How Often Does A Slot Machine Hit Jackpot – Federal legislation introduced today by leaders of the Congressional Gaming Caucus will greatly increase the amount of money required to be won on a slot machine spin to trigger an IRS report.
A slot machine suspended operations after a lucky gambler hit a $15,000 jackpot. The officer responded to the win to ensure the terminal was functioning properly and also to arrange the completeness of the IRS tax paperwork. (Image: Shutterstock)
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Creatively named the SLOT Act — or the “Shifting Limits on Thresholds Act” — the bipartisan legislation originated with U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nevada) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pennsylvania). The two lawmakers are co-chairs of the Caucus Gaming Congress.
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The SLOT Act, if passed and signed into law by President Joe Biden, will increase the jackpot tax reporting threshold from $1,200 to $5,000. That’s a spike of over 300%.
Titus and Reschenthaler argue that the current IRS slot threshold, which has not been touched since 1977, is long out of date and due to major adjustments. Ongoing inflation only requires further changes, they said.
Due to inflation, the number of jackpots hitting that threshold, triggering machine shutdowns and requiring excessive paperwork requirements for protectors, has increased dramatically,” said Titus. “This creates an unnecessary burden on the gaming industry, an economic driver for Southern Nevada and other communities across the country where slot machines exist.” Industry Support
US tax laws require the suspension of slot machine operations whenever the game wins $1,200 or more during a spin. If that happens, the employee is assigned to fill out a W-2G form. The IRS tax document is for taxpayers to report their annual gambling winnings as income.
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The American Gaming Industry (AGA) naturally gave its support for the SLOT Act. The trade group said increasing the W-2G mandatory threshold would help ease the “unnecessary administrative burden on operators.” The AGA concluded that the bill would modernize IRS regulations on slot machine jackpots.
According to the US Department of Labor Consumer Price Index, $1,200 in 1977 was equivalent to $5,567 today.
Reschenthaler, whose state is now home to one of the largest gaming markets in the United States, said the $1,200 slot jackpot IRS activator was expensive.
“Because the threshold doesn’t keep up with inflation, it results in a drastic increase in reportable jackpots, which triggers a tax burden for winners and a compliance burden for s. Raising the threshold will eliminate this burdensome bureaucracy, ensure the gaming industry can continue to support well-paying jobs and drive economic growth in Pennsylvania and across the country,” said Reschenthaler.
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Fewer mandatory W-2G forms can result in fewer slot wins being properly reported to the IRS.
Gamblers are required by law to report all their gambling winnings as “other income” on the 1040 tax form. But recreational gamblers often fail to do so. The IRS Form W-2G is one way the federal government ensures it receives its share of larger wins.
The US Treasury in late 2020 was ordered by Congress to commission a study on how raising the slots tax form threshold could affect the overall gaming tax. The report is almost a year late.
“While I believe appropriate taxes should be collected on winnings, raising the threshold will reduce paperwork and ensure this is achieved more efficiently,” Titus concluded. The player, who chose to remain anonymous, was playing the Dollar Storm slot machine at Rampart Casino and reached the Super Grand Progressive Combo on Sunday, according to a casino spokesperson.
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