jackpot_taxesWhen you win a jackpot at a slot machine, it is not just about cashing out and collecting your winnings.  Before you play at a slot machine, you should know how to legally manage your winnings if you hit the jackpot.  Many players do not know how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and casinos regulate winnings from slot machines.  When a player receives a sufficiently large jackpot, the machine with play music, bells will ring and lights will flash to indicate there has been a win.  The central control room in the casino will then be notified and a casino manager will go to the machine.  In order to collect the winnings, the player must provide a photo identification card like a military card or driver’s license.  A passport may also work for players who are visiting from another country.

How Slot Machine Jackpots are Paid

If a jackpot is lower than $5,000, the casino manager will give the player the amount of their winnings in cash.  If the player won a progressive jackpot, the machine may be examined by technicians.  If the jackpot winnings are larger than $5,000, more technicians may be asked to assist.  When the win is officially declared, the player will receive winnings via check or cash.  If it is an extremely large win like a million dollar jackpot, the player will be given a partial payment via check.  The player then has 90 days to collect the remaining jackpot.  Players may choose to take the entire amount or be paid a certain amount each year.

Taxes on Winnings

Casinos must report any winnings larger than $1,200 to the IRS for video poker machines, horse racing, keno, slot machines and more.  If the winnings are greater than $1,200, the IRS needs a W-2G form.  This form asks players for their social security number, address and name.  The social security number is the primary factor used to determine if the winnings with be withheld by the IRS of jackpots lower than $5,000.  If players refuse to offer this information, the casino will take 28% of the winnings.  Players may also request that a specific amount of money is withheld for taxes.  If taxes are not withheld at the time of the jackpot, that amount will be requested when the player files taxes in April.  Online pokies games operate differently in terms of taxes than traditional casinos but players should know the implications of winning slot machine games for both online and traditional casinos.

About the Author: Brett Chatz is the CEO of BLC Writeworks Ink. He is a graduate of the Economics and Management Faculty of UNISA University where he earned the prestigious Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Additionally, he completed post-graduate studies at the University of Haifa, in Israel. He is an internationally published writer, and author of the best-selling medical fiction book – Serum.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CS Report and its members.

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