The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (“MGC”) has issued gaming licenses to licensed casinos and licensed sport wagering operators.
In some instances, before paying out winnings, state law requires that these casinos and sports wagering operators verify with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) whether the winner has a:
- Outstanding child support obligation, and/or a
- Past-due Massachusetts tax liability.
Requirements and verification
The licensed casinos are required to verify the tax and child support accounts of the following persons:
- Any individual who wins $1,200 or more from a slot machine;
- Any individual who wins Table Game jackpots that are subject to federal income tax withholding;
- Any individual who wins a cash prize equal to or greater than $1,200;
- Any individual who wins a non-cash prize (such as a car, vacation, etc.), if the fair market value of the prize is equal to or greater than $1,200.
Sports wagering operators are required to verify the tax and child support accounts of any individual whose winnings are subject to federal income tax withholding.
Generally, the amount of casino or sports wagering winnings shall not be reduced by the amount wagered.
To conduct this verification,
- In the case of a licensed casino, an authorized representative of the casino must request from the winner a:
- Valid photo identification (such as a driver’s license, state-issued ID, passport, etc.); and
- Social security number or other tax identification number.
- In the case of a sports wagering operator, the operator shall utilize the personal information obtained from a patron at the time the patron’s account is established.
If DOR informs the licensed casino or sports wagering operator that a winner has a past-due child support obligation and/or tax liability, the casino or sports wagering operator is required to intercept the past-due amount (up to the amount of the winnings) and remit such amounts to DOR.
DOR will apply these amounts against the winner’s past-due child support obligations and/or tax liabilities.
How will I be notified that my casino or sports wagering winnings have been intercepted?
An authorized representative of the casino or sports wagering operator will provide you with a statement detailing the intercept amounts of past-due child support and/or state tax liabilities
You will also be given a DOR Notice of Massachusetts Intercept with an explanation and the telephone number of DOR to contact if you have any questions.
What if I believe that an intercept was not required?
Please direct all inquiries to DOR. Casino and sport wagering operator representatives cannot answer any questions about the intercept.
- For inquiries regarding intercepts of child support liabilities — (800) 332-2733
- For inquiries regarding intercepts of Massachusetts tax liabilities — (617) 887-6367 or toll-free within Massachusetts at (800)-392-6089.
If I have past-due child support and/or state tax liabilities, how will my winnings be distributed?
First, your winnings will offset any past-due child support.
Next, your winnings will offset any past-due tax liability.
The balance, if any, will be given to you.
Will the DOR intercept information remain confidential?
All representatives of licensed casinos and sports wagering operators are subject to the Department of Revenue’s confidentiality and security requirements, and its prohibitions on the disclosure or browsing of confidential taxpayer information. As a result, such representatives must maintain the confidentiality of any and all confidential or proprietary information that may be accessed, including confidential taxpayer information. Any individual who fails to maintain confidentiality will be subject to prosecution, which may result in fines and/or imprisonment. See 830 CMR 62C.21.1 for additional information.