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Al Moe

US Taxes Up - Gaming Revenues Trend Down

By January 12, 2013

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As US tax payers get hit by the return to full funding of their social security folios (a 2 percent increase for all taxpayers), US casinos are likely to feel the pinch as much as any other business. In November, gaming revenues fell sharply for both Nevada and New Jersey casinos, but other jurisdictions were happy to report increases. Those that saw the largest increases were all newer gaming areas where new casinos opened this past year (Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania).

2013 gaming revenue in Nevada is likely to continue the steady half-to-one percent increase seen in 2012. Atlantic City, however, has seen it's base of players continually cannibalized by neighboring state casinos with no end in site. The city's ability to draw players from other state's may be helped slightly by the addition of a new Margarita casino which will open in May 2013 at Resorts Casino Hotel. Operations VP Aaron Gomes stated the opening was "easily one of the biggest things to happen to Atlantic City since the inception of gaming in 1978." However, no matter how popular Jimmy Buffet may be, his casino theme alone is unlikely to have much of an impact along the boardwalk, although Resorts may be able to steal a few players from the other casinos on the Jersey Shore.

You Own Taxes

As for your own taxes, it's not too late to get your 2012 gaming situation under control. If you received a 1099 or W2G form for certain gaming wins (slot jackpots, table game jackpots, promotion and drawing wins), you will be responsible for paying "your fair share" of taxes to the US Government. If you didn't know it, all jackpots are taxable, but all the IRS requires is that you keep some kind of a gambling ledger or log with the who, what, and where of your day's play. If you have that, and it shows a loss (or you get a year-end win/loss statement from your casino), you can offset your big win and reduce your taxes.

The casinos do send copies of those 1099's and W2G's to the IRS. If you don't have any way to reduce your taxes, April 15 is going to be a sad day! On the other hand, if but you run your gambling as a business because you spend a substantial amount of time gaming and make a profit from your play, you may be able to offset your wins against your legitimate business expenses that you incur while traveling to poker tournaments and casinos where you ply your trade! Exactly how much income you produce from gambling is the key here, but the IRS is a bit cagey about exactly what that number or percentage of your overall income needs to be. Proceed with caution, but don't pay taxes you don't have to pay!


January 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm
(1) Emma says:

I noticed that when Las Vegas was strictly a gambling Mecca, the community was not affected too greatly by economic downturns. I am comparing economic data from the 70′s until present. It seems when Vegas became a “destination place” for cuisine, recreation and unfortunately family destinations and a variety of entertainment venues, it became more like the rest of the U.S. I don’t believe I am incorrect to state that the 70′s and 80′s were recession proof for Vegas. From the 90′s on, not so much. I believe gamblers gamble no matter what the economy not so with gourmet meals and entertainment.

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