The reintroduction of the Shifting Limits on Thresholds (SLOT) Act, which updates the reporting thresholds for slot machine winnings, has been publicly backed by the American Gaming Association (AGA).
The decision to reintroduce the legislation was announced last week by Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) and Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Gaming Caucus which relaunched in 2020.
The platform serves to discuss federal policy issues related to the US casino industry and educate Congressional colleagues on related regulatory and legislative matters, and its latest verdict would update a nearly 50-year-old reporting threshold.
“This is a commonsense update to tax policy that creates a better patron experience, reduces burden on the IRS, and supports gaming’s economic impact in communities,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller.
“We are grateful for Rep. Titus and Rep. Reschenthaler’s leadership on this important industry priority to address the antiquated slot tax threshold.”
Under current measures, slot machines must be temporarily taken out of service every time the threshold is hit which, according to the Congressional Gaming Caucus, creates ‘unnecessary roadblocks in the legal gaming experience’.
This, in turn, could mean legitimate customers are incentivized to switch to the illegal market, meaning less tax revenue and more violations of the law.
“Updating a Reagan-era gaming regulation is not just a priority for my constituents in Las Vegas, it is a commonsense fix that affects the growth of legal gaming in local and Tribal communities across the country,” commented Rep. Titus.
“Shutting down slot machines for low-dollar amounts pushes people toward the illegal market, and flooding the IRS with automated, outdated forms helps no one. This legislation would reduce the paperwork burden on businesses and players while ensuring our tax code reflects economic reality.”
Ernest L. Stevens Jr., Chairman of the Indian Gaming Association, reflected: “I want to thank Representative Titus for her reintroduction of the SLOT Act. Tribal gaming is experiencing tremendous post-covid growth and the Treasury Department’s slot reporting requirement is a regulatory burden on our tribal gaming industry.
“On behalf of the Tribal Membership at the Indian Gaming Association, I would like to acknowledge Representative Titus and Representative Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) for their commitment towards removing this outdated and costly burden on our daily Tribal gaming operations.”
The new threshold for slot machines winnings will be $5,000, a significant increase on the $1,200 threshold which has stood since 1977, indexing it to inflation.
Rep. Reschenthaler added: “The 1977 slot jackpot reporting threshold hurts both Pennsylvania’s gaming industry and its patrons. Because the threshold has not kept up with inflation, it has resulted in a drastic increase in reportable jackpots, which trigger tax burdens for winners and compliance burdens for casinos.
“Increasing the threshold will eliminate this onerous red tape, ensuring the gaming industry can continue to support good-paying jobs and foster economic growth in southwestern Pennsylvania and across the country.”