$1,200 slot jackpot threshold needs update 46 years later, gaming official says
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s a thrill for any gambler to get a “hand-pay” on a big slot machine win. But it’s also a headache because it means the IRS knows — and they’ll take their cut.
There’s also the wait, as paperwork gets done. And if you win at, say, a gas station video poker machine … it can be a long wait.
“It is past time to raise the antiquated slot tax. This burdensome threshold has not been updated for inflation since it was created nearly 50 years ago and creates unnecessary compliance headaches for casino patrons, the IRS and gaming operators,” according to Alex Costello, vice president of government relations for the American Gaming Association.
And now, U.S. Rep. Dina Titus is expected to ask the federal government again to get with the times.
“This issue is affecting consumers and casinos across the country and we’re calling on common sense to prevail and lead to an update to this outdated tax policy,” Costello told 8 News Now on Tuesday.
In 1977, the $1,200 threshold was reasonable. Now, it’s a lot of trouble for jackpots that aren’t as uncommon — and outpaced significantly by inflation. Things cost about four times as much today as they did 46 years ago.
The SLOT Act (Shifting Limits on Thresholds) was introduced last year, but never made it to a vote. As tax time nears, Titus hasn’t made a formal announcement. But a staffer says it could within the month.
Last year, the SLOT Act sought to increase the threshold to $5,000. And that was before a year of inflation that cut into the earnings of people across the country.
Titus leads the Congressional Gaming Caucus, along with U.S Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, a Pennsylvania Republican.