$1,199 (or less) jackpots at Magic City, Dania
Because casinos must issue tax forms to slot players who jackpots hits of $1,200 or more, today could be a wakeup call to those who had nice wins in 2015, but now must pay a portion to the government.
But here’s a plan to dodge Uncle Sam in 2016, if you’re so inclined. You can play a series of machines at Magic City Casino that promise to yield a jackpot of … $1,199 or less.
The bank of 30 machines at the Miami casino build on what is known as a progressive jackpot, meaning the payout total rises with each spin from each machine. This bank starts with a jackpot of $1,100 and guarantees payout somewhere between that number and $1,199.
Depending on how often the machines are played – progressives slots are fueled by a penny or two from each spin feeding into the big jackpot – the slots hit at least once a week, usually more, said Magic City COO Scott Savin. (Magic City operators also own one-fourth of the new Casino @ Dania Beach and have a $1,199 progressive there, too.)
The games have varying themes and denominations, ranging from 10 cents per spin to $2.
Now, just to clean up the tax talk here: All gambling winnings, even $1, are supposed to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income. But only scores of $1,200 require casinos to issue tax forms, which the IRS is copied in on. So, whether or not you report smaller wins is strictly between your accountant and you.
Also note that other casinos also have progressive machines, many with jackpots that slip in under that $1,200 mark. But I don’t think I’ve seen any others flaunt tax evasion as proudly.
Meanwhile, the IRS had been looking to drop the reporting threshold for slot wins to $600 – the same point lottery winners must report – but American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman said Uncle Sam will likely back off.
Casino operators argued that if anything, the threshold should be increased because of inflation. The reporting procedure began in 1977. Casinos also don’t like that machines must “lock up” while the paperwork is being filled out, costing players time on the machines.
The IRS received 14,120 written public comments about the proposal, the vast majority of them negative.