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What Happens if You Win too Much at a Casino?

Every time you walk into a casino, the thought at the back of your mind is today is going to be the day I win the jackpot. With the pull of the lever and push of every slot machine button, the shuffle of the deck of cards, you see yourself one step closer to becoming that millionaire.

This dream could become a reality through playing cards or slots online and the possible winning of the jackpot or huge windfall in slots, cards is the driving force which compels casino players to return to the tables or the slots both at online and land based casinos.

If you finally have this dream come true, there are some things that follow winnings, which every gambler must know.

The IRS is waiting with a tax form

Every gambler must be aware that the IRS gets a cut if your winnings exceed $1200. This means the tax man will be waiting hand outstretched in front of your doors. You are mandated to pay tax on your winnings. What the casino does is to issue a W-2G form which you must fill out. The form is precisely for certain gambling winnings. Do not fret if you win less that this amount. The IRS isn’t interested in it. the upside to this is, you can reclaim the money you lost while gambling but you must have receipts of all your losses and wins.

The casino assigns a worker to you almost immediately.

The instant that jackpot is yours, a casino worker will be by your side. The first thing they want to verify is the legitimacy of that win. Legitimacy could be on the part of the machine, if you won at slots or it could be on the part of the winner. Regarding the winner, the casino worker will ask to see your identification.

You must possess a valid identity card to verify who you are and that there are no hinderances towards you collecting your winnings. As long as you have this valid identity card with you and depending on the amount of your winnings, the casino will ether keep your winnings till you can identify your self  or if you do represent a card and your winnings are small, they will pay you immediately.

Winnings in excess of $5000, sorry no cash most likely cheque

We all want that feeling of a large amount of cash in our pockets. Well, when you do land that huge windfall in a casino, you might or might not be paid in cash. Some casinos however might pay you in cash, get their security them to walk you out to your car, make you feel like the VIP you now are, but once you get into your car, you are on your own.

The casino isn’t going to offer protection just because you won such an amount. The reason by the way why they might pay you in cash is to get you back at the tables or in front of the slot machine immediately. However in some cases, the casino would offer you a cheque for your winnings.

Not all winnings are recognised by law or the casino

Okay, here is an unbelievable but true story. October 2016 a woman thought she had won $43 million jackpot from a slot machine. Imagine what you could do with $43 million, the trips, the cars, the clothes. Well, this dream was short-lived as the casino investigated and found out the machine had malfunctioned.

At this point you would say, not your fault, their loss your gain. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. On every slot machine there is a disclaimer by the casino which is backed by law. It say’ Malfunction void all plays and pays’. What this means is if the machine malfunctions and you land a winning because of this, the casino isn’t under any obligation to pay you.

You will go under the casino microscope

The moment you land that huge windfall, the casino will watch you closely anytime you walk through their doors. Don’t take this personally, they just want to make sure you are playing within the rules of the casino and also to know just how you play. On the other hand, they also want to make sure you and lady luck have no bond and you are not on your way to another huge jackpot.

You won’t get the full amount

Just like when you win the lottery, you do not get the full amount. Taxes take a huge chunk out of the winnings. This same process applies to casino winnings although it is applicable on amounts one million dollars and above. Here the winner has the option of been paid an annual fee, i.e. a certain fixed amount is paid to you every year, till you exhaust your winnings. Going with any option you choose isn’t a decision you have to make immediately, you have a time frame of 90 days before you have to make this decision.

The upside to winning a jackpot at a casino is your life changes in a good way. You have the purchasing power now for a certain kind of lifestyle. You would be practically floating on the clouds. As a gambler you would most likely try your hand at some more games to see if you could replicate your lucky day. Well, fortune could smile on you twice or not.

Either way, the above listed things are important for you to know when you try your hand at the slots or cards with the utmost desire of winning the jackpot. The number one stakeholder who has a right to a part of your winnings is the IRS. You cannot escape paying your tax as the casino is mandated by law to have you fill the W-2G form. Remember though, the form is only for winnings above $1200, any amount below this, you can have your cash and go.

Atif Mallo

Atif Mallo is a freelance blogger with huge interest in technology, science, life hacks and health. He loves coffee, cheesecake and chess. Drop a line in comments to leave feedback for him.

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