Many Americans play the slot machines at local restaurants and bars so playing online is pretty popular too. The high tech video slot machines you find at many local businesses are more closely related to online slots than the old-style slots with reels that actually spin. Online slot machine laws in the USA are pretty confusing. In the last year several states have been pushing for online casino gambling regulation so if you look at legality on the state level you will find not find a definitive answer. Luckily if there are specific laws against real money slots online no one has ever enforced it. Millions of Americans play slot games online for money every day and this number is growing.
The federal government might say that online slots are illegal but it is just one of those things that they don’t waste their time on. In most states you can gamble on video poker and slot machines at both casinos and many other businesses so the question of if gambling is wrong or right isn’t even relevant any more.
There are two things that the U.S. government does care about when it comes to slots and other forms of gambling. They want to keep underage players away from the machine and they want to collect taxes on it. The recent push to regulate online gambling across the US is sound evidence that both state governments want to cash in on Internet gambling because everyone is doing it anyway. Why send the untaxed money overseas?
Some US states have even bigger plans than just taxing online gambling revenues. They want to dominate the U.S. gambling market in the same way that Las Vegas dominates the brick and mortar casino market.
I have not been reporting on all of the online casino related bills recently but there have been quite a few states making headlines. You can read more about the push for legal online casino gambling at SlotsinVegas.com. They do a much better job of reporting on the current events.
Taxes & Slot Machine Winnings?
If you play online slots and win a lot of money you are going to want to pay taxes on it. If you won a slots jackpot at a brick and mortar casino they would tax you right then and there in some states. That can be a curse and a blessing. It is best to pay it right away but who wants to see 30-40% of their jackpot disappear into Uncle Sam’s pocket?
The thing with US taxes and online gambling profits is that online casinos do not send you W2′s. They do not report anything to the state or federal government, at least not directly. Most US online casinos in 2013 will handle large payouts via bank wire. Every bank is different but they are obligated to report bank wires that are around $10,000. Some banks I know report wires as low as $5,000.
You certainly don’t want to not file taxes on your online casino winnings and then have the IRS audit you. Even if you only get the occasional check for $200-$300 you still want to report it.