Wednesday, April 21, 2010

IRS: No More Cash In Las Vegas!

Attention Mac Daddies, Slim Shadies, Easy Ladies, and Bernie Madoff wannabes: Your days of using Strip nightclubs and ultra-lounges as a cash playground could be coming to an end.

The Internal Revenue Service is messing with the Vegas Rules again.

The incredible cash flow of the clubs has attracted intense interest from the IRS. In an effort to make the cash transaction reporting rules clearly understood, IRS agents from the criminal and civil divisions recently conducted two meetings with more than 40 high-level local nightclub managers. Las Vegas IRS Special Agent in Charge Paul Camacho confirmed the meetings.

The prevailing theme: Monitor cash customers responsibly, or Uncle Sam will.

"We're not trying to do a gotcha," Camacho said. "We said we know the majority of people who come to this town are legitimate. This is all about following the rules. The casinos have to do this, and the nightclubs the have to do it, too."

It also sends a message.

"We're a dynamic agency," Camacho said. "We make an assessment of what goes on in a town and adjust accordingly. We're in Vegas. I can't think of another place in the country where we have these types of clubs. They can't look me straight in the face and say they haven't had customers spending more than $10,000 in cash. They can't. ...

I'm not so sure. Fact is, Las Vegas has long benefited from an underground, untaxed cash economy that's circulated from the casinos, through the cab companies and strip clubs, bars, restaurants and throughout the rest of the community. To a lot of local working stiffs who live by the Vegas Rules, Camacho is speaking a very foreign language.
In recent weeks, the IRS held similar meetings with strip club managers. The clubs spend millions in cash each year on limousine and taxi drivers to deliver customers. The drivers, in turn, commonly kick cash to casino door personnel.
What's the big deal with customers dumping their bankrolls at the nightclubs?

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