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Best of John Robison

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W-2G for a $1,000 jackpot

15 June 2011

This past weekend while playing slots at Empire City Casino (Yonkers Raceway, NY), I was fortunate enough to hit a progressive jackpot for $1,031.10. I was mildly surprised when a payout slip for the amount of the progressive popped out of the machine; I put it away until it was time to leave.

When I went to the window to cash it in, I was asked if I had ever gotten a slip like this one. I never had, and was asked for Social Security Number and ID. Then after giving them the required info, I was given a W-2G statement for certain gambling winnings. No tax was withheld, but I was reminded to claim my winnings come tax time.

I always thought that the amount to get the dreaded tax form was $1,199+. I inquired and was told it was 300 times the amount of the bet that got you the tax form. Is this something related to being a NY Lottery outlet?

Very curious and hope that you can provide some insight. BTW, I am a regular website reader and enjoy all of your articles.

Thanks in advance,
Richard

Dear Richard,

Thanks for the kind words about my articles.

According to the W-2G instructions, the payer must furnish a Form W-2G to you if you receive:

  1. $1,200 or more in gambling winnings from bingo or slot machines;
  2. $1,500 or more in proceeds (the amount of winnings minus the amount of the wager) from keno;
  3. More than $5,000 in winnings (reduced by the wager or buy-in) from a poker tournament;
  4. $600 or more in gambling winnings (except winnings from bingo, keno, slot machines, and poker tournaments) and the payout is at least 300 times the amount of the wager; or
  5. Any other gambling winnings subject to federal income tax withholding.

The last item is quite a catch-all, isn't it? In any case, the fourth condition is the one that applies. New York's casinos are run by the lottery and the machines are really video lottery machines. The same rules apply as if you won on a lottery ticket.

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