Gamblers routinely evade taxes, Board of Audit says

A survey by the Board of Audit found that about 80 percent of big winners in horse racing and bicycle racing fail to report their gambling earnings to the tax authorities.

The paper trail that the Board of Audit had to work with was sparse because those people who make bundles of cash at the track can collect their money simply by presenting their winning tickets and do not declare their identities to the staff.

The Board of Audit therefore made its estimate looking at data from 2015, in which a certain class of big-win bet had an annual payout of about JPY12.7 billion (about $111 million), but about JRY10 billion (about $88 million) of that amount appeared not to have been declared to tax authorities by members of the public.

The Board of Audit has requested that the government ministries and public agencies involved in publicly-operated gambling step up efforts to encourage gamblers to properly report their winnings.

Although not yet decided, there may also be a requirement in the future for the public gambling enterprises themselves to collect information from the big winners, seen in part as preparation for the establishment of the nation’s IR industry.