Christopher Ballod Speaks with Legaltech News About Taxing Esports

Philadelphia, Penn. (February 18, 2020) - Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Partner Christopher E. Ballod recently spoke with Legaltech news for an article titled "Think Regulating Online Marketplaces Was Difficult? Try Taxing Esports," about the issues involved in taxing and regulating the growing esports industry.

As the article notes, several states have set up programs to work with esports leagues on the issue of taxation, but the ability to collect will depend on the "sophistication of the individual leagues involved."

“If there really is a virtual esports event of some kind then it would be very difficult to imagine how you could tax the players without the assistance of a central major league gaming apparatus,” Mr. Ballod told Legaltech news.

Mr. Ballod also noted that regulators have been dealing with the question of taxation "since the dawn of the commercial internet" and provided an example of how they resolved one such issue when they required Amazon to collect tax as the point of sale.

“While Amazon is verifying your location for shipping and payment then that’s where their obligation to collect the tax also occurs," said Mr. Ballod. "It doesn’t matter where you are, it doesn’t matter if you are behind a proxy, in order to make the payment happen you’ve got to collect the tax."

Mr. Ballod is a partner in Lewis Brisbois’ Philadelphia office and regularly counsels clients on the prevention of data breach incidents and during the response and notification process after an incident occurs. He is also a frequent contributor to the firm's Digital Insights blog.

Read the full Legaltech news article here (subscription may be required).

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