Parents failing to pay child support but winning big at Ohio casinos and racinos will not be able to keep the entirety of their winnings.
Child Support Paid by a Racetrack Win
Gov. John Kasich’s off-year state budget contains a provision that will allow for gamblingwinnings to be seized in order to pay overdue child support. Larger winnings that already must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (via form W-2G) for federal tax withholdings could be held back and put towards back child support. Examples of larger winnings include: $1,200 or more from a slot machine, $5,000 or more from a poker tournament or $600 or more on a $2 bet at a race track. And if the mom or dad owe more than they win, they would go home with nothing. “People should take care of their kids,” said Rob Nichols, a Kasich spokesman. “This puts us in line with what other states do and what the federal government does.”
Child Support Collections Exceeding $1 million
Officials in Ohio estimate the collections of these winnings could exceed $1 million a year, based on the experiences of other states with similar laws. Last year Ohio collected 68 percent of court-ordered child support, which equated to about $1.3 billion. Of that, the state collected just under $250,000 from lottery winnings.
How Does this Child Support Garnishing Work?
The state agency already checks a list of lottery winners. So the Department of Job and Family Services would develop a data-match program that would then be checked by each the state’s five casinos and four racinos to identify delinquent parents before paying out winnings. Currently there is no mechanism for intercepting child support from casino and racino winnings.
Executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, Matthew T. Schuler, said casinos should have little trouble complying with the law, if approved.
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