Casinos to withhold gambling payoffs to parents who owe child support

A new state law that requires Indiana casinos to withhold gambling payoffs to deadbeat parents will be implemented when a tracking system goes online next year.

The state is working to build an online system that will allow casinos to check the names of winners against a data base of people who owe child support, said Mike Smith, president of the Casino Association of Indiana.

Only people who win enough money to trigger federal tax reporting forms will have to go through the check. Casinos give W-2G tax forms to people who win $1,200 or more from slot machines, with other limits for other types of gambling.

Once the new system is online, a casino will check a winner's name when it issues a W-2G tax form. The casino will be able to check a real-time data bank from the Indiana Department of Child Services to see whether the person owes child support.

State taxes will be taken from the winnings first.

The state hopes to collect $1.2 million once the program is running. But Smith said that 300,000 to 500,000 checks of winners will yield only about 400 people who owe back child support.