Posted in Guides July 25, 2020
Do You Have to Pay Taxes on Slot Machine Winnings?
The thrill of hearing winning sounds and seeing bright flashing lights can make one forget about taxes and fees that come with that big slot machine win. However, taxation is a crucial factor to consider when winning big on slots. Therefore, regular slot machine players may have wondered about taxes imposed on their winnings. This article aims to explain in detail how taxes can impact your winnings.
Taxes in the UK
Fortunately for United Kingdom residents, there are no tax payments for casino winnings, including slot machines. As such, players can walk away with their winnings without worrying about reporting or paying taxes on sums, be it £50 or £500,000. Both land-based and online casinos follow this rule. However, UK casino operators and gambling institutions pay a fixed 15% rate on their profits.
Taxes in the USA
United States players may not have the same luck as UK residents. The USA has had taxation issues surrounding casino winnings, and the IRS requires winning players to report their winnings for all games of chance, including slot machines, which exceeds $1,200. When a player wins cash payments or prizes such as a vehicle or vacation, it becomes obligatory to contact the IRS and fill out a 1040 form, filing the winnings under ‘other income.’ The same applies to online slot winnings, whereby income earned in both online and land-based casinos are taxable if you are a US citizen. For winnings of $1,200 or higher, the IRS payment requires filing a W-2G form. It is important to note that different states have varying taxation laws.
What Are the Tax Rates?
In the US, when a player hits the jackpot, the casino provides a W-2G form where they enter their name, address, and social security number. If the social security number is given, the IRS will use a 25% rate on the player’s winnings. However, if a player fails to provide their social security number, the IRS can withhold 28% of the total winnings. The W-2G form must contain the total amount of your winnings from slots. In addition to this, winnings from keno, bingo, poker tournaments, horse track racing, or any other games of chance are also subject to tax using the same W-2G form.
Difference Between State and Local Taxes
Winning players in the US will have to report their winnings separately to state and local authorities, leading to payments of local taxes when they win money on slot machines in a different state. However, if a player’s home state has a tax return, there is no double taxation. It is important to note that Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Ohio are exempt from this rule.
Can I Deduct My Slot Losses?
To uplift the mood for US players, they can deduct their slot losses with a set of specific regulations. Deductible losses depend on the number of a player’s winnings. That is, if a player wins $500 on a bet and loses $1,000 on other bets, they are compensated $500, the previous win amount. It is also not possible to deduct losses without appropriate documentation. It is vital to keep all receipts regarding wins and losses, such as tickets and checks.
Taxes in Canada
Fortunately for Canadians, winnings from gambling are not considered taxable income, and citizens do not have to pay taxes on their winnings as they do not count as their regular source of income. However, professional gamblers whose primary jobs are winning games of chance must report their earnings. All casual players can walk away from both online and land-based casinos with their winnings tax-free.
Taxes in Australia
In Australia, gambling is not a profession; it is a hobby, and winnings do not count as taxable income. The government, therefore, does not tax any winnings as they are considered a secondary source of income. However, casino operators, lottery organizers, and clubs are required to pay a certain tax percentage to ensure customer safety.
Taxes in New Zealand
New Zealand has stricter taxation rules that consider winnings made from slot machines and other casino games taxable income if the player’s other incomes are low. This regulation applies to professional players. However, recreational players are not required to pay taxes on their winnings, with the government only taxing gambling institutions.
Taxes in Other European Countries
European countries have varying taxation regulations, and players are advised to check the laws in their respective countries. In the Netherlands, players pay 29% on winnings exceeding €454 from slot games, and if you play on offshore sites, you will need to fill in a gaming tax return and report to the government. Sweden levies a tax of 18% on winnings made in brick-and-mortar and online casinos, while Greece has a rate that can go as high as 35%.
This article aims to ease your worries regarding taxes on slot machine winnings, and readers are reminded to gamble responsibly. Before playing slots, players are encouraged to check their respective state laws on taxation as they may vary. After all, winning big is always exciting and, now, without the added tax burdens, it may make all the difference!