The action on any casino floor is meant to be intense and continuous, but that’s not always how it works out. Thanks to a 1977 law requiring operators to fill out a W-2G tax form on any winning play over $1,200. But a group of lawmakers, led by Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (D) are pushing a measure that would push that threshold up to $5,000, a move that would save casino operators some major headaches.
As it stands today, regulated casinos are bound by the law that not only requires a W-2G on payouts of over $1,200, it also means that the machine will be shut down until a casino employee can come by with the paperwork. That take a machine out of action and leaves players standing around waiting, not playing, which is something casino operators do not like. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that large slot winners have actually missed flights at McCarran Airport while they waited for their paperwork.
Under the terms of a new bill proposed by Titus, casino operators would not have to report wins $5,000 and higher, a move that would bring the threshold to a more contemporary standard. “This threshold was set back in the ’70s, and we all know how inflation works and what it looks like today. Back then, a $1,200 jackpot meant something completely different than what it means today,” Alex Costello, vice president of government relations for the American Gaming Association recently explained to the Review-Journal. When adjusted for inflation, $1,200 1977 dollars comes out to about $6,000 2023 dollars.
Given that more than 15 million W2-Gs were filled out in 2020, the last year for which the statistics are available, raising the threshold to $5,000 is a very big deal.
Titus says that she plans on introducing some sort of legislation on this topic withing two months.