Rep. Titus seeks threshold hike for slot winnings tax
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada lawmaker is planning another attempt to raise the reporting threshold for slot machine winnings.
Rep. Dina Titus told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the landscape has changed dramatically since 1977 when Nevada was the only state offering legal casino gambling.
Since then, whenever a slot player wins a jackpot of more than $1,200, the operator — a casino, tavern, restaurant or convenience store or even airport personnel — is required to prepare a form that reports the amount of those winnings to the Internal Revenue Service.
The first Atlantic City casinos opened in 1978, and over the years, commercial and tribal casinos have expanded to all but two states, and many of them have casinos with slot machines.
“There was a time when we were trying to get the Treasury Department to do this through regulation, but they never moved, so we’re just going to push the legislation instead,” Titus told the Review-Journal.
Titus, a Democrat, introduced a bill last year to raise the reporting threshold but it never made it to a vote. Under Titus’ proposal, the threshold would be raised to $5,000 and indexed to inflation so that the amount would keep up over time.
Titus said she is looking to receive bipartisan support from states that have some form of commercial or tribal gaming. “One of the important things is we’re not just doing this just for Las Vegas, we’re doing it for everybody,” said Titus, whose legislative district includes the Strip.
Brendan Bussmann, gaming industry analyst with Las Vegas-based B Global, isn’t so sure the legislation can succeed.
“The challenge that we are going to face is that you have a dysfunctional legislative body that won’t see this as a bipartisan issue,” Bussmann told the Review-Journal. “It’s time to update the system and up the threshold on taxable winnings. This should be a no-brainer, but in an age where we live by continuing resolutions, this gets lost in the shuffle.”
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