How Are Gambling Winnings Taxed?

Most people don’t think about taxes on their way to the casino. But what might seem like nothing more than a fun night in Las Vegas actually carries significant tax consequences if you win. As is often the case, the federal and state governments single out casino winnings for unique taxes of their own. Failure to properly report your haul can result in serious penalties and headaches you just don’t want.

Follow these rules to stay on the safe side:

How Much You Win Matters


Gamblers are lucky in that casino taxes are not progressive like income taxes are. That is, you will owe the same percentage to the IRS on a $100,000 jackpot as a $10,000 one. Yet it’s important to know the thresholds that require reporting. As explains, winnings in the following amounts must be reported:

  • $600 or more at a horse track (if that is 300 times your bet)
  • $1,200 or more at a slow machine or bingo game
  • $1,500 or more in keno winnings
  • $5,000 or more in poker tournament winnings
All of these require giving the payer your Social Security number, as well as filling out IRS Form W2-G to report the full amount won. In most cases, the casino will take 25 percent off your winnings for the IRS before even paying you. Don’t get any crafty ideas about cutting Uncle Sam out of the transaction, either. According to Bankrate, this entitles the casino to withhold up to 28 percent of your winnings.

Games exempt From Form W2-G

Not all gambling winnings in the amounts above are subject to IRS Form W2-G. According to
“W2-Gs are not required for winnings from table games such as blackjack, craps, pai gow, baccarat, and roulette, regardless of the amount.”
Note that this does not mean you are exempt from paying taxes or reporting the winnings. Any and all gambling winnings must be reported to the IRS (discussed in more detail below). It only means that you do not have to fill out Form W2-G for these particular table-based games. No reason is given; that is simply the decision the IRS made.

Reporting Smaller Winnings


Even if you do not win as much as the amounts above, you are still legally obligated to report. This is done on Line 21 (“Other Income”) of Form 1040. This is also where you would report any awards or prize money you won during the year in question. Yes, even if you only win $10 you still technically have to report it (even if the casino didn’t). Gambling income plus your job income (and any other income) equals your total income.
Fortunately, you do not necessarily have to pay taxes on all your winnings. Instead, if you itemize, you can offset taxes owed on your winnings by reporting any losses you incurred as well. This would be done on Line 28 (“Other Miscellaneous Deductions”) on your Schedule A. You are allowed to claim as much as the total amount won that appears on 1040, which would eliminate your taxable gambling income. Just be sure any deductions taken this way (in combination with other itemizations) are higher than the standard amount. Otherwise it would make more sense not to itemize, even if it meant foregoing your gambling loss deductions.

What if You Win the Money at an Indian casino?


Gamblers often inquire about taxes on money won at an Indian casino. Some assume that because Indian reservations have unique tax arrangements with the federal government, this somehow must extend to gamblers on their property. Sadly, that is not so. The IRS does not care if you won the money on Indian land, the Las Vegas strip, or anywhere in between.
If the casino hands you a W2-6 or 1099, the IRS got one too. Technically, this applies even at an illegal gambling hideout in someone’s basement. You are legally obligated to report income from illegal activities as taxable income. While we doubt any of our readers are deriving illegal gambling profits, it does illustrate how pervasive and all-encompassing gambling taxes are.

What About State Taxes?


You didn’t think you were getting off that easily, did you? In addition to federal taxes payable to the IRS, many state governments tax gambling income as well. Unfortunately, states have their own unique formulas and rules for gambling income. Some levy no gambling taxes at all. Others charge a flat percentage, while still others ramp up the percentage owed depending on how much you won.
When in doubt, refer to your own state’s policies before gambling.

Comments (253) Leave your comment

  1. Hi I won a race at a race track in oklahoma it was about 10000.. thats what the check they are sending me… about how much am I gonna have to pay come imcometax

  2. If I lost $5000 and won $0 in entire year, and if my income is $65,000 per annum, do i get tax returns
    what i am paying to federal & state?

  3. my wife won 3000 in slot machines and we clain taxes together but she doesn’t work how much do we have to paid in taxes in nyc.

  4. Hello,

    I live in Las Vegas and I play high limit slots $25, $5 regulary and I have more than 100 W2Gs only from 2013 and I dont’t even have them all. I’ve lost $250k based on casino’s statment. In this case, would I be taxed more than $250k possibliy even though I’ve lost $250k already? I don’t think casino took out any percentages out of my willing jackpots. please help.

  5. I have 5 W-2G forms for $1200 each that I won at slots in Michigan Jan – Mar 2014. I was not smart enough to have taxes taken out. The casino never asked me either. What will my federal tax rate be on these winnings?

    • Caroline,

      The total of $6,000 will be taxed as ordinary income on your tax return . The tax rate will depend on how much total income you have.

      For example, if the $6,000 is your only income for the year, then you will owe no tax.

  6. Ok, I have a question. I have been to the casino near me pretty regularly. I’ve won and lost (losing more than winning mostly). I just got a copy of my win/loss statement the other day. According to the statement, I have wagered 5,000, won 4,500 Loss (500). Does this mean, come tax time, I will not have to pay any taxes since I am in the negative?

    • Hi,
      You will have to claim your winnings, but you can also deduct your losses if you itemize your tax deductions. TurboTax will ask you the necessary questions for that you can accurately claim your winning and losses.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Lisa,
        If all Postolsfiring has is a year-end win/loss statement from the casino, how will he ever be able to report wins or losses. IRS says he can not net wins and losses. Even you said he must itemize to deduct losses. If all you have is a year end win/loss statement from the casino, how do you do that?

  7. I won 1,500 on a scratch ticket in CT the tax rate is 6.7 here. How much tax will they take out Thanks to who ever Helps me

  8. What if you wager on sports through an international, online betting website that has no “federal jurisdiction” in the US? Does that need to be subjected to US Tax Law even though the transactions occurred outside of the country? That seems absurd to me if so.

  9. Free slot pay
    If you win free slot play and actually don’t receive any money and are not sent a 1099 gambling winnings are you required to pay taxes on the amount of free slot play

  10. Hi! I didn’t claim my winnings. They were ” small” a couple $1200 or 1500. Winnings. I now received a bill from the irs. Can i go back and get my losses for last year and try and negate it? Or because i never claimed it , is it too late?

    • Hi Pam,
      You can go back and amend your tax return. Just remember you have to be able to itemize deductions in order to claim gambling losses and your losses can not exceed your winnings. TurboTax will walk you through amending your tax return.
      Thank you,

      • Not only do you have to be able to itemize, but you have to have a diary. If I was the IRS agent, and you didn’t report any wins, then suddenly came up with a diary of all you casino activities, I’d want to audit every entry…
        I’m not a tax expert, but my personal opinion is that in your case you’d be best off to just pay the taxes on the “small winnings”, and start keeping a daily diary for future use.

  11. I have question if I win 9500 at black jack do I have to pay taxes if not could I continue doing this repeatedly?

    • According to the IRS, you must keep a diary and report all winnings. However, there are no W-2G’s issued at the table. Large cash transactions do get reported.
      Could you do this repeatedly? The casino has the odds in their favor, so to do it repeatedly, you’d have to be counting. If so, GO SEE THE MOVIE “21”.

  12. How much federal taxes should I have withheld from a $50,000 cash prize. Also, how much state tax should I withhold? I live in Upstate NY.

    • Don’t withhold any tax unless you’re a federal employee, you won cash from a gambling event under federal jurisdiction, and you make a “voluntary agreement) with your employer to have tax withheld. Title 26 subtitle C and the IRS Federal, State, and Local Government’s semiannual newsletter is proof that gambling tax by the Federal Government applies only where the Federal Government controls the gambling event.

      • Don’t withhold any taxes? I have to pay federal and state taxes on the cash prize I won, don’t I?

      • No, the law does not require a non-federal individual to pay federal income tax, see subtitle C section 3401(c) where a employee is defined as a “federal worker” for payment of income tax, and note sections 3403 and 3404 where the employer is made liable for collection, making a return and payment of tax. Gambling cannot be lawfully taxed outside of federal jurisdiction.

      • Mark, using rough numbers from the Federal tax table, and the 2013 NY State tax table, you would go $6,000 Federal withholding, and $2,800 State withholding.

      • James really believes that most Americans are “taxpayers” for federal tax purposes, since he has told Mark how much taxes he would pay to the State of New York and to the United States. James most likely has never opened the IRC, Title 26 or its Regulations. He too is a “taxpayer”, committing perjury every time he signs a Federal tax form. in essence he is giving his hard earned money earned from a employer, to the IRS. The Government never turns down gifts in money from anyone!

      • Just who is the IRS? You must know who this entity is and how it obtained its name. If you don’t know, then you will listen to the IRS and you will pay any tax they say you owe.
        Knowledge is power!

      • I am not a federal worker and if I don’t pay the income tax now then in April when it is time to file my return they will want the money.

      • t’s right Mark, they will “want” your money because you have always sent them money as a free gift. But, even Federal workers send in their money as a free gift since they have the choice of being liable or not liable for the tax.

  13. My win/loss statement says est tracked cash in $68,668.70, est tracked cash out $68,418.41, estimated tracked jackpot ($66793.41) and estimated tracked net win (net loss) ($250.29). What exactly do I report for tax purposes?

  14. I’m an 18 yr old college student living with my mom who is in the poverty level. I will be working part-time while going to Comm College. I won $1500 on lottery. I know they will take out Fed taxes when I cash it but will I owe anymore for 2014 return or will I get any of that money back? I’m not going to be earning that much part time probably under $5k this year.

  15. I live in Illinois and recently won $25,000 in slots in Missouri. I talked to James at Illinois Dept of Revenue. He said Illinois double-taxes gambling earnings, and he has case law to back him. He said I’ll have to pay state tax to Missouri AND Illinois on the same amount. That sounds so wrong. Can that be right?

    • Illinois has a flat tax, so you are not able to deduct the tax you pay to Missouri on your gambling win on your Illinois state tax return.

  16. I’m fully disabled and not working. If I were to say win $10,000 +, would I be taxed as if I were a normal working citizen?

    • You do not mention whether or not you receive benefits for your disability. Examples are Social Security and state disability payments.

      Based on what you have written, yes, you would be treated as a normal working citizen. For 2013, if you were to win $10,000, and that were your only source of income for the year, then you would not owe Federal income tax.

      Any amount over the first $10,000 would generally be taxable for you.

  17. I’m in no way wealthy, but say I have about $45,000 saved, and I want to put it all on one hand of BJ or roll of roulette. Does that mean, if I win I have to fork over a huge sum to the gov, even though I took the risk of losing an important amount of my $. After the casino takes the edge what gives the gov the right to do this?

    • Hi,
      Your winnings would be taxed, but you could claim any gambling losses up to the amount of winnings if you itemize your deductions.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  18. I won $25,600, betting online on one of those online sites that are outside the US ( i believe this one is in Panama or Costa Rica).

    They didn’t give me any type of form, they just sent me a check and i deposited on my bank account. ( actually i had 4 payout checks)

    How can the IRS find out that i won some money gambling?

    This a non US company, so i am assuming that they don’t have any contact with the IRS.

    Am i correct? Can the IRS find out about my gambling in a non US gambling site?
    Should i declare my winnings on my taxes next year.

    Thanks a lot for your help on this matter.

    • Uh, ya. If you get audited, the IRS looks at every transaction throughout the year into all of your bank accounts. If they ask you what were these 4 ~6000 deposits and your answer if unsatisfactory (it will be), you are going to be in pretty big trouble.

  19. I am going to Vegas to represent a group of 11 people and play in the world series of poker. I’ve been told many thing when it comes to taxes. I live in Pennsylvania. A tax attorney told me to keep out 48-51% of any cash out if over $250,000, for taxes. I’d like to post a scenario with two questions. I cash $500,000. 1) what would my taxes be on this in as a Pennsylvania resident if this was my only income for the year. 2) Is it possible to split the money prior to paying taxes so everyone is responsible for their own?

    • Cash out $500,000 – for simplicity, let’s say that your taxable income, Line 43 of the 1040, is $500,000. Using the available 2013 Tax Table, filing Single, we do this:
      $500,000 X .396 = $198,000
      Then $198,000 minus $46,935.50 = $151,064.50
      The $151,064.50 is your Federal income tax on the $500,000.

      • Make that $198,000 minus $42,236.25 = $155,763.75 Federal income tax on $500,000.

    • Next, it is possible to split the $500,000 win among the group, and each member is then responsible for his share of the win for Federal tax purposes. There are probably a few ways that your tax attorney can structure this.

      Note that I don’t generally research the state tax situations here, so I don’t know what PA state tax would be on $500,000 for one single person. I also don’t know if PA allows one to split up a big win among the backers in a group, so that each member can pay his own taxes on his share of the win.

  20. My win loss statement says that my estimated tracked cash in is $1,227,972.40. Does this mean that the actual cash put into the slot can used for a loss?

    • I worked in slots and usually they tax your net win not your coin-in. The math is very simple to get your net win;
      1. Add your Coin-out and Jackpots.
      2. Subtract the Coin-out and Jackpots Total from your Coin-in. (it has to be done with this format and don’t reverse it)

  21. Have a question regarding gambling losses. I lived in Nevada until January 2011, relocated to another state. I filed taxes in that new state for 2011. Just got a letter in the mail questioning the gambling losses, wants to audit; can they do that, since I lived in Nevada when the losses occured? I was not a resident of this state.

    • Hi Tonya,
      It sounds like they can since you lived in both states the same year. When the state department of revenue looks at your 2011 tax return, they don’t know what time period the losses are attributed to.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  22. I have documents from the payer with most if not all of the information, but not an official W2G. Forms say “Form W9 Request for Taxpayer Identification” and “Customer Copy W2G Office Copy”, but they do not look like the W2Gs I find on Google. Does this suffice, or can I call and request one?

    Also a first timer doing this…does it make sense that one $3.5K win will wipe out a normal $800-900 tax return?


  23. If you Itemize your deductions the program ask if you received a state tax refund. If you did not recieve a state tax refund but did when money gambling from another state but did not receive a 1099-g for those winnings how do you claim it on your taxes?

  24. Hello,
    For Table Games, do you need to report winning every hand that you bet and list the loss for every hand that you lost? Do you just report net winning or loss on daily net winning or loss?

    • Hi Marty,
      No, gambling winnings are shown as a total, generally by the payer (casino etc.), for the year. Each payer should report any winnings to you on a Form W-2G, which you enter in TurboTax. Any cash winnings are entered after the W-2G interviews as a total amount for the year. Then you enter a total for the year’s gambling losses up to the amount of the winnings you had. You cannot deduct more than the winnings you enter. Note that the IRS only allows you to take gambling losses as an itemized deduction, which means you only benefit by the deduction if you itemize deductions (TurboTax will help you with this). Gambling losses won’t be able to show up for you if your standard deduction is larger than your itemized deductions. Be sure you have receipts, tickets, statements or other records showing your winnings and losses, so you can verify any gambling losses you claim.

  25. Running Turbo tax deluxe, I have run thru my income and got to the W2Gs. Several with an indian casino, totaling $171,800.00. The win loss stmt says we lost more that won. I entered all the w2Gs and took the deduction for the amount won. However, the tax (shown at top of program page) before entry of the W2Gs went up from about 6k to 60k then back to about 8K after the $171,800.00 deduction. Did I pop into some sort of alternative minium tax situation? Total income is from work, gambling and pensions is about $357,000. Of which 171,800 was reported on W2Gs.

    • Hi Hank,
      Yes that is possible. Income over $51,900 if you’re single and $80,800 for married filing jointly is subject to AMT and your itemized deductions are limited at income of $250,000 if you’re single and $300,000 if married filing jointly.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • If there were not enough deductions otherwise, the gaming losses forces itemization of deductions, thus increasing taxable income by the difference of nongaming deductions and the $12,200 standard deduction.

  26. I won 8,000 at a casino. My gambling losses were more but I was only allowed to put in 8,000 losses but it didn’t affect my bottom line?? What I had to pay after I put in winnings was exactly the same after I put in losses…how is that? It’s always zeroed out before. A wash.

      • Ok, then I would need to be able to see the whole tax return to figure out if there is a bug. Unfortunately, I cannot do that on this forum.

    • From the facts given, the $8,000 in losses is not affecting your bottom line because you do not have enough in Schedule A itemized deductions to beat the Standard Deduction for Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) of $12,200.

      • I have the exact same issue. I checked TurboTax numbers on completed return and all are good except the bottom line Taxable Income is $8K too high, which attributed to my $8K W-2Gs winnings. My Sked A Itemized deductions amount to over $37K (MFJ) and TurboTax confirms Itemized deduction election. For some reason TurboTax has included the Gambling winnings into my Taxable Income (first year I’ve seen this happen).

  27. I’m filing a federal tax return, a Wisconsin resident tax return, and a non-resident Louisiana tax return (because of a gambling win there). The federal return clearly includes all sources of income. The Louisiana return clearly includes only the gambling win from LA, as that is my only income from that state. My question is about my primary state of residence (WI)…. do I include only income from WI or do I have to include the LA gambling win also?

  28. Where on turbo tax do I claim my gambling loss. I won $1800 then paid state tax only. I then gambled back all but $500. How to I tell turbo tax ? Thank you

  29. I live in California and I won $1702 in Louisiana. Do I have to file taxes in Louisiana also?

    • Yes, you will file a non-resident return for Louisiana in addition to your federal and California returns.

  30. hi say im a 13 teen year old who signed up on a poker site with my moms ssn and info behind her back and won over 24,000 in 3 months and cashed 2 in a 100k guar tournament what should he do

    • Matt, First and foremost you need to inform your Mother. The IRS will see this huge amount of extra income and will come after her. Before you get too in debt with this on line gambling, you need to tell your Mother. The IRS catches this very quickly.

  31. Hi,

    I was in Las Vegas back in November 2013, I stayed at the MGM Grand. I was playing the slots on a Saturday night when I hit $25,000. When the man came and started to explain my winnings to me I was shocked. The man told me that they will be taking 30% equals $7500. How or do I get any of this money back?? My full time residence is in Canada.

    • Doud:

      The max is 28% in Vegas. You will not get any money back, it goes to the IRS. The remainder of the 2% the casino took it. That’s not legal.

  32. My win loss statement says that my estimated tracked cash in is $2,927,972.40, My estimated tracked cash out is $2,371,093.77, my estimated tracked jackpot is $498,908.54, my estimated (net loss) is ($57,970.09). I had taxes of $16,569 withheld from winnings. 90% of my winnings went right back into the machines. But now my tax preparer is saying I owe $161,000 in federal and $ 42, 000 to state. Does this sound right to you?

    • Hi Janet,
      Without seeing your other income sources it’s hard to tell. If you had other income, it has to be added to your gambling winnings, which puts you in a higher tax bracket. Your gambling losses reduce your taxable income, but it is not a dollar for dollar deduction from your tax liability.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  33. If someone had to gamble at a casino to win points so I could get a ticket to enter drawing can I claim my losses gambling. They ended up winning the drawing and got a car that had a fmv of 55,000 according to casino. They sold it for 45,000 and got a 1099 misc for 55,000.
    Since they had to gamble to get the drawing tickets to win …can they claim their losses against it. You had to play during the month of October to earn the drawing tickets and they drew the winners at the end of the month. So can you claim losses ..if not, can you just claim what you sold car for?

    • Hi Heather,
      Yes you can claim losses up to your gambling winnings if you itemize your deductions. TurboTax will help you accurately claim your losses.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Although many casinos give a 1099 instead of W-2G, he car’s “value” should be gaming win.
        #1. How do you enter it if you have a 1099?
        #2. How do you determine car’s “correct’ value?

      • Where on turbo tax do you enter your gabbling loss against your winning? I paid state taxes on my $1800 winnings but played back all but $500. Please direct me to that area of itemization on tax turbo. Thank you

      • Hi Judy,
        You should go to the federal taxes tab, itemized deductions, and you would enter them under miscellaneous itemized deductions. Please keep in mind if you do not have itemized deductions over the standard deduction of $6,100 if single, $12,200 if married filing jointly, then you won’t get your itemized deductions which include your gambling losses. TurboTax will accurately figure out which deductions you’re eligible for based on your answers.

        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I live in Ohio and won $32,000 over the entire year. The casinos were in Indiana and they took out Indiana state taxes. I lost as much as I won and my federal taxes are done and good. I however do not understand the means of filing Indiana non-resident tax forms to try and get back what I had to pay in Ohio state taxes. Where do I list the income on the Indiana state tax forms? I do not see a section for just gambling. Do I list it in the income section?

  34. I recently won $4700 in vegas on a slotmachine I was taxed right then and there 28% for federal taxes but I live in California so I know I will owe state taxes come next year does anyone know what percent I will end up having to pay come that time??

    • Just to be clear, you were not taxed 28%. The casino withheld 28%. You may get that entire amount back when you file your taxes.

      You may not owe CA state income tax on that $4700. It will depend on how much your total taxable income is for the year.

      • No I paid 28% in taxes I got the w4 showing it was paid straight to fed but 0 to state but thanks I’m sure I’ll still ended up paring some state next year just not sure how much

      • Again, they withheld 28%. You didn’t pay 28%. Depending on your tax situation, you may get the entire withholding back.

  35. My son won 7000.00 on a slot machine and is a college student also not employed. Will he have to pay taxes on that?

    • My son won 7000.00 on a slot machine and is a college student also not employed. Will he have to pay taxes on that? Also he lives in Oklahoma.

  36. I am filing my Dad’s return for WA and if he won gambling winnings from Louisiana do I need to file a LA return as well? LA does take out state taxes on winnings.

  37. So, I live in California and was in Colorado over the summer in 2012 where I won a small casino jackpot of $1684. They gave me a Form W-2G form when they paid me and I just completed my taxes using Turbo Tax Federal and CA State and the program is telling me Ihave to file a whole separate State return for Colorado. I get that I likely have to pay state taxes on this but what are my options instead of buying a Turbo Tax State program for $40 – for such a small amount of income?

    • You can obtain the Colorado state imcome tax form from their website, and file that return on your own.

      Better to pay the $40, and just do it through Turbo Tax.

  38. Recently had my win/loss statement of -15,127.75 and total winning of 14,000. do i still owe taxes? some of them had fed and state taken out already and 4 are not?? so do i still need to pay taxes?? thanks in advance

    • On your Federal return, you will list your gambling losses on your Schedule A, and you will put your total winnings of $14,000 on Line 21 of your Form 1040.

      You can only deduct $14,000 in losses against the $14K in winnings. You cannot deduct the remaining loss ($15,127.75 – $14K = 1,127.75 loss).

      Do you owe taxes? First depends on what state you live in. For example, Michigan does not allow you to deduct gambling losses. You pay on the $14,000 in winnings.

      On your Federal return, the important test is whether your gambling logbook will hold up on audit. If you have followed the rules for keeping the logbook, then you should be able to deduct $14,000 in gambling losses against the $14,000 in gambling winnings with no worries.

      Your total Federal tax due will determine whether or not you get back your Federal withholding on your gambling winnings.

      • True that on Michigan. They are squeezing the little guy more and more with higher fees and ridiculous tax laws like the one referring to no deduction on the Michigan return for gambling losses. Oh but there is a huge budget surplus in the state. Of course there is. Rob the middle class into poverty. I hate this state with a passion and pimp them any and every chance I get. F*&^^%wads.

      • Yes James that is true on the Michigan gambling losses point. For the last 10 years or so the State has been nickel and diming the middle class any and every way they can. Hey, what comes around goes around.

  39. I won $6000 on a slot machine but lost more than $6000, do i still have to report the w-2g on my tax return. when i put it on my return and put my losses in the deductions, my return is still $900 less than what it would be without putting the w-2g in.

  40. Winstar casino reported to the IRS over 100,000 dollars more than I actually won or signed for. All my tax/legal papers were lost in storage. I need info and guidance on how to fight this fraudulent claim and tax lein. Do I contact CPA? Tax lawyer? IRS? Please advise

  41. I am a senior and I collect SSI in New York City, I purchase a ticket hit on some numbers and the value of my winnings is a little over 500.00. Will I get penalized in and way if I go to claim my winnings as far as the SSI is concerned?

  42. My wife just won $2100 at a casino in Florida. She did not have any taxes taken out. We live in Michigan, so I am assuming I have to claim this on next year’s Michigan tax return and will have to fill out a Florida tax return. Is this correct? I do know I have to claim on federal.

    • Ok John, let’s break it down. I will assume that you and your wife are filing a joint return (MFJ).

      On your Federal return, you will claim the $2100 on Line 21 of Form 1040. If you are able to itemize on Schedule A, then you can deduct your gambling losses up to the total amount of $2100, provided you have the proper written records of those losses.

      On your Michigan return, you will claim the $2100 as income, but according to Pokerfuse, Michigan does not allow one to deduct any gambling losses on the state return.

      Florida does not have a personal state income tax. I do not believe you file anything with the State of Florida, but I am not 100%.

      I did a lot of reading, and could not find anything that says you do. This includes Pokerfuse, and searches at the Florida State sites.

      To be sure, call the Florida Department of Revenue:

      And look this over for future reference:

  43. I won a large number of individual jackpots last year (over 50). Do I need to list each of those out separately, or can I add up the total and list that as my ‘gambling winnings’? And do I need to actually send copies of the W2G forms along with my tax return? I only had the casino hold taxes on a few of the jackpots.

  44. if you declare gambling winnings of $10,000 and declare $10,000 in gambling losses, do you still have to pay federal taxes on the winnings? Does it make a difference if your AGI is over a certain amount?

    • my father won 135,000 on the bad beat jackpot. he is on social security. approx. how much tax will he have to pay.

  45. Sorry if this is a duplicate question…

    I won a “big win” on a slot $1,220. I opted to have the taxes taken out and received about $840 in cash (I don’t remember exact amount, this is just an estimate).

    Anyways, do I need to do anything else when I file my taxes?

    • Also, how would I go about claiming gambling losses? I know I am only allowed to claim up to $1220 but what exactly do I do?

      Sorry, I am very new at filing taxes!

      Thank you in advance!

      • You go about by keeping a detailed log book of your gambling wins and losses.

        Details include, but are not limited to, casino you were in, dates and times you played, the number of the individual slot machine, etc.

        A good log book is what you need first to take the deduction for losses.

        Then receipts showing you were at the casino, and a printout from the casino showing your wins and losses, and dates and times played, also help.

    • You first need the W2-G showing the total
      win, and the withholding. Then just enter the
      W2-G information when you do your Turbo
      Tax return, or bring to your tax preparer.

      Also, remember that you cannot deduct any of your losses if you cannot itemize on Schedule A.

      You are probably not going to owe much tax on $1222. With so much withheld, you may even get some of the withholding back.

      • Thank you so much Jay K! You are so nice for helping everyone out – you’re my idol! Haha but really, thank you!!

  46. My only source of income is Social Security Disability which means I fall below the income to file for neither state nor federal taxes. However, I also won $714.00 on a lottery ticket and received a W-2G.

    Even adding the $714 to my SS Di income, I am far below a filing income. Do I need to do anything at all ?

  47. I won 4,500 in new york empire slot machine didn’t know I had option to get taxes taken out now. How much More or less am I going to have to pay? Wished they had Informed me of my options.

  48. on social security + pension from post office +monthly withdrawls from thrift savings. I am retired) i live in pa and understand that i will not be taxed on any of these monthly payments but yet when i did turbo tax online they said i owe the state money. why? also had ganbling winnings and losses which amt’d to the same amt. last year i went to h and r block under the same monthly payments and gambling wins and losses and did not have to pay state taxes. so why does turbo tax say i must pay pa state taxes?

  49. Get 720 for ssi & ssd . bet total $1.00 on Michigan Daily 4 and won 5,000, then hit for another 2,604, another day& I have tickets and played some at the casino. what and do I qualifly for as far as a tax break If any? don’t II get 2.500 like when II was on unemployment..Please help CONFUSED

  50. I live in Illinois and won $1700 in Vegas. This is my only income for the year. Do I still have to file a tax return?

  51. I won 914,000.00 at a casino. I took the lump sum and it was around 600,000.00 Do I have to pay taxes on the full 900k or just the 600k?

    • What do you mean “took the lump sum”?
      Did they withhold 314,000, and give you 600,000
      or were you given a choice between $914,000 paid out in installments, or a one-time payment of $600,000?

  52. I receive $680.00 in SS. That is my only income. This year I won $9651.80 total from 4 casinos. They took state tax out but no federal. My net income with SS was less than 20K. Do I have to file a federal return?

    • EVERYTIME you WON from the casinos you have to take in to account the following: it was in slot machines?(they tax anything over 1200 jackpots ONLY! so lets say you put 20 dollars and play for 1 hours and you did NOT hit any jackpot of over 1200, but lets say that the slot machine “was hot” and give you little prices of 20 dollars or anything under 1200 so you walk out of that machine with 4000 dollars you only report that in your 1040 form under “others”, IRS LAW IS CLEAR: 1200 jackpot YOU pay taxes, 5000 IN Poker YOU pay taxes, 600 on lottery YOU pay taxes, etc.

    • ..and yes YOU still responsible for FEDERAL which is 25% on any w-2G forms that you got, so IF you have W-2g FORMS TOTALLING 9651.80 YOU OWE IRS FEDERAL 2,412.95 $ , IRS does NOT care If you are living under a bride or have fixed income they care IF YOU WIN

      • My friend Andrew won 30 grand at Foxwoods casino. He did it over three trips each time coming back with over 10 grand. Each time he walked up to the cage, handed them his gamblers card and chips, and they handed him cash. He never got or signed any forms and nothing has come to him in the mail. What should he do? I want to advise him to claim it but he thinks if there is no form then he doesn’t have to. They mail him things all the time from that casino so they know his mailing address for forms.

      • Your friend is required by law to declare that gambling income on his Federal and state tax returns.

        If he has a log book detailing his gambling losses for the tax year, then he may be able to itemize those losses on Schedule A of his Federal return.

        If your friend does not declare the $30,000, the chances that he will get caught are slim in the beginning. But as he spends the $30,000, he may leave an audit trail that he cannot cover.

        Also, he is vulnerable to you, as you can fill out the official IRS form, and turn him in. You will receive a reward from the money they collect from your friend.

    • I have the exact same question..My friend is also on SSI and gets 771 a month. She of course does not file taxes. What is required? surely she does not make enought to be taxes, as long as her income with the win is still around 15,000 for the year.

  53. If you live in Connecticut and are in a 25 percent tax bracket, you go to an Indian Casino in Florida and have a $10,000 hit, what is your tax liability?

  54. Hello. I was recently in Missouri and won $2000.00 from video poker. I told the casino not to take out the federal taxes but they did take the state taxes for Missouri which was $80.00. My question is two fold. First, even though I won the money in Missouri, I reside in California; will I have to pay CA state tax as well on the winnings? Secondly, will I be able to declare the winnings as a loss to avoid having to pay the federal taxes? I did play about half of the money back.

    Thank You.

  55. I recently won $9000 in Mississippi on a progressive pot at the 3-card poker table. I received a W-2G. the casino took out 25% in federal taxes and about 3% MS tax. I live in Texas. Can I recover the amount withheld in MS as I don’t live in the state? Do I need to file a MS state return?

  56. So I do online sports betting in WA state, which is technically illegal here, but its through a site that keeps my info off-line… with an agent kinda like a bookie. Their site is 100% legit, they pay out in cash, but I fear winning too much and not being able to use all my winnings in pure cash transactions in daily life. So I assume I’ll have to make deposits to my bank. I plan to claim those collective deposits as my gambling winnings. I offset the limited reported earnings by the fact that I won’t be reporting my losses either, since sports betting is technically illegal in my state and I don’t want to show the proof of my losses. Am I best off to claim these were table-game winnings? And in WA state what tax percentage should I plan to be paying? I want to be prepared for that…

    • Also, the main reason I want to claim any of it is so I can use it to buy a car, or make a “major” purchase without having the IRS creep down my back.

    • if you are talking a few thoudsands a year I will just put it in “others” section in my 1040 form BUT if we are talking about LARGE amounts I will say more than 25 thoudsands I will HIRE A TAX ATTORNEY since irs will be happy to “look” for any suspicious large bank transactions or purchases

  57. The reason why casinos are not required to report table game winnings is becuase there is no way a casino can keep track of how much it COST a player to win over whatever amount they might set. say they set it at $1200. If a player walks up to the cashier’s booth with $1500 in chips, there is no way they know if he is up $1400 or down $500 because there is no record of whether or not he bought $100 in chips, or $2000 in chips. Even with the technology today, it would be prohibitively expensive (and time consuming enough to slow down the play to the point of lost business) to record each and every players starting chip total, plus any extra he pays in later.

    I honestly can’t believe there are people..especially websites talking about taxes, that DON”T know this.

    • Whoa buddy, slow down a bit. There’s nothing in the article that states why casino’s don’t report table game winnings, just that they’re not reported.

  58. Hi,

    Are winnings from table games such as blackjack and baccarat have flat tax rate too? Or do they count as regular income?
    I understand that filing tax for table game winning is more of an “honor code” so what percentage of the winnings should the player report to keep Uncle Sam from getting suspicious? e.g. a man wins 250k in the year, should he only report 100k, 150k, 200k, etc. I’m sure most people don’t report ALL the winnings yet don’t want to have too much cash laying around…
    Thank you

    • Well….he SHOULD report all of it. I think you are confusing the flat tax rate with how much to report. They report every last penny of your slot machine winnings, and tax it at a 25% rate.

      The thing about table games is there is no way to keep an accurate count of your expenses. You could cash out with $10,000 in chips. But you may have bought $9000 when you started. And it isn’t as if you are getting a receipt from the dealer.

    • HERE IS THE THING is hard to go UNNOTICED to the IRS(since they will also get a tip of large transactions from the banks since they are in the OBLIGATION to report any LARGE TRANSACTION to IRS or/and FBI(Money laundering act) so the best is GIVE UNCLE SAM WHAT IS FRO UNCLE SAM since they don’t play around with the “liens”, so if I were you, with such LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY I will CALL A TAX LAWYER to report taxes and I WILL NEVER DO IT JUST BY MYSELF since IRS is more than happy to “look” for any “big fish”

  59. Please let me know more about State of Michigan tax laws as to casino slot winnings vs. losses. I have two friends who got hit hard by Michigan even though losses exceeded gains.

    Thank You
    John Van Dette

    • John…I just sent you a private message to your hotmail account. I too was harassed by the State of Michigan and won the first gambling case in Michigan. It can be done.

      • CAN I PLEASE GET THE INFORMATION YOU SENT TO THE BELOW WITH RESPONSE TO THEIR REQUEST? vinnyboborinostein said: on October 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm

        Please let me know more about State of Michigan tax laws as to casino slot winnings vs. losses. I have two friends who got hit hard by Michigan even though losses exceeded gains.

      • I would also like to please see your email response. Seems as if the State of Michigan keeps coming up in the threads.

        Thank you,

      • Here too. I am a MI resident, have over 40k in W9-G 1099 winnings and after getting win / loss statements and checking my log, I am a net loser by 6k. This is the first year I ‘played big / won big’ so I’m doing the tax research and am SHOCKED that I can’t itemize the loss’ against winnings for a net sum of zero. That’s another $1,700 of income tax! In hindsight (and from now on) I should have had the casino take out the taxes on the jackpots, got a refund and paid from that to the State. I’d be grateful for information you have on losses claimed against winnings for the State of MI.

  60. If I did ern that much money for the year 2011will my gambling winning still be included as income and taxable?
    21 K is gross and 12K is taxable income and I win 2K

    • Based on the information given, your 2K in winnings should be added to your income on Line 21 of your Form 1040.

      Then your Total Income for Line 22 will be 24K (21K + 2K = 24K).

      Your total taxable income on Line 43 will be 14K (12 K + 2 K = 14K)

      Tax is going to be $1671 instead of $1379. Your 2K winnings increase your tax by $292.

      See Tax Table, Pub 17, Year 2011:–2011.pdf

      Note that if you had 2K of gambling losses to offset the 2K of gambling winnings, you could NOT take the losses because the 2K loss is not enough to itemize on Schedule A. For 2011, you are going to instead be taking the Standard Deduction of $5800.

  61. If you win a taxable jackpot on slots can I tell the casino on what percentage I wanted to be deducted instead of the flat 25%?

    • YES you can BUT and this is a BIG BUT, you STILL HAVE TO PAY THE REST AT THE END OF THE YEAR(by this I mean at TAX TIME usually in February of the next year)heck YOU CAN EVEN ASK THE CASINO TO GIVE YOU THE “FULL JACKPOT WINNINGS” and they will be more than happy to do it(they are hopping that you lose the money back to them in the next 5 minutes but this does not means you don’t have to repot YOUR “winnings” to uncle sam), CASINO WILL STILL REPORT YOU to IRS(that’s why the casino will give you or SURPRISE!! mail you the form at the end of the year, since IS YOUR RESPONSABILITY to report taxes

    • …and the “flat 25%” is NOT just a “pick whatever number you like” IS THE IRS LAW (plus any other STATE which depending where you live is another + 3 to 5 %)

  62. I won $1750 in Missouri in a progressive drawing. Only thing required to win was to have your card in the machine. Am I required to pay taxes on this amount, and am I required to pay Illinois taxes as well, as that is where I live? Any idea as to approximately how much will I have to pay?

    • ANY WINNING OVER 1200$ in slot machines, and I think 5000 in poker and 600 in lottery if I am remember right!! YOU HAVE TO PAY TAXES (FEDERAL AND STATE) federal is 25% and states it depends WHICH ONE (usually from 3 to 5 %) so to be safe lets say 25 federal plus 5 for the state = 30% = 525$ in taxes(federal AND state) total that YOU OWN, and remember to be in the safe side ALWAYS ASK THE CASINO TO WITHOLD THE TAXES FOR YOU and when they give you the W-2G check for the “WITHOLDINGS” amounts SO YOU DOTN HAVE TO WORRY LATER ABOUT OWNING MONEY THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY PROBABLY SPEND

    • She should have a licensed tax preparer review her situation, preferably an Enrolled Agent (EA), a CPA, or best – a tax attorney.

      She may not owe the $3000.

      If she does owe, then the EA can help her set up a payment plan with the IRS.

      If she doesn’t have the money right now for professional help, then she can try the Taxpayer Advocate Service:

  63. I won $5000 on ultimate texas holdem at an indian casino. They took out taxes right away with no consent from me. They took out $1788. So about 35%. Also, they did not give me a sheet at all or anything. Is there something fishy going on?

    • it could be, some bad casinos(mostly outside USA do this so THEY are taking money from their goverment), YOU SHOULD ALWAYS ASK FOR YOUR W-2G form AS SOON AS YOU HIT ANY JACKPOT also to be in the safe side since YOU HAVE TO PAY THOSE TAXES SOON OR LATER so is better to TELL THE CASINO to do it for you so you get your money MINUS the taxes SO YOU DONT HAVE TO WORRY AT THE END OF THE YEAR or risking later down the road that you DONT have the money any more SINCE you WON YOU HAVE TO REPORT IT.

  64. I won a weekly drawing at an Alabama Indian casino of $100,000. They took out $30,000 in fed tax. Will I owe anymore? I live in Florida, so I have no state tax. I have sales online of approximately $50,000 for 2013. So what I owe will be based on $150,000?

  65. My mother is 83 years old. Her total income last year was 12,456.00 (social security). She recently won 2 jackpots at a casino totaling about 10,000. She has not filed a tax return in the last few years. Is there a max she can make (total) before she has to file a tax return, or should she file regardless? Thanks!

    • 1) Is there a max she can make before she has to file a tax return for 2013?

      Based on the information given, your mother can make $11,499 (not including her Social Security) before she must file a Federal tax return. She is not required to file for 2013.

      See Table 1-1 on page 5 of Pub. 17:

      2) Should she file regardless?

      If I were the tax preparer, I would advise your mother to file for 2013. If the casino reports that $10,000 to the IRS, and issues a W2-G, then the IRS may wonder why they have no tax return from your mother.

      More importantly, I would go so far as to advise her to file every year, even when she is not required to file. In my practice, I deal with victims of identity theft. An example is my client who was not required to file, but because he did not, an identity thief was able to file a return using my client’s identity, and cause my client unbelievable hardship.

      Also, if your mother files every year, then this could be helpful in the future to the executor or administrator of your mother’s estate.

      3) What you didn’t ask about: Combined Income leads to taxation of Social Security, but that is OK.

      Combined Income is a figure used to determine if any of one’s Social Security is taxable. Don’t confuse it with Taxable Income.

      If your mother continues to be a winner, then be aware that her “Combined Income” could cause some of her Social Security to be taxed. But don’t let uninformed folks tell you that is a bad thing. Generally, the more she wins, the better her after-tax income will be. In other words, if she has to pay tax on her Social Security, then she is doing great.

      Although I don’t like to encourage gambling, let’s think positive. Let’s hope your mother wins a little more before 2013 ends. For 2013, her “Combined Income” would have to be over $25,000 before she MIGHT have to pay tax on her Social Security.

      Here is the calculation for Combined Income.

      Mother’s adjusted gross income
      + Nontaxable interest
      + ½ of your Social Security benefits
      = Mother’s “combined income”

      Here is the current situation:

      Judy’s Mother’s AGI (The Jackpots) $ 10,000
      Nontaxable interest………………………$ 0.00
      1/2 Social Security ………………………$ 6,228
      Judy’s Mother’s Combined
      Income = ……………………………………$ 16,228

      Your mother can win $8,772 more before her Social Security might be taxed a little*, and note she will have to pay income tax on that $8,772. She will still be ahead several thousand dollars.

      Pub. 915, Worksheet 1, is what one uses to calculate the taxable amount of Social Security that goes on Form 1040:

      For WORKSHEET 1, see Page 7:

      4) What you didn’t ask about: Keeping track of gambling losses.

      Going into 2014, your mother should keep track of her gambling wins and losses by maintaining a good log book that will hold up in an IRS audit. For 2014, if she has total losses that exceed her Standard Deduction, subject to the 2% AGI limitation, then she can claim the total losses on her Schedule A, up to the amount of her total winnings.

      See Links:

      Social Security Benefits Planner:

      Social Security Retirement:

  66. Ive had 8 w2-G forms pile up here on my desk this year from jackpots over $1200.00 playing video poker, and not once were the casinos I played in even hinting they were to take out anything for Uncle Sam. It would tick me off had they done so, because thats cash Ill probably never see again.

    • Majority of casinos are NOT obligated to TAKE YOUR TAXES BUT TO REPORT YOU, this being said, CASINOS love to give you all your “winning jackpot” and just a W-2G and a lot of times they will NOT even give it to you in the spot(when you won the jackpot) THEY WILL MAIL IT TO YOU AT THE END OF THE YEAR(that’s because casinos want to win the money back INCLUDIING THE TAXES!!) so YOU are responsible AND LEFT HOLDING the tax, SINCE IS YOUR RESPONSABILITY

  67. I have slot machine winnings over $15,000 for this year. I did not take out the taxes on any of these winnings. For Colorado, will I pay both state and federal taxes on these winnings?

  68. I am a student with a part time job in the summers making roughly 5000 of which 425 was held out for taxes. I am 22 and my parents still claim me on their taxes. I have 21,000 in gambling w2s, which is all of my winnings gambling, never quit without hitting a jackpot or losing. AI have about 20,000 in losses and have kept a log to show when and where i gambled amount lost etc. The log is all i have to prove it. I mostly gamble with just cash but i put all of my winnings in one account and periodically make withdrawals at the bank before i play. I havent done this all the time because about 8000 of the losses was cash. The question is will my gambling log suffice as proof. Also, if i had 20,000 in losses that would make my taxable income at roughly 6500 and put me in the 10 % bracket owing about 200.00 since i paid 400 in taxes from my summer job? thanks

  69. I won $2000.00 on a slot machine in a bar located in Oregon. If the IRS has a lien against me and I owe other things like school loans, state taxes in Oregon and California. Will the Oregon Lotto office just keep my winnings when I go to Salem to cash it in?

  70. I am on disability from WA state I moved to Co. I have never filed taxes in Co.. I am tax exempt ..if I was to win a jackpot in Colorado how n to whom would I pay?

  71. I won several jackpots on slots ranging from 1200 to 2800. I thought if the casino withheld state and federal taxes, then I did not have to report these jackpots on W2. What can I do at this point, as this took place over the past 3 years? Thanks.

  72. If someone wins over $200,000 in illegal gambling over a course of two years (some deposited in the bank, and the rest on a debit/gift card), is that income taxable?

    • yes IT IS TAXABLE under “OTHERS” section (FORM 1040)and IRS will be suspicious if they see you buying a house, a car etc. and then you will be in DEEP TROUBLE.(ALSO BANKS, CREDIT CARD COMPANIES KEEP RECORD AND IF THEY SUSPECT OF ANY LARGE TRANSACTIONS, THEY WILL REPORT YOU TOO)

  73. Hi I recently won 16,895’on a slot machine in az that is my latest win but I probally have a additional wg-2 slips amounting to about 14,000 for a toatalmofn30,895 but out of the 14,000 I probally spentb10,000 to win the 14 and probally another 2,000 to win the 16 so I have to pay taxes on ? And how long do u have to pay them

  74. I play blackjack and rarely loose…I never make over 500 a session. I have two other jobs. Do I pay taxes

    • “rarely loose?” well you must be a mathematician or plain lucky but that’s another story, so if I were you I will see how much money I make at the END OF THE YEAR and report that amount in the “others” section in my 1040 form, also assuming that IS THE ONLY winnings since if you play slots and hit a jackpot over 1200 then is a different rule, or if you play poker and win over 5000 then is also a different rule

  75. Hi,
    How does the tax for winnings apply to on-line casinos that are outside the United States? Those casinos don’t report to IRS and they don’t send W-2 or 1099.
    Thank you.

    • It would be the honor system. Chances are, you will not get caught unless it is a large amount or you do something dumb like try to pay cash for a car that is worth more than your reported income.

  76. I have a friend who gambles quite a bit in Michigan at the slots in the casino. I believe I understand the federal ramifications. As to the State of Michigan MI-1040, can losses offset any or all of the winnings? Of course her losses exceed winnings. The gross winnings were included in federal AGI thus carried over to Michigan as taxable income because Michigan starts with federal AGI which includes the gross amount of winnings. I subtracted the amount of the gross winnings included in federal AGI on the MI-1040 as a “subtraction” line 20 on Schedule 1 “Additions and Subtractions” as a miscellaneous subtraction. Well, the Michigan Department of the Treasury wants to see all of her w-2s now, which I would assume would include the W-2G forms and her federal 1040 which clearly states “gambling winnings” on line 21 I believe it is. So far it seems like a grey area but I’m leaning toward taxable with no offset or netting allowed. Knowing the State of Michigan this is probably the case but I cannot find any specific language regarding this It’s going to cost her about a grand plus
    interest and probably penalties. Any suggestions or comments please. Should she just send in the W-2G’s and her federal return and pray? It is probably not worth paying a professional (one who charges a fee). Thanks.

  77. I recently received a letter from the IRS, reminding me I owe. When I return the letter in agreement, what basically takes place. Just thought I would mention, I have been declared disabled,as of Feb 2013, as a result of Parkinson’s and could’nt tell you what has happened the last 5 years. Apparently, the drugs that I have been taking have contributed to much of my problem. Requip, Sinamet,etc. Any thoughts. Thanks. RC

    • From what I have read and witnessed, you are correct in surmising that certain PD medications can contribute to compulsive behavior. It is also possible that your recollections of the past 5 years have been affected by – and I hate to say this – the disease itself as cognitive skill loss is a drastic side effect of non-motor skill type Parkinson’s.
      If you were given to compulsive gambling as a medication side effect of dopaminergics, MAO inhibitors or dopamine agonists, it is equally likely that many of your losses were the result of online gambling where you or an computer specialist might be able to locate a record on your computer.
      Keep in mind that this explanation is not an affirmative defense with IRS, it just means that you might have lost more than you won and therefore have a legitimate deduction.
      At that point, you need to find a really good tax accountant. As a matter of fact, that is probably the first thing you should so.
      Best wishes

  78. Hello, I live in Washington state but won slot machine winnings of 1494.00 in Oregon. In Washington we don’t do state tax filings. But in Oregon they do. So do I need to file a Oregon state tax?

    • I live in Washington State also.I go to Oregon with my wife to play slots & bingo.What happen when we win big at Slots or Bingo?No state income Tax in Washington.I’ll declare my total win on the W2G FORM and have the Casino take out 28% to the IRS.

  79. I live in Texas and won a slot jackpot in Oklahoma. They gave me a W2G, but they did not take any taxes out because their computer was down. Do I have to file a return for OK and if so which return?

    • Winstar casino gave me a 1013 to file when I won $1835.00…what do I have to pay out when I file my taxes?

  80. I live in the state of Michigan. My losses far exceeded my winnings. I have been told that for the past couple years there is a law that states that you can claim you are a casual gambler or the gambling can be called sessions, and your wins are limited to the amount you walked out of the casino with (after subtracting the amount that you brought into the casino with). This can be written off from the Michigan state taxes owed. However my tax person failed to put my total amount of winnings on line 21 for my federal return and now I am being audited because of it. I have given her the information from the IRS and she keeps writing to them saying I am a casual gambler, but when I get the response back & take it to her she says she can”t put that amount on line 21 or it would carry over to the state taxes and I could not do the “sessions or casual gambler” Have you any answers for me? have been doing my taxes with a reputable business & bought a “peace of mind insurance” and need to see this thru with them, however the IRS is saying I owe them $5888.00 & then they would report it to the state & I would owe them an additional amount. This is for the year 2010 & the taxes were done the same way for 2011 & my tax preparer says I can expect to go thru the same thing for 2011. Do you have any knowledge of this “sessions” or casual gambling?

    • Good thing you paid for the insurance. Lets hope they back it because as far as I know there is not “sessions.” I have been researching taxable income for winnings now for several years and this is the first I have herd of it. I would also consider getting a new tax person. Good luck.

    • First, you should pay careful attention that your peace of mind claim is being handled properly. If you have to “see this thru with them,” then it sounds as if they are honoring their insurance.

      Your insurance should cover up to $5500 of that $5888 bill. If your representatives get the bill down below $5500, then the insurance payment will cover your federal bill. If they can get that bill down even lower, then the savings can be applied to any additional state tax you might owe.

      Seems the total net amount of your winnings should have gone on Line 21 of the 1040 in the beginning. If not, then where did you put it on the original return?

      Instead of going through the same thing for 2011, you can simply file an amended return for 2011. The problem is that by filing an amended return now, which that company will do for free, you may lose your peace of mind insurance for the 2011 returns. Why? Because I believe the insurance claim starts when you get your first letter from the IRS.

      If you do an amended return for 2011 now, then you will probably never get a letter. Instead, you will get a bill, and that might not work for the peace of mind insurance.

      In other words, for the 2011 returns, see if filing amended returns ahead of any letters will cause you to lose your insurance.

      Finally, 2011 may be salvageable.

      • Gross gambling winnings go on form 1040 line 21, page one based upon the amount you received on the W-2Gs. Losses, up to the amount of winnings, is an itemized deduction on schedule A.

        If you cannot itemize, or if it does not make sense overall to itemize vs. standard deduction, not certain. TurboTax accepted this approach for itemizers and it is addressed on the official IRS website,

        If you simply net the amount of losses against winnings and put on line 21 page 1, you will be “hearing” from the IRS and will have a mess on your hands.

    • there is NO a such thing as “sessions” tax law is very CLEAR: YOU WIN(for slot jackpots 1200 or more, for poker tables 5000 or more, for lottery 600 or more, etc) YOU have to pay taxes, so IF I were you I will EVERY TIME casino hand me a W-2G form I will ask the casino to WITHHOLD the taxes for me so I DONT GET ANY SURPRISES at tax time, or I don’t end up spending the money in something else SINCE THAT MONEY is uncles sam’s

  81. Hi ,

    Recently i went to casino and Gambled for the CRAPS table by investing 5000$ and i won 10,600, They have asked me the SSN and driving license i had given to them and they didnot provide me any Tax form and they didnot deduct they payed me back 10,600 . Should i need to file the tax for next year else what should i do next step !

    • Girish,
      Just because they did not deduct any amount does not mean you are not responsible for taxes. I could be wrong but my understanding was that up until recently “table” gambling was not taxable. However, now it is. I would hold back the 25% federal and what ever your state tax is for your own safety. Last I checked here in Michigan it was 4.35%. However, keep in mind that you can deduct the $5000 you invested. Congrats on the winning.

      • My tax person made an error and listed my losses as my winnings. The state of California doesn’t care as long as you lose as much as you win. My tax person did deduct my loses to match my winnings. I wouldn’t care except the Federal Tax goes by my gross income for taxes on my ss and medicare.That error showed my gross income $700.00 more than it was and I owed IRS $1,483.00. How much did I over pay the IRS because of my tax person’s error? I sent the check to IRS before I noticed his error!

      • Table gambling was always taxable. It is just on the honor system since there is no way of knowing/proving how much was actually won. You are not going to be taxed on $10,000 in chips if you spent $9500 to get it. OR worse, if you start the day with $15,000 chips and you cut your losses and cash out with $10,000, they certainly can’t tax you on that $10,000 when it was actually a $5000 loss.

  82. Three of us each put in $100 and won $6,000 on a slot machine, but the casino would only give us one of us a W2G form showing the winning of $6000. Actually the winning was $2,000 per person. Is there anyway we can each get a slip for $2,000 rather than having the one person getting charged for the entire tax. As we each live in seperate states it will make a difference on how we pay the tax

    • Ed, The casino only gave you one W2G, therefore, they have only notified the IRS of one person winning. The only way around that in the future is to create a gambling club and having the club be responsible for the winnings. At this point the person who received the W2G will have to be responsible for the taxes on this winning. Because only one person can claim the winning, the IRS could charge the other two recipients a “Gift” tax for their portion of the winnings. So I would be very careful who you tell about the winnings and how the taxes were done. Put something in writing that this was a mutual collaboration that the winnings would be split three ways. Just between you and I, I would have all parties sign it and date it the day before you won. But you didn’t hear that from me. Good luck

    • just call the casino they will mail you another one in less than a week, and some casinos will even EMAIL you one too, or you can just walk to the casino and ask for another one, it will take like 5 minutes for them

  83. If I live in Texas, where we do not have state tax returns, but won around 1,200 at a casino in New Mexico where they do file state taxes, do I have to file a state tax return? (state income tax withheld is 0 on W-2G)

  84. i won $1800 in vegas in april 2012 at a slot taxes were taken out at the time of winning. the casino gave me a receipt, which i have since lost. how do i go about claiming this on my taxes when the casino has yet to send me a w2G form or 1099? is it required for the casino to send this?

  85. if i won 2692.00 at the horse track and im going through turbo tax where in turbo tax do i input those wages ?????

    • you MUST have a W-2G form so turbo tax will ask you for it when they say : ” do you have any gambling winnings?”…

  86. As someone that works in a casino I can tell you there’s some inaccuracies in this article.

    First of all the only way you’ll receive a W2G from playing a slot machine is if you win $1,200 or more from a single spin (so winning 2 $600 jackpots does not get you a W2G). If this happens the machine will stop and you will be paid on the spot and give a W2G (don’t worry you’ll also get one in the mail). Also no taxes will be withheld unless you ask the casino to do so.

    The same goes for table games but you have to win $10,000 from a single bet.

    Lastly any transaction over $3,000 is recorded and any transaction over $10,000 is reported to the IRS. This used to be known as Regulation 6 now known as Title 31 it’s to prevent money laundering.

    One last thing, I think you meant to write Slot machine not Slow machine.

  87. I won $10,000 on a scratch off had the 25% taken out when I file my return my refund is less once I enter my W2-G, I don’t understand this

    • MS Christina,
      The 25% is a base they are required to take. The taxable rate is based on your total winnings, your income and any other income you may have had. I am not sure what the current tax table is but you may have been charged 28% instead of 25% based on that total income.

  88. Using TurboTax why do winnings claimed from a 1099-G reduce the refund amount even if identical losses are claimed?

    • I am not looking at your tax return but I would bet that your total winning put your income into a higher tax bracket. The deductions are not calculated until a total income has been determined. Therefore, even though your losses were the same as your winnings, your tax burden percentage did not change. Gotta love our tax system. I would contact turbo tax to insure that this is in fact correct.

    • Same thing happened to me for 2013 winnings at a church bazaar. Accountant said only winnings reported on a W2-G could be offset by losses. Out of luck if reported on a 1099. Sounds crazy. That’s why I’m poking around here looking for answers.

  89. I was on holiday in Las Vegas in December 2012 and won $2.000 on Bingo at the Gold Coast Casino, they stopped $600 tax and gave me a receipt to show the tax paid. How do I claim it back now that I am back in England?

  90. My Dad won on $1800 at the slots in Maryland and only received a receipt, he did not receive a W-2 G on the spot The casino did not take taxes although he asked them to nor have they supplied a W-2 G via mail. I know he has to pay Fed taxes and to the state he resides, does he have to pay state taxes to Maryland as well?

    • I reside in Washington, DC for state tax purposes but gamble in Maryland. I hit a taxable jackpot of $2K and was going to have the casino deduct fed taxes until the attendant stated it would be at 30% rather than the 25% I thought customary so I did not have them take the taxes out. QUESTION: Can casinos arbitrarily assign a tax rate? Secondly, residing in DC, will I be liable for state tax on taxable winnings? We use Turbo Tax. Thanks.

    • Your grant and loans through FAFSA take the prior years tax information so if it was a substantial source of income then you may not qualify for grants in the year after. You should still be ok for the loan amount though

    • Absolutely! It can be a nightmare for financial aid purposes!
      For Financial Aid purposes (FAFSA & the College), they only look at the AGI (Adjusted Gross Income). They do NOT consider the losses claimed on your Schedule A-Itemized Deductions form; so, if you won many slot jackpots during the year, and the total winnings (shown on W-2g) forms was, say, $50,000, then your AGI for Financial Aid purposes will include these winnings, even if you had $50,000 in losses claimed on Schedule A (Itemized Deductions).

      If you earn $60,000/yr at work, your AGI will be $110,000; likely knocking you out of receiving aid. This is an unfortunate consequence. I had a special meeting with FA officer, and they told me to “pound sand;” AGI is AGI. They can’t consider your losses on Schedule A. Sucks!

  91. Am I right–The law for 1099’s on gambling winnings changed in 2012, now increasing the amount of reportable winnings from $600 to $1200. However, my husband and I won several smaller jackpots of $600 or more on Indian casino Raffle machines before the law changed. Are these winnings under $1200 still taxable?The casino gave us W-2 G’s on all of them.

  92. If I paid federal taxes in the state of Indiana on a winning of $10,000. Do I pay federal taxes also in the state of Ohio on all that I won? If so why?

  93. Hello. I won nearly $18,000 in 2012 and paid zero taxes at the casino. I was also unemployed the entire year of 2012. I used my savings to make my house payments and my interest on my house was nearly $11,000! I have documented losses of around $20,000. I also gave around $1000 to my church and around $400 to Compassion International. Any idea of how much I may owe? I am worried sick about it.

    • Correct me if I’m wrong. But, your losses exceed your winnings. It should be a wash, and your tax burden should be $0.

    • Hi,
      I lost $11,000 earlier this year playing slot machines. A few days ago I won $20,000 dollars.
      How much might I owe in taxes? Also,does the IRS have a payment program over time since I am on a fixed income.

      • Scenario #1: You CAN DOCUMENT the $11,000 in losses for 2013

        FORM 1040

        Fixed Income Assumed to be
        Non-taxable*…………………………………$ 0.00

        Gambling Winnings
        Line 21……………………………………….. $20,000

        Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)………….$20,000

        Itemized Deductions From
        Schedule A (Your $11,000 in
        gambling losses, subject to a
        2% AGI limitation =
        $11,000 – ($11,000 X 0.02) =
        $11,000 – $220 = Line 40……………….$10,780

        Personal Exemption Line 42………….$ 3,900

        Taxable Income is $20,000 AGI,
        minus $10,780, minus $3,900,
        equals Taxable Income Line 43………$ 5,320

        Tax Due From 2013 Tax Table,
        Pub. 17, page 251, is**………………….$ 533

        Scenario #2: You CANNOT DOCUMENT the
        $11,000 in losses for 2013

        Fixed Income Assumed to be
        Non-taxable*…………………………………$ 0.00

        Gambling Winnings
        Line 21……………………………………….. $20,000

        Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)………….$20,000

        Standard Deduction………………………$ 6,100

        Personal Exemption Line 42………….$ 3,900

        Taxable Income is $20,000 AGI,
        minus $6100, minus $3,900,
        equals Taxable Income Line 43………$ 10,000

        Tax Due From 2013 Tax Table,
        Pub. 17, page 251, is**………………….$ 1,058

        *You did not post the circumstances of your fixed income, your $20,000 win, or your age, or marital status. Your gambling winnings of $20,000 might make some of your fixed income taxable. Need more information.

        The IRS does have a payment program.

        Pub 17 for 2013:

    • so here is the thing: did you won a jackpot of 18000? AT ONCE(single jackpot) or YOU THINK you won that amount lets say in the current years, so remember irs is very clear: slot machine jackpot over 1200 YOU pay taxes, Lottery over 600 YOU pay taxes, every time you get a W-2G form(wining gambling form) you have to pay taxes

  94. Hi there, I have had several jackpots paid to me through this year. On most of them I paid the taxes on the spot before they paid me. But a couple I didn’t. Anyways I absolutely lost more than I won for the year. I am a full time student, so there is no income except student loans. Should I expect to get the taxes I paid back since my losses were more than the wins?

  95. I was a stay at home dad this year, and have no income for 2012. I do have 2 jackpots totaling approx. $2800. I also have a dependent under age 16, (we have 4 kids, my fiancee would claim the other 3) that I could claim and a tax estimator said I would receive a return. Can I legally claim a dependent with no regular income and only gambling income? Since I had no regular income, would the IRS still tax these jackpots? How would that work? Also, can our children be split, dependent wise? (noting that we all lived in the same household for 2012,)

    • Hi Shawn,
      I am not sure how much your education expenses, but you can deduct them and you may possibly get a tax refund. You have to file a tax return since you have a W-2G. You can prepare your taxes with TurboTax for free so you can’t lose. You may get a nice tax refund.
      Happy filing!
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  96. How do I file my Ca. state return for 2009? I was on dissability the entire year so I have no tax liability for wages earned, however, I have $19,548.00 in casino winnings. With no taxable earned wages can I still show my gambling losses to equal my winnings?

    • Hi Lynn,
      You still need to prepare your Federal Tax return. Your casino winnings will go on the federal tax return and if you can claim itemized deductions instead of standard deductions you can claim your losses or how much you put spent gambling there. Information from your federal tax return will transfer to your state tax return. TurboTax walks you through the questions necessary to complete your tax return. You can purchase 2009 TurboTax software at
      Hurry and file you only have 3 tax years to claim a tax refund with the IRS.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  97. I sometimes go gambling when out of town on business for my own company. Can I have my company ‘win’ the money if I win?

    • Hi Richard,
      Unfortunately you have to claim your winnings on your personal taxes. Gambling winnings would not be considered income related to your business purpose.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  98. If the casino deducts 25% from the gross winnings before paying you the net. Then how do you get credit for this when filing your end of year 1040 …I don’t see any place on the W2G that says how much was withheld. It only shows the gross amount? Is the casino required to send you a 1099 or something?

    • Hi Robert,
      Typically the 25% tax will be withheld before you’re paid so you will not see a credit for it. Your winnings are added to any other income you’ve earned on your tax return. You can deduct your losses or the amount you put in to gamble up to your winnings as an itemized deduction.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • you do NOT get “credit” for 25%, that is something YOU MUST pay to uncle sam if you win unless you overpaid at the time the casino gave you the W-2G(and don’t forget the state too so you still might owe more)

  99. I paid 6,000 in taxes for 25% or so for about 15,000 in winnings. I didn’t pay 3,000 on other jackpots. I got about 15 in 4 months! Put it all back though:( Do I get the difference in my tax refund since I paid 6,000 and only didn’t pay 3,000? Or is there a chance I will owe some of the 3,000 I didn’t pay?

    • Hi Brett,
      It also depends on your other income. You have to include all of your gambling winnings with your other income and then you are taxed at the tax rate of your combined income minus your tax deductions and credits. Without knowing all of your details I can’t say for sure. You can deduct your losses up to your winnings as an itemized deduction.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • here is what will happens: You OVERPAID ONE of your W-2G(which is good irs WILL refund) BUT and here the catch since YOU DID NOT paid the other ones so now FROM EVERY W-2G that you have you have to pay ALSO the FULL amount 25 % Federal PLUS your State(depending where you live usually from 3 to 5%more), so to make it easy get a calculator and start to enter EVERY JACKPOT FROM THOSE W-2G FORMS that you did NOT paid taxes and see and cross your finger that they don’t add to more of what you ALREADY OVERPAID

  100. Why is it that turbo tax says I owe more money after entering my w2gs when my losses are equal (actually above) my winnings. Before I put in my w2s I owed $500.00. After entering my w2g and also my losses I owe alot more. Why does it not even out?

    • Hi Dan,
      Your losses should have been entered as an itemized deduction, however your eligible losses are limited and may not be more than gambling income reported on your tax return. You also need to check and see if your itemized deductions are more than the standard deductions. If not, you will get the standard deduction, which will not include the gambling losses.

      Also keep in mind that tax deductions from taxable income do not reduce your tax liability dollar for dollar.

      TurboTax is in line with all IRS tax laws. Please see IRS Topic 419 for more information regarding gambling losses

      If you still need more help, our tax experts are available via chat and phone.

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  101. Hi ! I have won a jackpot on a slot machine. The amount is $1337.00. So the tax on that jackpot would be 25% of this amount? Thanks!

  102. Even though I have lost much more than I win, I am paying Federal taxes on my winnings. The state of Ca. does not consider I won when I lost more than I won, but the Federal charges taxes even though I lost more than I won. Is this because the Federal taxes me on my total gross income before deductions??
    Thank you.

    • Hi Mr Rooster,
      If you are deducting your losses up to your winnings as itemized deductions, you have to remember that itemized deductions are not dollar-for-dollar deductions. They reduce your taxable income, but not your tax liability dollar-for-dollar.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  103. One glaring error in your article – “you will owe the same percentage to the IRS on a $100,000 jackpot as a $10,000 one.” Since gambling winnings are considered the same as ordinary income, for the great majority of people the larger jackpot will put them in a higher bracket.

    • Hi Gary,
      You are correct when you say gambling winnings are considered in the rest of your ordinary income and it may put people in a higher tax bracket, however the article refers to IRS rules that state “income tax is withheld at a flat 25% rate from certain gambling winnings” per IRS publication 505
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Lisa, the difference between withholding and tax owed is important. You either pay or get refunded that difference, after filing your tax return. There’s a small penalty for “substantial under-reporting” if you owe more than $1,000 at tax time, so you would have to make an “estimated tax” payment if the gambling winnings will make you owe more than that in tax.

        The 25% withholding rate is unlikely to be equal to the amount actually owed: depending on the size of the win and the taxpayer’s other income, the gambling winnings are likely to be in a higher income tax bracket.

    • Hi Becky,
      It depends on any other income and their deductions, but they should still file taxes on their winnings as gambling winnings are fully taxable and are required to be reported on their tax return. They can also deduct gambling losses if they itemize deductions, but the losses deducted cannot exceed gambling income.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • Probably not. Depends on how the $2600 affects the “Combined Income.” In general, if the combined income for a single taxpayer is more than $25,000, then he/she may have income tax due.


      Your adjusted gross income
      + Nontaxable interest
      + ½ of your Social Security benefits
      = Your “combined income”

      • Becky T., I jumped ahead on my answer above. Combined Income has to do with whether some of an 82-year-old’s Social Security would become taxable because of the $2600 slot machine win.

        For 2013, if the 82-year old only receives Social Security, and the $2600 slot win, and has no other income, then he/she will not pay any tax on that $2600 win, and will not be required to file a tax return.

        If the casino withheld tax on that $2600, then the 82-year old should file a tax return in order to get a refund of that amount withheld.

        Also, I strongly recommend that this person file a tax return for reasons I have stated in other posts on this webpage.

  104. I recently won 2600$ on a horse betting site, my wager was only 1$. How much will I be taxed?

    • Hi Daniel,
      You have to input your winnings as other income and your wager as an itemized deduction. TurboTax will figure out how much you will be taxed based on other income, deductions, and your tax bracket.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  105. They are not required to give out the forms for table games because it is virtually impossible to determine (and prove) how much you actually won. You could walk up to the cashier with $25000 in chips…but how can they know that you didn’t shell out $30,000 to get those chips and lose $5000? And even if you did win, they still can’t make you pay taxes on the full $25,000 since you they know you spent SOMETHING to start off. It would make gambling a logistical nightmare if players required receipts every time they get down to their last chip and grudgingly plunk down another $500 to reload their stack at the blackjack table.

  106. I need to know cab I deduct cost of dentures??

    I would like to finish taxes having a problem because i started several months ago trying to get back to them a getting them done!!!

    • Hi Don,
      Yes you can, however you to be eligible to itemize your deductions(itemized deductions have to exceed standard deductions) and your medical expenses have to be more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. TurboTax will guide you through the calculations and will choose the deductions (standard or itemized) you are eligble for. Happy filing!
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

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