The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) delivered a late Christmas present to slots players since they’ve decided to keep the slots winnings tax threshold at $1,200 – rather than lowering it to $600.
This will prevent thousands of extra slot machine players from having to report wins as low as $600 to the IRS.
The IRS first proposed the idea of lowering the slot machine tax threshold in March 2015. They shelved the plan for a while, but pushed it more in the last few months.
Luckily, they decided between Christmas and New Year’s to not lower reported winnings to $600. This keeps casino slots from descending closer to the level of dog tracks and jai alai courts, where you must declare as little as $2 in winnings.
According to NJ.com, the casino industry vehemently opposed lowering the tax threshold because they said that a $600 limit would force more interruptions in play. Subsequently, this would also mean a loss of revenues for casinos because players would be busy filling out tax forms, rather than playing.
Geoff Freeman, president of the American Gaming Association, said the IRS decision is “a big win not only for gaming companies and millions of casino visitors, but also for state and local governments who would have received fewer gaming tax dollars as a result of what would have been burdensome federal requirements.”
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd Dist.), whose district includes Atlantic City, joined 16 of his House colleagues in fighting the changed tax threshold to protect Atlantic City casinos.
“We strongly believe that the IRS should not consider any reduction of this reporting threshold as any lowering from $1,200 would have significant negative impacts on casino operations and consumers,” wrote the lawmakers.
It’s definitely good to see that the casino industry prevented the IRS from lowering the tax threshold and putting more roadblocks in the way of us enjoying land-based slot machines.