Members of Congress write lots of letters, and then send out press releases about them.
One example in the genre Monday was a release from Rep. Dina Titus noting that she and fellow Democratic Rep. Darin LaHood have written to the Treasury Department asking the department to increase the amount slot (and bingo!) players can win before having to report the earnings. The threshold is $1,200. They want it raised to $5,000.
When a player hits a jackpot of more than $1,200, “the machine locks up and stops play,” the members of Congress wrote. “Staff must issue a W2-G form to the player and validate its accuracy.”
Wait. What? If the machine seizes up, does that interrupt continued play, in turn disrupting the casino’s age-old revenue model whereby $1,200 (and then some) won is soon lost?
Titus and LaHood note the $1,200 threshold was established in 1977, and if indexed to inflation would now equal $5,000.
“Raising the threshold would reduce the paperwork burden on businesses and players while ensuring the tax code reflects current economic realities,” they wrote.
And if it assures the player keeps
gambling gaming — and starts losing — after hitting a jackpot instead of quitting while ahead? That, too, might be fine with casinos and slot route operators.