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HOME > Gaming%20Strategies > Ask the Slot Expert: Making sense of a slot play win/loss statement

Ask the Slot Expert: Making sense of a slot play win/loss statement

22 February 2012

By John Robison

I received my win/loss statement from the casino. It showed three columns:

Total W/2G = $30,000      Slot Win = $1,800      Total Win = $1,800

I called the casino as I couldn't make sense of it--I won $30,000 but ended the year with only $1,800 in winnings. The customer service people told me that I had won the $30,000 and then put it back and lost it. But after losing it, I managed to then win $1,800. My question is this: on my tax form I show $30,000 as W2G winnings. Then on my itemized deductions, I show my losses as $30,000 minus the $1,800 win. Am I right? I'm trying to be aboveboard and honest with the IRS, but these figures just confuse me.

Can you help?

Thank you.

I think you're got a handle on the win/loss statement. As you played, some of your winnings required W-2Gs and the total of those winnings is Total W/2G. That number doesn't take into account any of your losses or even the amount you had to bet to get those W-2Gs.

Taking into account all the money you bet and all your other losses and winnings, you ended the year with a net win of $1,800. This is the number you should really have to declare because it accurately represents how well you did at the casino. But I suppose very few people would declare gambling winnings without the W-2G (How many people who live in a state with a sales tax pay the use tax they're supposed to pay on out-of-state purchases?), so we're stuck with our split system of declaring some winnings on one line and an adjustment to represent reality on another.

You should consult a professional tax preparer to ensure your return is prepared correctly.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,

Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

John Robison
John  Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming's leading publications. Hear John on "The Good Times Radio Gaming Show," broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoons. You can listen to archives of the show online anytime.

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