Gambling

Big Changes for Las Vegas Slot Machines • This Week in Gambling


We’re looking at some major changes for Las Vegas slot machines, some good and some not so good. These changes will impact your jackpots, your taxes, and how the casinos pay you. Plus, are there any coin slot machines left in Sin City? Yes, and we’ll tell you where they’re hiding!

Several weeks ago, we told you about legislation that was working its way through Congress that would allow players to keep more of the money they win while playing Las Vegas slot machines by raising the tax reporting threshold limit on jackpots. And believe it or not, the IRS is actually okay with this! The Shifting Limits on Thresholds Act, or the SLOT Act, would raise the limit for reporting jackpot wins on slot machines and video poker from just $1,200, where it’s been stuck for nearly 50 years, all the way up to $5,800… and that’s not all.

Last year the IRS commissioner said that he fully supports these changes, and as recently as February an IRS advisory panel said that these changes should be implemented. And yet yet this legislation sits somewhere in Congress while the IRS still has it “under consideration”. So we don’t know when these changes will
actually take place.

While we wait, some casinos are changing the rules for Las Vegas slot machines by changing the time they give you to redeem those Ticket In Ticket Out vouchers. And if you’re not paying attention, those changes could end up costing you a lot of money. I know many players like to hold on to those winning tickets… perhaps even save them for their next trip to Las Vegas. However, many casinos in and around Sin City are now changing the amount of time you have to redeem those tickets from 6 months to just 30 days in some situations.

Looking around Las Vegas, the Westgate might not give you 6 months,but they still give players a respectable 120 days to redeem those tickets. But if you wander over to the Wynn, Encore, Ellis Island or Circus Circus, the time shortens to just 60 days. That same 60-day window also applies downtown at the El Cortez and The Plaza, but hit Treasure Island or the Golden Nugget and players have just 30 days to collect their winnings.

And finally this week, if you’d like to avoid the whole Ticket In Ticket Out thing, or perhaps you’re just an old school slot enthusiast, you can still find coin operated Las Vegas slot machines… if you know where to look. Let’s start on the Strip where players can find 75 coin slots when they visit the recently renovated Slots of Fun mini casino at Circus Circus. Heading downtown, The California also has a number of slot machines that accept coins, and the El Cortez not only has coin slots, but video poker as well!

Stay in downtown and wander to The D, where they don’t have coin slots, but they do have the classic coin operated game Sigma Derby… a horse racing simulator that players absolutely love! You will always find a crowd gathered around when this game is up and running! But whatever you do, and I cannot emphasize this enough… do not jump up the game in a drunken stupor and pretend to be a jockey. They really don’t like that. How I know this is not important.



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