Question for UK guys regarding Unemployment Benefit

antibes

Dormant Account
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Location
Ireland
Sorry if this is in the wrong forum.

I have been unemployed for 2 years and am claiming Jobseekers Allowance.

Not that I would tell them, but if they found out I had 'earned' 8,000 in those 2 years through poker and blackjack - could I be prosecuted?

Am I doing the double?

I am allowed to have 8,000 in savings.

If someone won 8,000 on the lottery, I don't think they would do anything.
 

cheekymonkey

On a Break
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Location
..
Sorry if this is in the wrong forum.

I have been unemployed for 2 years and am claiming Jobseekers Allowance.

Not that I would tell them, but if they found out I had 'earned' 8,000 in those 2 years through poker and blackjack - could I be prosecuted?

Am I doing the double?

I am allowed to have 8,000 in savings.

If someone won 8,000 on the lottery, I don't think they would do anything.

I am definitely no expert on this, but if you go Old / Expired Link and then move down to What to do if your circumstances change it clearly states that if you don't report a change in circumstance you could lose your benefit.

So, the ball is in your court.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Benefit

It depends on whether you are a "professional gambler", or just someone who got lucky.
There is no doubt that the change in savings as a result has to be declared as a change of circumstance.
Poker might be viewed differently, as it is recognised as a profession, however, in the recent court case against the Gutshot club, it was ruled that poker was a game of luck with an element of skill, and thus is just a form of gambling.
Many people on benefits buy lottery tickets, do the football pools, etc - it is when they win enough to move them from one means tested category to another that benefits can be affected. For jobseekers allowance, availability for work is aoe of the main criteria. If poker play restricts your ability to be available for work, this will have to be declared, and you should then change the claim to income support (as you are then "self employed" as a poker pro!)

I am on incapacity benefit & an early pension. I too have kept an eye on these matters, however availablity for work is not a criteria. If I became a poker pro, I would have to declare that I was self employed and relinquish my claim. There are ways around this for certain types of work.

The most reasonable solution for this problem would to be to declare savings have exceeded 8000, and if asked, say you had a one off big win "gambling". See if there is anything you need, say for the house, car, that can bring savings below the critical 8000. If you are really good at poker & keep winning, might as well try going "pro" and see if you have got what it takes.
If the wins were Blackjack, you should have no problem as this is legally a game of chance rather than an occupation. You could also try phoning the benefits helpline anonymously to check up on the regulations before committing yourself.
 

mitch

Ueber Meister
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Location
UK
Antibes

Money won through gambling is not regarded as Income for benefit purposes or tax purposes.

However if you retain the money as savings then it contributes to your available capital which causes your benefit to start reducing, if you are in receipt of an Income assessed benefit, once a certain level is reached.

Vinyl's Incapacity Benefit is not subject to this Capital Rule as it is a Contributory Benefit.

If someone won a million on the lottery and didn't spend it immediately they would lose entitlement to Income based benefits.

Mitch
 

antibes

Dormant Account
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Location
Ireland
Thanks, but I have no intention of telling them I have been making 80 a week on poker and blackjack.

I was just wondering if I did, would they stop my 57 a week Job Seekers Allowance or reduce it.

Comparing if I won 80 a week from the National Lottery.
 

mitch

Ueber Meister
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Location
UK
Thanks, but I have no intention of telling them I have been making 80 a week on poker and blackjack.

I was just wondering if I did, would they stop my 57 a week Job Seekers Allowance or reduce it.

Comparing if I won 80 a week from the National Lottery.

No to all those questions!

Mitch
 

GrandMaster

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 21, 2004
Location
UK
Sorry if this is in the wrong forum.

I have been unemployed for 2 years and am claiming Jobseekers Allowance.

Not that I would tell them, but if they found out I had 'earned' 8,000 in those 2 years through poker and blackjack - could I be prosecuted?

Am I doing the double?

I am allowed to have 8,000 in savings.

If someone won 8,000 on the lottery, I don't think they would do anything.
If you are in Ireland, as it says in your profile, how come you are claiming UK benefits?
 

dealer wins

Meister Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Location
London the sh$thole
Mitch is 100% correct antibes. I have in the past claimed "means tested" benefits and have asked this question directly to my benefit adviser. I was advised that any winnings or losses from gambling are not included in your total income and are disregarded for benefit qualification calculations.
 

antibes

Dormant Account
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Location
Ireland
Thanks for the replies.

I didn't want to ask them in case they stopped my benefit.

Feel a lot easier now.

I'm in Belfast.
 

TheBloke

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Location
London
Maybe you should get a job. Or stop claiming benefits and live on your poker winnings.

Do you enjoy living off handouts?
 

dealer wins

Meister Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Location
London the sh$thole
Well for me I wish I was able to. Following a serious illness that has left me with severe speech problems and incredible pain I was forced to give up work after 21 years service with the same employer.

I make ends meet through incapacity benefit and poker. I would love to work "properly" but its not an option with my current disability im afraid.
 

winbig

Keep winning this amount.
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Location
Pennsylvania
I didn't want to ask them in case they stopped my benefit.


Then why are you doing it in the first place? It's not like an unemployment account is funded by your contributions. It's insurance that the employer pays for.

I don't know about overseas, but here in the USA, you have to report EVERY cent of extra money you receive, no matter what the source. They then decrease your benefit DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR for what you claim.

Failure to do the above can 1. Result in termination of benefits and 2. They will come after you to repay these "overpayments", and/or 3. Cause you to be charged with insurance fraud.


If you're physically/mentally able to work, then instead of gambling online, spend the time going out to look for a job instead of relying on unemployment.


*Gets off his soapbox*
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
UK

Here in the UK, benefits come from general taxation. Until recently, fraud was accepted as a problem, but not too much was really done about actively looking for it. Now, the government are taking a harder line with benefit fraud, and even offer rewards if someone is prepared to "grass up" a neighbour, friend (or enemy!), work colleague. This is indeed happening with injury insurance, as citizens are paying directly through much higher premiums.
In this case of poker winnings, I believe the situation is not as simple as it seems. While gambling winnings are not counted, either for benefit or tax purposes, there is an exception, and that is where the gambling is the MAIN source of income for the person, and is worked at as though it were a profession. This may well apply to a poker player who is able to consistently turn a profit long term. It will be considered as self employment. The problem for the benefits and tax agencies is that the income would be irregular, and cannot be relied upon. This would make it hard to assess, and it is likely that they will require a change from Jobseeker's allowance to income support, where any net income over the long term will be deducted from future benefits.
There are indeed similar rules for Incapacity benefit, which limit the amount of income that can be earned from casual employment, and further restrictions apply to what work can be done, and permission has to be obtained even for unpaid voluntary work!
Any UK player who can consistently turn a profit long term from poker should try to obtain a ruling from the benefits helpline. It should be possible to obtain general advice without leaving your name.
Perhaps the Gutshot club would like to sponsor your case:D , as they lost theirs as the jury did not believe poker was chiefly skill. If the benefits agency rule that poker is a "income generating profession", and cut back benefits, this would allow an appeal to have poker classed in the same league as Darts or Snooker, and the Gutshot would be back in business.

I hope KK declares his regular profits:D
 
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