An amusement tax, which is currently levied on activities related to the general public’s enjoyment. While the definition may seem quite vague, in the current context, it refers to gaming and other related products bought or acquired along with it.
The tax was imposed in different places in the US, with Chicago being one of them. While till now, console gaming had been far away from this newly found tax, Sony was the first one of the few companies to put its foot down. While it was initially restricted to more concrete activities at first, certain rules have been added to the precedent with streaming services.
With streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and even Spotify, the Amusement tax imposes a 9 per cent tax in Chicago and other areas in its vicinity. Sony, while it boasts the PlayStation 4’s capabilities of streaming online content via these sites and even more such as Amazon Prime and even HBO (not to forget Funimation). While people often appreciated these services were all offered to them in a complete package, the PlayStation 4, are not quite so happy. Sony happens to be the first one of the few which offer online streaming to charge users a 9 per cent tax, which is levied on them by the City itself.
The law was first passed in 2015 and was met with quite negative reactions as many companies felt that it was unnecessary and an unfair point to collect upon. While many companies refused to conform to this new policy, back in 2015, Apple stood up and filed a lawsuit, which is to date still pending. While Apple managed to hold the city back, other companies were not so lucky and lost the case to the city but later on filled appeals against the decision passed.
Currently, it was seen as a very weird and out of the blue step from Sony, going against the Status Quo in the oddest possible way. While people often complain, they may continue to avail these services via Sony as there isn’t any workaround for it, for now.