Best place to live for online poker?

    • MeganEkko
      MeganEkko
      Basic
      Joined: 18.08.2015 Posts: 11
      So my question is simple where do you think is the best place to play?

      I'm asking mostly because I'm thinking of picking up a TEFL Degree (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), and I would like to know which countries have decent laws concerning poker.
  • 11 replies
    • Dadramel
      Dadramel
      Silver
      Joined: 10.08.2014 Posts: 2,214
      United Kingdom

      Poker can be played online with unlimited stakes. Before starting to gamble, you should ensure that you know some basic details about the company. For example, where are they licensed and how you can contact them. You may need this if you have any queries on its gambling products before you decide whether to gamble. There should be clear information about how to make a complaint against the gambling company and how your complaint will be dealt with. In the event that you make a complaint and are not happy with the outcome it should be clear what further steps you can take. Operators licensed by the Commission are required to ensure that a complaint is referred to an independent body if you are not satisfied with how it has been handled. The Commission monitors companies to ensure complaints are dealt with appropriately and looks for trends which indicate where licensees might not be doing what they should. Since 2005.

      Plus no taxes.
    • VaskataBuci
      VaskataBuci
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.08.2011 Posts: 2,245
      What stakes do you play? Do you expect poker to be your main income?
    • GoOnCal1
      GoOnCal1
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.01.2015 Posts: 581
      You should consider Australia, we are all taught English here but no-one speaks it. Also we don't know how to play poker very well, but it's legal both in licenced venues and online.
      :-)

      I have a spare room here, 105 minutes from Crown Carpark
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,227
      Originally posted by GoOnCal1
      You should consider Australia, we are all taught English here but no-one speaks it.
      :mdr:
    • tonypmm
      tonypmm
      Silver
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 3,853
      Wait, it looks like the respondents have misunderstood your goals...

      Do I take it right that you're a native English speaker (USA resident as per the intro thread) who would like to teach English in a non-English-speaking country? So is it important for you that you can get around well with your English in that country (i.e. the majority of the population speaks it), or do you speak other languages well (which?) so that you can go to countries that speak them?

      In any case, tell us what part of your (future) life poker is going to be, as VaskataBuci asked. The thing is, that if you decide to play poker professionally, you'll have it give it all your effort because it will be earning more per hour for you than teaching English. I guess I'd be sought-for as a teacher of Russian, but taking such a job is probably -EV as opposed to just sitting home and grinding during those hours, in whatever country :f_biggrin: (The latter has a bit of added life EV as you'll converse more with real people, but I don't like it anyway :f_tongue: )
    • tonypmm
      tonypmm
      Silver
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 3,853
      Originally posted by Berezovaya
      United Kingdom

      Poker can be played online with unlimited stakes.

      Plus no taxes.
      Lol at 'no taxes'. The 15% tax on online gambling operators (resulting in players getting 5 VPPs per $ of rake instead of 5.5 and similar rakeback cuts at other poker sites) has to be taken into account, as well as the cost of living (which is however quite low outside of London :) ). It's not an issue for MTT players, whose ROIs are way bigger than the rake, but I assume OP is going to play faster and thus rakeback-dependent formats (cash, Spin & Gos aka Jackpot Poker - there's no more money in conventional SnGs).

      I've heard Birmingham live games are soft, though; it's a pity that games higher than £2/£5 run seldom outside of London. The latter is packed with strong opponents, and in general, I've heard that live games in continental Europe are generally softer than in Britain.

      European countries are also gradually starting to smother online poker earnings with special operator taxes or VAT :f_cry: (Leave alone those countries where player pools are segregated from the rest of the world - Spain, Italy, to some extent France, though the latter allows foreign European residents to play at its sites.)

      There are plenty of countries whose governments are too inefficient to levy taxes from poker players if the latter use obscure withdrawal schemes (e.g. there are Argentines who specialise in swapping Stars $ for cash-in-hand pesos for a vig that's much smaller than the tax; I still wouldn't live there, though, because Uruguay is nearby and it doesn't tax offshore income).

      There are also a lot of countries where there's no tax on offshore income (or at least on income that isn't dividends or similar) or where the poker operator tax is going to be lower. Currently, Costa Rica seems to not be going to tax income from poker sites in the near future. Panama isn't taxing it currently, but there are talks about a 5% operator tax, as well as in Guatemala. What the tax will be in other Latin countries that are going to regulate gambling is yet unknown to me, but I assume it's going to be less than 15% in those of them that generally have lower income tax than in Europe, e.g. Paraguay.

      As far as I understand, in Canada, there have been successful precedents in courts where poker pros were able to have their income tax paid back because it was ruled that they are casual gamblers and non-professional gambling winnings are not taxable. For such a ruling, it helps when the plaintiff has a 'real job', which is going to be the case for OP. It's still tricky in Canada, though - normally one has to pay the tax (if asked to do so, which happens seldom and to the big winners only) and then file a lawsuit against the Revenue Agency (CRA).

      I've heard it's even easier in Australia, i.e. poker pros are usually considered casual gamblers and not taxed on poker income by default, are they?

      Caveat: if I were a US citizen and would like to play poker professionally, and if I were earning more that $100K a year (that's how much foreign income can be excluded from taxation under the FEIE rules), I'd lean towards obscure countries that don't submit to FATCA (i.e. aren't eager disclose income of US citizens, who're theoretically obliged to pay tax on worldwide income regardless of where they are) and especially countries that award citizenship easily (Paraguay comes to mind as a relatively easy option if a good lawyer is used so that the 3-year wait doesn't become eternal because of bureaucracy) in order to get rid of the US one and thus the tax obligations.
    • GoOnCal1
      GoOnCal1
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.01.2015 Posts: 581
      " I've heard it's even easier in Australia," @ Tonypmm

      https://www.ato.gov.au/rba/content/?ffi=/misc/rba/content/91541.htm

      Still its worth remembering that this applies to Australian citizens, not visitors, who will subject to jointly to both Australian law, and to the taxation laws of their own country.
    • MeganEkko
      MeganEkko
      Basic
      Joined: 18.08.2015 Posts: 11
      Originally posted by tonypmm
      Wait, it looks like the respondents have misunderstood your goals...

      Do I take it right that you're a native English speaker (USA resident as per the intro thread) who would like to teach English in a non-English-speaking country? So is it important for you that you can get around well with your English in that country (i.e. the majority of the population speaks it), or do you speak other languages well (which?) so that you can go to countries that speak them?

      In any case, tell us what part of your (future) life poker is going to be, as VaskataBuci asked. The thing is, that if you decide to play poker professionally, you'll have it give it all your effort because it will be earning more per hour for you than teaching English. I guess I'd be sought-for as a teacher of Russian, but taking such a job is probably -EV as opposed to just sitting home and grinding during those hours, in whatever country :f_biggrin: (The latter has a bit of added life EV as you'll converse more with real people, but I don't like it anyway :f_tongue: )
      Hi so yes I am a native English speaker for the USA, and while it might be easier to get around in a country that speaks english, If I get a TEFL degree than it would probably be easier finding places to work in a non-english country so I would kind of perfer the latter. It'll probably take a month or two to get the degree ao I think that's plenty of time to learn the basics of the language of where ever I go.

      I eventually want to be able to completly rely on poker for an income, but I'm still new to trying to make money at it. I'm still learning to grind the micros so having a job would help me pay the bills while I study poker. Also though Having a legit job would help with getting a good Visa in a lot of countries, and I'm an introvert by nature, even if I'm not always playing poker i'd probably rarely leave the house so having a reason to get out and interact with people would be good for me.

      Leaving my country would drain my account pretty badly so I plan on trying to work some extra hours work and poker, but even with that, without being certain of poker my money won't last long unless I have a job lined up, so a place where I can use a TEFL degree to get settled would be preferred.

      What do you think about Thailand? I've been reading about how some of the US players went there and it sounds a bit promising.
    • tonypmm
      tonypmm
      Silver
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 3,853
      The main issue I see with Thailand (as well as Australia) is the uncomfortable time zone. The late European evening (the peak hours) is the Asian night. Those who grind MTTs and non-jackpot SnGs find it difficult to load enough games outside of the peak hours, and though the ROI per game is bigger at the soft off-peak times, the hourly winrate is still bigger at the peak hours for most multitablers. Cash games and jackpot-type SnGs run around the clock, though if you want to get a lot of tables going at an off-peak hour, you'll need to play at several sites at once.

      I've already expressed my opinion on Asian countries in the blog of community hero IvicaIliev77 (pronounced 'ee-vi-tsa ee-'lee-yev; that's his favourite soccer player) [read his linked post and then scroll down a bit]. Other Asian countries like the dirt cheap Cambodia (that has a small grinder community too) should be also looked into in this case.
    • MeganEkko
      MeganEkko
      Basic
      Joined: 18.08.2015 Posts: 11
      Another idea poped up that I'm going to look into. Most of Germany has online poker Illegal but in the state of Schleswig-Holstein they decided to regulate it instead. It's not much but I am slightly more interested in going for an education than going to southeast asia for the weather and low cost of living.

      It would keep me in a time zone where I can fish from the EU player pool, and learning German with larger number of people who speak it would maybe be more beneficial for me in the long run, and I could still use the TEFL degree plan if I wanted.... idk but it's something to think about.

      ----edit----
      Actually just saw in an article Schleswig-Holstein reversed it's decision a year later and the 50+ licenses it issued will expire in 2018.
    • OMGimbroke
      OMGimbroke
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.08.2015 Posts: 20
      London? Dunno where there are a lot of rich dudes.