Large Casino Jackpots

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3,436 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
I usually play slots and never win. But suppose I won a large jackpot on the $1 or $5 slots. Jackpot could be as hight as $10,000. Can anyone answer the following questions?

1. What is best way to get paid? Cash? Check? Voucher, pick up cash on last night?
I understand that I would have to be careful with that much cash?

2. I beleive there is a $10,000 limit on amount of cash I can bring into U.S. If I give half to my wife, does that solve the problem?

3. Are gambling winning at sea taxable?

4. Does Cruise line report winnings to U.S.?

I don't want to do anything illegal, just curious what the rules are.
Parkville, MO, USA
294 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
I won a $2500 jackpot on a quarter machine in November of 2001. They paid me immediately in cash (didn't offer any alternative but I was too excited to ask).

My winnings were absolutely non-taxable because we were in international waters and they were not reported to the IRS. That's what they told me on the ship and I double-checked with IRS when I got back.

Hopefully, you will indeed have to worry about this!

Good Luck,
Blanchard, OK
1,267 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Hi cherski. We're your neighbors from Harrisonville. How long have you been cruising?

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2,248 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Since the snowball Bingo is usually a couple of thousand, too, I'm sure that's the same rules - International waters, no tax. May we all get to deal with such issues!
Cary, NC
208 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
You are, of course, obligated to report your winnings on your tax return. However, the cruise line is not required to file a form W-2G with the IRS, as would a land-based casino. Cruise ship casinos operating in international waters are entirely unregulated, which is good news if you're a winner.
Thornton, CO USA
68 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> May we all get to deal with such issues! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



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3,263 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
How about JLo's mom? Some luck, huh?

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Dublin, OH, US
4,022 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
All gambling winnings are subject to tax. Just because the IRS is not informed it does not mean you should not report it.

Also, if you have cash above $10,000 you are required to report it to customs upon entry. Guessing that customs and the IRS might share information so it would be wise to give Uncle Sam a cut of your earnings. Also wouldn't be surprised if the cruiselines don't give a hint to customs when they have paid out that amount of cash.

George & MaryBeth
New Hampshire
77 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Re: J-Lo's mom.... ain't that always the case, gilding the lily

Not long ago, Nancy Kerrigan's dad had a $1 million scratch ticket in Massachusetts. Oh well, I guess it's repayment for all those lessons. Still, I'd love to see the wealth spread around hehehe.
23,173 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
If one looses at gambling can you claim it on your income tax form as a loss?

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Jasper, GA
291 Posts
Joined May 2003
Certainly, as an offset to, and only up to, the amount of reported winnings. In other words, you report net winnings, but not net losses.

Consult your tax advisor. . .

Tim and Joann

Caribbean Princess
Sarasota, Florida
331 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Cher - You said you double checked with the IRS and they said it wasn't taxable? As others have said, that was incorrect information. A U.S. citizen is taxable on world wide earnings, and casino winnings anywhere are taxable. Whether you declare it on your tax return is up to you.

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Central Coast, California
661 Posts
Joined May 2002

I would not go around and advertise that you won $2500 but you didn't have to report it. As a former IRS agent I can tell you (as others have here) that those winnings are taxable (whether reported to IRS or not) as all U.S. citizens are taxed on their world-wide income. Gambling winnings are income! Yes, you can net your losses against winnings (but be prepared to back it up should you be audited). Just as a side note: I live in Las Vegas - if you play slot machines - play them for fun and don't expect to win. You have a much better chance of winning by playing blackjack and craps (where each is only tilted slightly in the house favor). Each slot machine can be set to pay off at an X percentage (usually in the low to mid 90s) - so expect to lose up to 10% of whatever you bet (but obviously more if you bet small amounts over short durations of time).

Jerry K
From:Baltimore/Washington, D.C. -- Lived in Bonn; Buenos Aires; Caracas; Almaty; Beijing; Rangoon; Scottsdale and now Las Vegas (and long visits to an additional 83 countries)

Cleveland OH USA
427 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
A lady that landed a Royal on a $1 machine quickly took her cash & deposited it into the first ATM she saw, which was worth the $3 fee involved. Guess they gave her 40 $100 bills & I know she kept a few for shopping.....

My logo: When we disembark, I just have to book another!
n/a Posts
Wife won a jackpot several years ago. Cruise line did not ask for her name, cabin number or any form of ID. They just gave her the cash, no questions asked.