The state police are going after cash.
It’s the latest battle that will end up in a courtroom later today.
Pennsylvania, you see, loves its gambling proceeds. Few folks know it, but the state ranks second only to Nevada when it comes to annual betting revenue.
It’s big business.
Thanks to the state taking anywhere from 25% of table game winnings to 54% of slot machine payouts, tax revenues are huge. Tax law even allows gamblers to deduct their losses – just as a farmer might deduct the cost of his seed.
But the state doesn’t like it when somebody comes in and skirts its oh-so-profitable system.
Nope. It’ll ruin the poor chap.
Hence… its war on cash.
Taking What’s Yours
Police in Pennsylvania spent much of last year seizing what the governor and his cronies have declared to be illegal gambling machines.
You may have seen one. They offer the player the chance at a skills-based game (often tic-tac-toe or a memory game)… and if he wins, he gets paid.
And he gets paid… in cash.
That’s the trouble.
The governor says these devilish machines take some $200 million out of the state’s lottery system each year. The gambling industry says it keeps folks from pulling the levers on its slot machines.
But it’s the tax collector who’s really behind this fight.
He’s upset because these cash-paying machines offer no way for Caesar to get what is Caesar’s.
Unlike the lotto system or the state’s casinos that automatically withhold taxes… the winner of these barroom games takes his cash, buys another beer and goes home.
The state doesn’t like that… at all.
Government Ethics… Ha!
Don’t be duped into thinking this fight is one of ethics or morality.
With $4.5 billion in “sales” each year, the state’s lottery system acts as a silent tax on the poor… and nobody is griping. The governor certainly has no qualms about taking a few bucks from a beer-swigging patron at the corner bar.
And don’t forget, like most states, Pennsylvania has yet to see a casino application it doesn’t like. They’re popping up all over the place… even at derelict, old malls.
The state likes the economic boost. It’s even made a state-funded industry out of fighting gambling addiction.
But let’s not be fools… It pushes gambling on its citizens to get its hands in their back pockets.
It’s a $1.5 billion revenue source for the governor and his pals.
That’s the fact that leads us back to that war on cash.
The government hates the stuff. We can stash it under our bed. We can hand it to a pal under the table. And we can take our gambling winnings and go home.
For an unwavering fan of Liberty, the story here is obvious.
The war is real. And it’s happening right now… in a Pennsylvania courtroom today.
With the nod of a judge’s head, some 20,000 machines that were legally sold and that provide hundreds of millions in revenue to bars, clubs and nonprofits… could instantly become property of the state – and, if we had to guess, will soon be relocated to the nearest casino.
The state wants its tax money… and it will get it.
A Global Push
But this isn’t just a Pennsylvania story.
Governments across the globe are fighting the freedom of cash.
It’s no surprise then that we’ve watched the cashless industry go absolutely bonkers over the last 18 months.
We’ve written about it, we’ve told our subscribers which stocks to buy to profit from it… and now we’re seeing folks get rich once again.
At nearly the same time Pennsylvania is waging its war on cash-based gambling, Visa (V) just announced a $5.3 billion deal that gets at the heart of one of the world’s fastest-growing industries.
It’s buying Plaid, the tech company that serves as the plumbing for the cashless industry. If a financial app or online service ties to a customer’s bank account… there’s a good chance it’s using Plaid’s technology.
It’s an ideal way for Visa (a holding in the Manward Letter portfolio) to get its hand in virtually all pieces of the quickly evolving cashless payments puzzle.
It’s one of the biggest trends in today’s economy.
Governments of all sizes are loving it and supporting it with everything they have (even their police force). It protects their taxes and keeps them in control.
Banks enjoy it as well. It funnels a lot more money through their coffers.
And investors who see what’s happening have many profitable trades at their fingertips.
But it’s also a threat.
For those of us who are fans of Liberty, the consequences are obvious and real. We must take action to protect ourselves.
That’s why we’ve recently published an in-depth report on the situation that outlines five simple steps that can help folks maneuver around the obstacles ahead. It’s important to read right now because a big meeting is scheduled in Washington very soon. If it goes down the way we think it could… this trend could be greatly accelerated. All the details are here.
A bit of Know-How is the perfect way to start preparing for what’s ahead.