In an era of political polarization and record inflation, a bipartisan bill is about as elusive as a royal flush.
Since 1977, the IRS has been taxing slot jackpots of $1200 and more at 37%, an amount that has not been adjusted for inflation in 45 years. A bipartisan group of legislators seeks to raise the limit to $5000 with the “SLOT” act—Shifting Limits on Thresholds and is indexed for inflation starting in 2023.
The two-page legislation (only two pages long!) was filed by Democratic Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada and Republican Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania. Nevada’s Steven Horsford (D-NV4) and Mark Amodei (R-NV2) cosponsored the legislation.
In a press release, Titus stated:
“The current threshold for reporting slot winnings was set at $1,200 in 1977 and has not been updated in the 45 years since. If indexed for inflation, the threshold would be around $5,000. Due to inflation, the number of jackpots hitting that threshold, triggering a shut down of the machine and necessitating excessive paperwork requirements for the patron, has increased dramatically. While I believe appropriate taxes should be collected on winnings, raising the threshold would reduce paperwork and ensure this is accomplished more efficiently.”
“Today’s legislation is an important and commonsense step to modernize gaming regulations while supporting our industry’s full recovery,” stated American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller. “Representatives Titus and Reschenthaler, along with the Congressional Gaming Caucus, are important champions of our industry and I appreciate their relentless efforts to address this outdated rule.”
Governor Sisolak weighed in on Twitter:
— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) March 5, 2022
Nevada exceeded expectations this past year in gaming revenues. According to the Nevada Independent:
“Soon after Nevada casinos reopened on June 4, 2020, following an unprecedented 78-day closure in hopes of slowing COVID-19’s spread, gaming analysts said it would take three or four years for the state and the Strip to return to pre-pandemic revenue totals.
Nevada beat the odds.
Buoyed by a record-setting 10 straight months of $1 billion or more in gaming revenues, Nevada’s casino industry closed out 2021 with an all-time high of more than $13.4 billion in pre-tax gaming figures, according to a report released Thursday by the Gaming Control Board.
The total blew past the $7.9 billion in gaming revenue in 2020 by almost 71 percent and topped the 2019 pre-pandemic figure of $12 billion by 11.6 percent. Previously, Nevada casinos had topped the $12 billion mark only three times – 2019, 2007 and 2006. The previous one year-record for gaming revenue was $12.8 billion in 2007.”
The bill was supported by Nevada’s entire Congressional delegation, except Susie Lee.
In a press release, April Becker commented on Susie Lee’s failure to stand up for Nevada’s most important industry:
“Susie Lee claims she’s a moderate, bipartisan problem solver, but when the chance came to help our most important industry — Susie was MIA. It should come as no surprise that Susie Lee is all talk when it comes to bipartisan solutions, given that she votes with Nancy Pelosi 99% of the time.”
The Nevada Globe has reached out to Susie Lee’s office asking if she will support the legislation. We will provide an update with their response.
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