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Best of John Robison

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Ask the Slot Expert: Misaligned W-2Gs

16 September 2015


Aren’t there any requirements for the casino to provide legible W-2Gs to the players?


This is the second time I received the forms that are horribly misaligned from the casino. The numbers you need for your tax forms are lined up such that you can barely read the numbers. I brought it to the slot attendant’s attention and she claimed there’s nothing she could do about it and they couldn't reprint it.


I had this same issue with the same casino before, except I didn’t find it until I filed my taxes. So now when I get one I always look.


Do we have any recourse?



The IRS regulations state the casino must issue the W-2G. The regulations don't say that the paper has to be aligned properly so that players can read the data on the printed forms they are given. Fortunately, I've never received a form on which that data wasn't aligned properly.


Don't worry about the IRS not being able to read their copy of the form. The data is sent to it electronically. (Maybe you weren't worried about the IRS being able to read the form.)


The casino must have some flexibility in the layout of the W-2Gs it issues. The one I received in July doesn't look anything like the form on the IRS website, but it has all the same information and was laser-printed on blank paper instead of on blank W-2G form stock. I tried to find a statement online that said that an alternate form could be issued as long as it contained the same information, but I didn't find anything.


In any case, the number you need — your gross winnings — should be obvious and near the top of the form. If you can't read the number, the casino's telephone number should be on the form too. You can call to find out your gross winnings amount.


Some other options: If the players' club has a website, you may have the ability to retrieve your W-2Gs from that website. The win/loss statement the casino provides, in addition, may also list your W-2Gs on it.


Because you're getting W-2Gs, you should be keeping a win/loss log so you can deduct your losses on your taxes. You should make a note in your notebook that you received a W-2G for a certain amount.


Now, your question was really about whether there is anything you can do to get the casino to fix the alignment. If you have a host, I suggest you show him or her one of your forms. Your host may be able to go through the proper channels to get the alignment fixed.


I also suggest you find out the name of the general manager of the casino and write him or her.
Mis-aligned forms look unprofessional and give the impression that the casino doesn't take care in its operations.



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