Bill to tax gambling winnings wins approval in state House

Bill to tax gambling winnings wins approval in state House
The state House voted 90-2, with one present to approve HB1703. (Source: ABC/NBC)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - A bill that would require that casinos report gambling winnings to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration and withhold state income tax on the winnings cleared the House Thursday.

The state House voted 90-2, with one present to approve HB1703.

Under the bill, sponsored by Rep. Jack Fortner (R-Yellville) and Sen. Bill Sample (R-Hot Springs), the winnings would be taxed at 5.9% or “the highest income tax rate imposed on individual taxpayers” under the state’s income tax law.

Also, DFA would be required to provide a method for casinos to report and pay the taxes to the state treasury.

DFA also reported this week that the bill would have no impact on the state’s revenue while the bill would link up the bill with a federal law on the issue.

According to a DFA fiscal statement on the bill, under the rules, the following have to be reported under federal law:

  • Slot machine and bingo winnings of $1,200 or more, winnings from keno of $1,500 or more, winnings from a wagering pool of $600 or more and winnings from poker tournaments of $5,000 or more.
  • Withholding for winnings from a wagering pool of more than $5,000 and withholding of all reportable winnings if the winner fails to provide a correct taxpayer identification number.
  • Federal law does not require reporting of winnings on roulette, blackjack and craps, as well as income tax withholdings from winnings from slot machines, bingo, keno, poker tournaments or table games.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

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