So then we had to ask for a comped room so we could take a nap and recover!

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