'We Got Smoked': Oddsmakers React to Crazy NBA Draft

The 2022 NBA Draft will go down in history as one of the most nauseating events ever to set odds on. Unprecedented topsy-turvy betting movement on who the Orlando Magic would select with the No. 1 overall pick sent oddsmakers into a week-long tizzy they’d never fully recover from. “We got smoked,” said Andy Morrissey, a trader at WynnBet. For months, nearly every mock draft had Jabari Smith Jr. as the prohibitive favorite to go No. 1 and the betting odds reflected that. But after surprise mon

FanDuel, DraftKings Save Millions on Taxes Thanks to Free Play

FanDuel and DraftKings commonly use free bets—often referred to as free play—to lure in new bettors, but some states are paying the price in lost tax revenue. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been left on the table—money that some states had been counting on and promised voters when sports betting was spreading as a popular new tax tool across the country. The shortfall has impacted program funding and forced some states to make up the difference elsewhere. Meanwhile, the industry is hoping

Laying Bricks for Vic? NBA Sees Most Sub-25 Win Total Odds Since '98

The hype around presumptive No. 1 NBA draft pick Victor Wembanyama has oddsmakers pricing a historic tankapalooza into team win totals. Five teams, the Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, are projected to win 24.5 games or fewer heading into the 2022-23 NBA season, at BetMGM. The last time that happened? Michael Jordan’s last dance season with the Chicago Bulls, 25 years ago, according to SportsOddsHistory.com, which excludes lockout and CO

Pro Athletes’ Taxes Based on Where Their League Resumes Play (1)

Empty seats, pumped-in crowd noise, virtual fans, and plexiglass-imprisoned announcers mark some of the biggest differences from traditional sports to pandemic play for viewers. For players, the new sports environment is just as different for their wallets. The income professional athletes earn in any opposing team’s state they play in over the course of a season is typically subject to those states’ income taxes, what is known as the jock tax. For states with income taxes such as California, i

Betting Public Off to Worst NFL Start in 20 Years

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots The betting public is off to its worst start in 20 NFL seasons in terms of betting the spread. In games where a team has drawn at least 51% of bets on the spread this season, those teams are 43-61, according to Action Network’s data of aggregate sportsbooks. A $100 bettor would be up approximately $1,427 if they had faded the public in each of these contests, representing an ROI of about 14%.

Nationals, Tax Collectors Set to Score Post-World Series

The Washington Nationals are World Series champions for the first time—and for the first time in line for lofty bonuses subject to a mix of taxes and fees. Each Nationals player is in line for an estimated $416,837 for their postseason efforts, although they’ll bring home about $238,639 after taxes if they live in Maryland or Virginia. Players who live in the nation’s capital will forfeit an extra $13,339 due to the District of Columbia’s higher income taxes. World Series runner-up the Houston

Fubo Sportsbook Users Unable to Withdraw Cash After App Goes Belly Up

Fubo Sportsbook is no longer taking bets after its parent company halted gaming operations Monday. Customers can’t get money out of their accounts either. Users with the app downloaded on their phones will find an error message from and no information from Fubo on when, if or how they’ll be able to withdraw funds or what happens to pending bets. “Effective immediately, Fubo Sportsbook is no longer taking bets. We are working with necessary parties to make sure players and their existing accou

Sportsbooks Cash In On Aaron Judge's Home Run Record Chase

Sportsbooks may owe Aaron Judge a thank you letter. The hype surrounding his record-tying 61st home run filled their pockets over the past week as everyone scrambled to bet on history. And that should only continue now that he’s one shy of breaking the American League record. “Judge’s home run market has been one of our most popular MLB markets of all time,” said Christian Cipollini, a Sports Trader at BetMGM who helps set lines and odds. “We expect to continue to see this action until he hits

DraftKings, FanDuel Fees Deemed Taxable in Landmark IRS Memo (1)

Daily fantasy sports companies like and must pay federal excise tax on their entry fees, the IRS has decided, in an internal memo that could cause a major shakeup in the industry. An IRS Chief Counsel Memorandum said those companies must pay tax on every wager—the entry fee—they accept as well as an annual occupational tax on each person accepting those wagers. Those taking wagers must also register with the IRS. “This is one of the most significant events in the evolution of sports bettin

Can Colleges Get in on Sports Betting, Be Tax Exempt?

The NCAA used to oppose the legalization of sports betting. But since it lost that fight at the Supreme Court, the collegiate athletic association has decided not to oppose colleges that want to cash in on the trend. On this episode of our weekly podcast, Talking Tax, host Jeff Leon talks with reporter Sam McQuillan about the NCAA’s position on colleges entering into endorsement deals with sports betting companies.

LSU Nabs $4 Million Tax Free from National Championship

LSU ends its perfect season with a national championship trophy and a $4 million payout after beating Clemson 42-25. That money helps cover the cost of the extra postseason games LSU played—and it’s 100% tax free thanks to some macaroni. Despite the amateur status of college sports, the NCAA held over $600 million in assets in 2018 according to its most recent financial statement. Revenue from merchandise, and licensing of television rights to games all goes untaxed in large part due to a 70-y

Colleges Paying Top Dollar for Coaches Will Pay Extra to IRS

Highly paid college sports coaches and hospital executives are among the nonprofit employees the Internal Revenue Service is targeting in the final version of a tax-law regulation. The IRS issued guidance Monday implementing a measure from President ’s signature 2017 tax overhaul, which lowered corporate and individual levies but included some revenue-raising elements to help reduce the mammoth $1.5 trillion cost. One of those was a 21% excise tax on some nonprofit employees getting $1 million

How Oprah, Walmart Scored Tax Breaks on Films That Others Made

Heinz makes ketchup, not documentaries about gangs. Walmart’s ties to the television series “Empire” would seem to end at selling full-season DVDs. Yet they and others among the biggest U.S. corporations and high-net-worth individuals have emerged as some of the primary beneficiaries of state tax breaks intended to attract the production of movies, TV series, and commercials. Critics say it’s yet another way in which these incentives have far surpassed their intended purpose, with litt

Super Bowl Host City’s Economic Gain Uncertain in Pandemic

The city of Tampa, once planning for a financial bonanza from hosting this Sunday’s Super Bowl, is still hopeful for a healthy economic kick from the big game despite coronavirus limitations. While local officials and economists say they’re optimistic about this year’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there’s no telling how much a Super Bowl will generate when it’s in a pandemic and half the game’s following is local. In pre-pandemic times, cities stood to add $

States Stand to Lose Billions in Taxes Tied to Tourism, Live Sports

Travel and tourism—which funnels $83 billion in tax revenue annually to state and local governments—is in a freefall triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The related havoc being wrought on state budgets is widespread: less bed taxes from hotels; less sales tax from restaurants and retailers; less rental car taxes and the list goes on. Even one of the newest funding sources for states—taxing sports betting—is caught in the mix with the abrupt end of many live sporting events.

IRS Doubles Down on Taxing FanDuel, DraftKings as Gambling (1)

The IRS is moving forward with its plan to treat fantasy sports operators like FanDuel and as gambling companies, a position that stands to cost the operators millions of dollars a year in excise taxes. In a recent memo, the agency reasserted claims it made this summer: Daily fantasy sports are a form of wagering for tax purposes, and are therefore prone to a federal excise levy on wagers. Much like sports betting, which is legal in nearly half the country, each state takes its own position on

NCAA Athletes Sure to Face Tax Hit as Endorsement Checks Arrive

The NCAA may need to let college athletes work with financial advisers now that the organization has said it will move toward a system that would let the athletes benefit from marketing themselves, several tax professionals said. Current NCAA rules bar athletes—who generally aren’t paid beyond the value of a scholarship—from hiring agents. But the Oct. 29 announcement—a step toward letting students earn money from the use of their name, image and likeness—will bring a slew of questions for the

Universities Begin to Tap Into Lucrative Sports Betting Craze

College sports’ first major foray into the sports betting world could lead to far-reaching tax and intellectual property issues to contend with down the road, lawyers say. The five-year, $1.625 million agreement between the University of Colorado and sports betting operator PointsBet, the details of which were first reported by Bloomberg Tax on Friday, is the latest in an explosion of ad-deals between sportsbooks and teams or leagues, although it’s the first collegiate pact of its kind. Limiti
Load More

Podcasts + Radio

‎The Action Network Podcast: Sports Betting Legalization Update on

What is the status of legal sports betting nationwide? To answer this burning questions, host Brendan Glasheen is joined by Action legalization expert Sam McQuillan, who discusses the latest legislative news in all 50 states. Who is fully online when it comes to sports betting? Who remains in the dark? And where can we expect legislation to pass legislation in the months ahead? All these questions and more answered in just 30 short minutes.

‎Talking Tax: Newly Wealthy Student Athletes to Encounter Tax Issues on

College football season starts this weekend and this will be the first year in which the players suiting up can earn significant income off of their name, image, and likeness. Partially in response to losing a case at the Supreme Court, the NCAA this summer lifted its longstanding ban on its student athletes generating this type of revenue for themselves. Though it may not be something most sports fans are thinking about, these newly wealthy athletes, many still in their teens, will run into a