The amount of people making money playing esports like Fortnight, League of Legends, Rocket League, Smite, Halo, CS:GO or content creating via Twitch, YouTube, Azubu, etc. continues to grow at an extraordinary pace. According to a recent article on dotesports.com, the payout for the top 50 streamers from August 2019 to October 2021 was around $1 million a year to $10 million a year.
DiAndria Green, a Senior Manager in Bennett Thrasher’s State & Local Tax (SALT) practice, was recently featured in Atlanta Film and TV as part of the platform’s Atlanta Movers and Shakers series. In the interview, she discusses the current state of the entertainment industry, touching on Georgia’s film and music tax credits, the impact of COVID on filming and the growth of eSports.
Gamers beware, what has always been said about the only certainties of life, including taxes, is still accurate. Currently, the global eSport industry is valued over $1.08 billion and is projected to grow to $1.62 billion by 2024. With an industry boom, Georgia and other states are taking a closer look at how they’re responding to the income and revenue generated by the eSports industry and professional players.
Last year, the Georgia General Assembly enacted legislation HB 1037, which requires new mandatory film tax credit audits in Georgia to be performed by either the Georgia Department of Revenue or an approved external CPA firm. Bennett Thrasher is pleased to be one of the firms approved to perform such audits for 2021.
Bennett Thrasher, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing certified public accounting and consulting firms, is one of six firms in the country approved by the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) to conduct new mandatory film tax credit audits for production companies.
Peter Stathopoulos, Partner in Bennett Thrasher State & Local Tax practice and leader of the firm’s Entertainment practice, recently testified before the Georgia House Committee on Creative Arts and Entertainment that production in Georgia is currently booming due in part to the state being the first to reopen for production post-pandemic.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, it took a large toll on the entertainment industry, causing production to come to a temporary halt in March. To dive into the impact the coronavirus has had on film and television in Georgia and how it will shape the industry going into the new year, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF)’s In Conversation podcast interviewed Peter Stathopoulos, Partner at Bennett Thrasher and leader of the firm’s Entertainment practice.
Most Georgia residents have noticed that the state has become a major destination for the film and entertainment industry over the last several years. Known as the “Hollywood of the South,” Atlanta has become a hub for films and TV series, including The Walking Dead, The Avengers and The Hunger Games.
Over the past 15 years, Georgia has established itself as a go-to location for production. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has created challenges for the industry and temporarily brought production to a halt. To discuss how studios can successfully restart production in the state, Entertainment Partners and Barnes & Thornburg hosted the webinar, “Georgia on My Mind: Pushing Play on Production in Georgia.”
On August 4, 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed H.B. 1037 (the “Bill”) into law, which contains modifications to Georgia’s entertainment tax credit program (the “Program”). Peter Stathopoulos, head of Bennett Thrasher’s Entertainment practice and Chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee of Georgia Production Partnership, worked with industry lobbyists, other entertainment coalitions and lawmakers in helping to shape portions of the Bill.