Estelle Busch, from Minneapolis, is a 72-year-old retiree who gambles 60 hours a week on average. She calls it her “business” and argues that she usually researches slot machines on the Internet.
During the years, she won $1.5 million and lost $1.7 million and she appeared before the Supreme Court of Minnesota contending that she should be allowed to deduct $200,000 in gambling losses from her taxes. The Department of Revenue answered that slots are a game of chance and they require no skills or research.
The Court ruled in favor of Estelle. Justice Paul Anderson wrote “she gambled full time, made attempts to improve her 'skill' at using slot machines and to apply that skill, kept detailed, businesslike records of her winnings and losses.”
Taxpayers are allowed to claim a deduction for gambling losses to extent of their winnings under the Minnesota and Federal Tax laws.