IRS Settles Tax Case With Card Player in $8.6 Million Shuffle
By JERRY MOSKAL
Poker player George Chang had raked in more than $8.5 million in tax savings when the Internal Revenue Service folded its hand.
Chang, a former $40-an-hour house gambler for the Hollywood Park Casino, agreed last month to pay the IRS $27,927 in additional 1996-2000 taxes and penalties to settle $8.6 million in tax payments the agency had demanded.
The IRS had charged that Chang failed to report $11 million in additional taxable income, money he claimed he borrowed. He argued that the IRS erred when it reconstructed his taxable earnings based on the line of credit he had with the casino.
The settlement, signed by U.S. Tax Court Judge David Laro, puts an end to the year-long dispute. Chang couldn’t be reached for comment. IRS spokesman Anthony Burke declined comment, citing the agency’s policy of not discussing court decisions.
Chang filed his appeal of the IRS determination last July, listing the Crystal Park Casino Hotel in Compton as his home. He has since checked out.
Chang had been a “public relations player” for the Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood. The job is not unusual among Los Angeles-area card rooms, which refer to such employees as “prop players” who are on their payrolls but must use their own money to gamble.
According to his petition, Chang’s job was to help start games and join games that needed players.