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Gambling duo prove there's no tax on luck

28 December 2006

TORONTO, Ontario -- As reported by the Globe and Mail: "Brian and Terry Leblanc were once a couple of average guys, spending their days washing windows and their nights drinking beer and watching sports on television.

"In the late 1980s, the brothers won about $90,000 at Toronto's Woodbine race track and decided to put that money toward more sports betting. Within a few years, the Leblancs were managing a full-time betting operation from their home in Aylmer, Que., wagering up to $300,000 a week mostly on games such as Pro-Line.

"...They pocketed $1.7-million three times — on two bets in 1996 and one in 1999 — and won about $5.5-million from 1996 to 1999. During that period, they wagered $52-million.

"The CRA (Canada Revenue Avenue) was convinced the men used a "system" to make bets and noted their operation included a computer program to manage wagers and as many as 15 paid helpers.

"...The case ended up at the Tax Court of Canada and, last week, Mr. Justice Donald Bowman ruled in favour of the Leblancs..."

"...The judge said the Leblancs were compulsive gamblers, but they were not running a business and their winnings were not taxable..."

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