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Best of John Grochowski

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Taxes and video keno

5 July 2015

QUESTION: In your answer to the electronic roulette winner (who had to sign a form W-2G for a $1,240 win even though a $745 bet left not much profit after taxes), you left out a very important point.

If you are not a resident of the state where the taxes were withheld, you can file a tax return for that state and get your money back. When you have no other income in that state you will have no tax liability therefore 100 percent refund. It obviously takes forever to get your win BUT if you don't, the real winner is the state. I know this is done by states like Louisiana and they make big bucks from non-residents who can't be bothered to file.

ANSWER: That’s an issue to explore with a tax professional. Some states tax every dollar earned in that state, even if you are a non-resident. The tax may apply regardless of whether the income is from a job, gambling winnings or a game show – it’s an issue I encountered in 2000 when I had to file a return and pay taxes in New York State after winning money on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

In some cases, filing a return may save you from double taxation. A while back, I handled a question from an Illinois resident who had taxes withheld by an Indiana casino after a large jackpot. He didn’t get that money back, but by filing the Indiana return, he saved himself from having to pay Illinois taxes on the amount.

There are several factors. Does the state in which you won the jackpot levy a tax on gambling winnings by non-residents? Does your state of residence tax your gambling winnings from other states? Does your state of residence have a reciprocal agreement with the state where you won the money so that you’re taxed only in one state?

Tax laws vary from state to state, and there are enough variations that if you have taxable winnings in other states, you should discuss filing requirements with a tax professional.


QUESTION: My wife really likes video keno, and a lot of the time we play right next to each other on Game King machines. She’ll play keno, and I’ll pick a video poker game.

She gets really serious about her numbers, and she watches and remembers when a number has come up several times in a row. I said to her once that it didn’t matter which numbers she chose. It was the wrong thing to say. She got all indignant, and snapped at me, “Of course it matters. You mind your own game.”

So tell me, does it matter which numbers you play?

ANSWER: There are a couple of ways to look at this. The numbers your wife picks matter in that she wins if enough match the numbers selected by the random number generator, and she loses if they don’t.

However, there’s no way to know what’s coming from the RNG. Your wife’s selections don’t influence the RNG’s picks, and it’s not trying to beat her. If she observes a number coming up several times in a row, that doesn’t mean it will come up again on the next play, or that it’s due not to be drawn. Every number has a 1 in 4 chance of being drawn on every play.

Any number, and any set of numbers, is as likely to come up as any other, so in that sense, no, it doesn’t matter what numbers she picks. The odds of winning are the same no matter what her numbers are.
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski