PayPal Opening Online Gambling Payment Records To IRS

PayPal, once the most popular online payment method in North America, has announced it will be revealing the payment records of its members to the Internal Revenue Service. Apparently, the US government has demanded these records in reference to offshore transfers, and without the slightest bit of argument, PayPal obliged.

This action has caused an enormous upset from the online gambling community, resulting in a unanimous outcry of “sell-out”. For many online poker and casino players, PayPal was the only option left for funding and withdrawals from such accounts. In lieu of the request from the IRS, PayPal will now be opening its clients account books to the US government for scrutinizing – accounts that were at one time thought to be secure and confidential.

The online gambling industry is not exactly the intended target of the investigation. The US government is attempting to ‘crack down’ on individuals making use of ‘tax havens’ and hoping to unearthing ‘unclaimed income’. The online gambling industry would fall into the unclaimed income category, therefore making it a specific target, as well.

PayPal was one of the largest suppliers of Internet-based fund transfers between online gambling operations and US citizens, but a hefty fine imposed by the Attorney General in 2002 put a stop to that, for the most part. PayPal has made a great effort to steer clear of the industry ever since, though there are still a few online gambling operations who offer PayPal as a viable way to transfer funds.

Because of the secure and confidential policies PayPal was supposed to uphold regarding member information, it is likely we will see a slew of civil lawsuits against PayPal in the near future. Even the summoning of such records from the IRS does not validate such a breach of contract.

Online gambling analyst Gordon Price offered his opinion on what is being termed the ‘PayPal Sell-Out’, “Even if they had kept themselves away, there was no reason for them to sell out the many people who gave them money and trusted them with private information.”

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