As the Internal Revenue Service is looking to lower the tax threshold for casino winnings to $600, the casino industry, backed by Washington Capitol Hill supporters, attempts to convince the IRS to drop the action.
Currently, the W2-G forms are prepared by casinos for bingo or slot winners that reach the threshold of $1.200. For keno the threshold is at $1.500. The problem with lowering the threshold, casino officials state, is that this does not only disrupt the casino proceedings but also force operators to implement costly upgrades to tracking systems while increasing the amount of paperwork.
Another IRS suggestion that might lead to a decline in gambling enthusiasm is the proposal to track winnings through the player’s cards and automatically extract the tax owed. Geoff Freeman, CEO or the American Gaming Association, directed comments toward the IRS, stating that “The gaming industry is aware of no other industry in the country for which the IRS has issued regulations requiring the industry to deploy its customer loyalty program for federal tax collection purposes.”
A letter signed by over seventeen congressmen, including all of Nevada’s, some from Louisiana, Iowa, Ohio, Mississippi, Indiana, Arizona, and Florida, was sent to the IRS earlier this week pleading for the retraction of the proposed law. Among representatives, Senator Dean Heller and Senator Harry Reid personally approached IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
Casino industry operators resorted to the help of patrons asking them to contact their state representatives so that they “[hear] from a wide array of voices about the negative implications that any reduction would have.” The main worry is the possibility of diminishing casino experiences for fans. This movement managed to gather 10.000 online signatures and 3000 direct comments to the IRS.
Freedman reported to have had responses from all 50 states and stated that “Every segment of our industry — operators, suppliers, and customers — is united against this proposal. And this is what 21st century advocacy looks like.” The public hearing scheduled for June 17 in Washington should yield more information on where the nation stands on this matter.