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Ask the Slot Expert: Claiming gambling losses

14 December 2011

I read an article about a man who one $1,000 at Yonkers raceway in New York. He won it on a slot machine and asked if he had to file taxes on his winnings. You told him in the article that it was taxable because its was considered a lottery winning.

The same thing happened to me at Yonkers and I received a W-2G form to send with my taxes. I requested a win/loss statement from Yonkers. I was told I can use the loss amount on the statement to offset the winnings.

I did not lose more than $1,000 at Yonkers. I go to Atlantic City a couple times a year. Can I use win/loss statements from other casinos that are not part of the New York lottery to offset the winnings?

Thank you,
Nick

Dear Nick,

Gambling winnings are gambling winnings as far as the IRS is concerned. It doesn't care whether you won on lottery tickets, horse racing, keno or slot machines. You can use your losses at Atlantic City casinos to offset your winnings at New York casinos.

Now, you can't just deduct your losses from your winnings and report the net on Form 1040. Your winnings go on Form 1040 and you report your losses as an itemized deduction on Schedule A.

Consult a professional tax preparer to ensure your return is prepared correctly and you have the proper documentation to support your numbers.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots