The Tax Man May be Calling on Viktor Blom
By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
Earlier this month, the poker world’s worst kept secret was revealed as the identity of the latest Team PokerStars Pro was made known to all. Viktor Blom, the 20 year old Swedish high stakes poker player, was unveiled with a grand presentation at the kickoff of The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, and now may face an even bigger adversary than the poker pros lined up to face off against him on the virtual felt.
It was revealed last week through a Swedish financial newspaper that the Swedish Tax Agency has begun investigating online poker rooms based overseas, but that have operations based in Sweden. Blom is more directly affected by the Swedish Law that states that residents must pay taxes on gambling unless the sites are based in the European Union or the Swedish controlled Svenska Spel, which operates regulated gambling throughout the country.
With Full Tilt Poker being based in Ireland, Blom could be required to pay 30% on all pots on Full Tilt — even ones that he lost. According to the Swedish press, this puts the amount that could potentially be owed somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million.
Of course, pots that Blom had both won and lost would be taxed, which seems incredulous, but as the Swedish Tax Law stands at the moment, would be correct.
Blom has recently moved to London, where gambling income isn’t taxed, but it remains to be seen whether or not the Swedish Tax Agency will target him for the $150 million. A representative of The Swedish Tax Agency recently stated to the local press that “Internet poker is something we’re looking into and I know this poker player, but I can’t comment on whether we’ve opened a case.”