Nevada Lawmaker Seeking Tax Hike for Slot Machine Winnings

A Nevada lawmaker is planning another attempt to raise the reporting threshold for slot machine winnings. The lawmaker believes that the current reporting threshold, which is $1,200, is too low and that it should be raised to $5,000. The lawmaker has introduced a bill that would raise the reporting

Nevada's lawmaker plans to increase the reporting threshold for winnings from slot machines.

Rep. Dina Titus stated to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, that the landscape has changed drastically since 1977, when Nevada was the only state that allowed legal casino gambling. Every time a player wins a progressive jackpot, the operator of a casino or tavern, convenience store, or airport must prepare a form to report the winnings to the Internal Revenue Service.

In 1978, the first Atlantic City casinos were opened. Over the years, tribal and commercial casinos expanded to other states. Many of these casinos also have slot machines.

Titus stated to the Review-Journal that there was a time when the Treasury Department tried to regulate the matter, but they didn't move. So, we're going to push for the legislation,' Titus said.

Titus, a Democrat introduced a bill to increase the reporting threshold last year but it was never put to a vote. Titus' proposal would raise the reporting threshold to $5,000 and index it to inflation to ensure that the amount does not change over time.

Titus stated that she would like to be able to get bipartisan support from all states that have tribal or commercial gaming. Titus, whose legislative district encompasses the Strip, stated that 'one of the most important things is that we're not doing this just to Las Vegas, we are doing it for everyone.'

Brendan Bussmann, gaming industry analyst with Las Vegas-based B Global, isn't so sure the legislation can succeed. 'The challenge that we are going to face is that you have a dysfunctional legislative body that won't see this as a bipartisan issue,' Bussmann told the Review-Journal. 'It's time to update the system and up the threshold on taxable winnings. This should be a no-brainer, but in an age where we live by continuing resolutions, this gets lost in the shuffle.'