Nevada Rep intensifies efforts to remove ‘archaic’ slot machine tax threshold

Nevada Rep intensifies efforts to remove ‘archaic’ slot machine tax threshold
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Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada, has reiterated her stance that the tax threshold for reporting slot machine winnings should be raised.

As reported by Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Congressional Gaming Caucus Co-Chair has urged lawmakers to modernize the legislation and facilitate a better experience for players.

Since 1977, operators, whether that be a casino or convenience store, have been required to complete a W-2G form to the Internal Revenue Service to report winnings of more than $1,200 from individual slot players.

Titus introduced a bill last year to change the policy, but it never made it to a vote.

Under her latest proposal, the threshold would be raised to $5,000 and indexed to inflation so that the amount would keep up over time.

Titus expects it would win bipartisan support if the measure is enough of a priority for most members of Congress. Once the bill makes it through the House, she believes Nevada’s senators would carry the ball to win Senate approval.

“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,” she told the Review-Journal.

This isn’t just a city or state-wide issue, however, as Titus explained that “we’re not just doing this just for Las Vegas, we’re doing it for everybody”.

One of the main irritations with the current policy is that it is too time-consuming and prevents people from going about their daily life.

This is because attendants are required to take offline and inspect winning slot machines at casinos before checking the winner’s identification and preparing the appropriate paperwork.

Given the hectic nature of casinos and various responsibilities placed upon its staff, waits of an hour or more have been commonplace, causing some slot machine winners to miss flights.

“That patron could be sitting for quite a long time waiting for a casino employee to help them with the paperwork,” said Alex Costello, VP of Government Relations for the American Gaming Association (AGA).

“It certainly is a drain on the consumer. Our customers are excited to win a jackpot and it takes a little air out of the tires, and it certainly is a compliance headache for our operators for the machine to be out of service and to file all this paperwork.”