Casino Winnings and Taxes

Are Your Big Winnings at Casinos Taxable?

Casino Winnings and Taxes

Casino Winnings and Taxes

Casino Winnings and Taxes is the most important thing to find out if you have won at US casinos. Casino winnings are generally taxable in the United States. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers gambling winnings, including those from casinos, as taxable income. This applies to all forms of gambling, including slot machines, poker, blackjack, roulette, and other casino games.

How does Casino Winnings and Taxes work

  • If you win a certain amount of money at a casino, the casino may require you to fill out a W-2G form, which reports your winnings to the IRS. This typically applies to larger wins, such as jackpots, but the specific threshold for reporting can vary by state.
  • Casinos may also withhold a portion of your winnings for federal income tax purposes. The amount withheld depends on the amount of your winnings and your tax situation. If too much is withheld, you can claim a refund when you file your tax return.
  • Even if you don’t receive a W-2G form or have taxes withheld, you are still required to report your gambling winnings on your federal income tax return, typically on Form 1040.
  • You can deduct gambling losses to the extent of your winnings, but you must be able to document these losses. It’s important to keep records of your gambling activities, including receipts, tickets, and other documentation.
  • In addition to federal taxes, some states also impose their own taxes on gambling winnings. The rules and tax rates can vary widely by state, so it’s important to check your state’s tax laws.
  • If gambling is your primary source of income and you engage in it as a business, you may be considered a professional gambler. In this case, you would report your gambling income and expenses on Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business) instead of Schedule A (Itemized Deductions).

What if you win small sum of money

Small money wins
Small money wins are to be reported too

Small sums of gambling money, of course, don`t come under the ambit of taxation so if you bet a couple of bucks on slot machines and won yourself a decent amount of money to order a double pizza, you do not have to worry about taxes. In fact, in America, the government perceives your casino winnings as income and of course, you need to give up a part of your good luck earnings to the state. Now, this is of concern – how much is that exactly?

Note that this does not mean you are exempt from paying taxes or reporting the winnings on your taxes. Any and all gambling winnings must be reported to the IRS. It only means that you do not have to fill out Form W2-G for these particular table based games.

It’s important for you to know the thresholds that require income reporting by the payer. When considering Casino Winnings and Taxes, wins in the following amounts must be reported to the IRS by the payer:

  • $600 or more at a horse track (if that is 300 times your bet)
  • $1,200 or more at a slot machine or bingo game
  • $1,500 or more in keno winnings (minus the amount you bet) 
  • $5,000 or more in poker tournament winnings (minus the amount you bet or buy-in price) 

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 24 percent off your winnings for IRS gambling taxes before paying you.

Not all gambling winnings in the amounts above are subject to IRS Form W2-G. W2-G forms are not required for winnings from table games such as blackjack, craps, baccarat, and roulette, regardless of the amount. 

Depends on the nature of gambling activity

The game of keno
The game of keno

Casino Winnings and Taxes are fixed at 25% of your overall jackpot or whatever game it is at which you won. It is actually a theft but this is how it goes. However, it also has a reverse impact in the form of your loss of tax deductions. Do you need to win a sum that is large enough to require you to give up a quarter of it? It all depends on the nature of gambling activity. The amazing chance to your well-earned money is by playing poker. If you won up to $5000, you could keep it all with you.

In case you won at keno, then you required to pay taxes on as little as $1,500. If you won on slots machines and bingo, win of $1,200 is also taxable under Casino Winnings and Taxes. In case you bet on horses in a horse race, you are taxed on as little as $600. Although, there are many more details and specific features of horse race gambling so do not avoid it all before venturing into this industry. The great news is that this Casino Winnings and Taxes is not progressive and its percentage won’t increase when you win more money. Still, you have to give up a lot.

Professional Gamblers and Taxes

Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu Claims US Tax Laws Are a Dampener For Professional Gamblers

Casino Winnings and Taxes is applicable to professional gamblers as well. You`ll just have to pay yet another type of gambling taxes. Maybe they are not that bad, but still, professional gamblers don`t have to inform about their winnings in a way that all other casino customers do. Considering that professional gambling means more or less stable income, players have to pay federal taxes as all working people in the USA do. However, you’d better think twice before becoming a professional gambler as there are way too many risks in this profession and you never know when you will get your hands on your next big win or whether you`ll get paid at all.

In addition to federal taxes payable to the IRS, many state governments tax gambling income as well. Each state has its own unique formulas and rules for gambling income, and some levy no gambling taxes at all. Some states charge a flat percentage, while others base the state tax on how much you won.

What if you didn’t win

As already stated, American law has some ways to reduce the taxes payable from your winnings in the case that you lost big at a casino. Before understanding how to do it, let’s find out what the IRS is and how it functions. It is an Internal Revenue Service and you have to report to it some particular information about your income. You should keep a log of your winnings and losses to save money on taxes. Write down all sums of money, keep the receipts from gaming facilities, credit records, wagering tickets, and all documents that are somewhat related to your gambling tryst.

In addition, you should also note down the addresses of casinos, names of managers, dealers, and your fellow players if it is poker. It also includes a date and maybe even time. You can use a Form W-2G. If you haven’t lost anything, you are not eligible to file for losses as a tax deduction.

Make sure the sum of the deduction can`t be more than total of your winnings. For instance, if you won $5000, but lost $8000, your taxes may only be deducted by $5000. This law works in the case when winnings and losses match.

Countries exempt from Taxes

Macau China
Macau Casino – Tax Free Gambling

The taxation of gambling winnings varies from one country to another, and some countries exempt certain types of gambling winnings from taxation altogether. However, if you go on casino vacation, it’s important to note that tax laws can change over time, and the specifics can depend on the type of gambling, the amount of winnings, and individual circumstances. Here are a few countries that generally exempt certain gambling winnings from taxation, but keep in mind that these exemptions can have limitations and may not apply in all cases:

  1. United Kingdom: In the UK, gambling winnings, including those from casino games, sports betting, and the National Lottery, are generally not subject to income tax. The government imposes taxes on the operators instead.
  2. Australia: Australian residents do not pay taxes on gambling winnings, whether from casinos, lotteries, or sports betting. However, professional gamblers may be subject to income tax on their winnings if gambling is their primary source of income.
  3. Canada: In Canada, gambling winnings are generally not considered taxable income. However, if you are a professional gambler, your winnings may be subject to taxation as business income.
  4. New Zealand: New Zealand does not tax gambling winnings, whether from casinos, lotteries, or sports betting. The government generates revenue from gambling operators through licensing fees and taxes.
  5. Monaco: Monaco, known for its famous casinos, does not tax gambling winnings. The country’s economy heavily relies on tourism and gambling revenue, so residents and tourists can enjoy their winnings tax-free.
  6. Singapore: Singapore does not tax gambling winnings for residents. However, the government imposes taxes on the operators of casinos and betting facilities.
  7. Macau: Macau, often referred to as the “Gambling capital of the world,” does not tax gambling winnings for residents or tourists. The government generates substantial revenue through taxes on casino operators.

Note that even in countries where gambling winnings are not typically taxed, there may still be specific rules and regulations for certain types of gambling, high-stakes winnings, or professional gamblers.


Casino winnings in the United States are generally subject to taxation. The IRS considers gambling winnings as taxable income, and individuals are required to report these earnings on their federal income tax returns. Casinos may also withhold a portion of winnings for federal tax purposes, particularly for larger wins.

It’s important for individuals who engage in gambling activities to keep detailed records of their winnings and losses and to understand the tax implications based on their specific circumstances. Deductions for gambling losses are allowed, but they must be documented and should not exceed the total amount of winnings.

When thinking of casino winnings and taxes, it’s essential to consult with a tax professional or accountant who is knowledgeable about gambling and tax laws to ensure that you accurately report your casino winnings and comply with all relevant tax regulations. Failing to report gambling income can result in penalties and interest charges from the IRS.


Q1. Are all casino winnings taxable in the US?

Yes, all casino winnings are generally considered taxable income in the United States. This includes winnings from slot machines, poker, blackjack, roulette, and other casino games.

Q2. What is the threshold for receiving a W-2G form from a casino?

Casinos are required to issue a W-2G form to individuals who win $1,200 or more on a single slot machine spin, $1,500 or more in keno winnings, $5,000 or more in poker tournament winnings, or any other game where the winnings are subject to federal income tax withholding.

Q3. Can I deduct gambling losses on my tax return?

Yes, you can deduct gambling losses on your federal tax return, but they must be itemized on Schedule A, and the losses cannot exceed your total gambling winnings for the year. You must also maintain accurate records of your losses.

Q4. Do I have to pay state taxes on casino winnings in addition to federal taxes?

State tax laws regarding gambling winnings vary by state. Some states impose their own taxes on gambling winnings, while others do not. It’s essential to check your state’s specific tax regulations.

Q5.What happens if I fail to report my casino winnings on my tax return?

Failure to report gambling winnings on your tax return can result in penalties, interest charges, and potential legal consequences. It’s crucial to accurately report all taxable income to the IRS to avoid such issues.