Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Kisska-Schulze Presents Taxing Sports Today At Florida State

Kathryn Kisska-Schulze (Clemson) presents Taxing Sports, 71 Am. U. L. Rev. 845 (2022) (with John T. Holden (Oklahoma State; Google Scholar)), at Florida State today as part of its Law and Business Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn:

Kisska-schulzeSports are no longer mere games. In today’s money-driven culture, they have cultivated into a lucrative business enterprise where everyone—whether professional or amateur; owner or player; coach or spectator—stands to make significant money. Modern sports have also morphed into a landscape encompassing both the traditional athletic events and the more novel esports and daily fantasy sports (DFS) arenas. Across all these physical, digital, and biological spheres, sports revenues are being measured in terms of billions. It thus stands to reason why taxes have become a progressively critical discussion point within U.S. professional and collegiate sports, the video gaming world, and the newly legalized sports gambling industry. This Article is the first to provide a holistic and modern analysis of the impact of U.S. tax law across the contemporary business of sports and explore a more universal approach to the varying tax issues affecting numerous relevant stakeholders, including franchises, business ventures, universities, athletes, individuals, and federal and state taxing jurisdictions.

The “business of sports” is changing. No longer do athletes compete purely for love of the game. Sports have evolved into a highly productive enterprise, where everyone stands to make a buck. The business side of the industry has moved beyond professional sports into the realms of amateur athletics, DFS, esports, and the legalized sports gambling industry, and the dollar signs generated are big.

Recently, Congress and states have shown increased interest in usurping a greater percentage of these sports-related revenues, even amidst the more amicable treatment historically bestowed upon professional and collegiate athletics. The newly legalized sports gambling industry allows states to capture tax revenues not previously available to them. In addition, the fourth industrial revolution has blurred the traditional lines of sport, inviting significant revenue generation from novel subsets of the sports culture that blend the physical, digital, and biological spheres. Across this ever-evolving industry, taxes are and will continue to play an integral role. Sport is not just a game anymore, and Congress and states taxing jurisdictions have indicated they are ready to play ball.

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