Casino winners often receive their money as a structured settlement that pays out over a set period of time. These payouts are subject to inflation and can be cashed in for immediate money.
After a successful gambling trip, your winnings are usually placed in a structured settlement that provides you payments for a determined period of time, but what if you want the winnings now? You can sell your payments, and invest in your child’s education, medical care or a once in a lifetime opportunity you are eager to pursue.
Learn how casinos pay winners and what you can do to capitalize on your future.
While you are still in the casino, you will need to provide identification and sign W2-G tax forms in order to accept your prize. And then you get your money, right?
Casinos have various ways of paying winners. Generally, if the winnings are $25,000 or less, you can choose between cash or check. If the winnings are larger, your options change. This can depend on the location of the casino and type of gambling you are participating in.
The gambling industry is state-regulated, so the rules for annuities and taxes can differ among states. In addition to state tax, the IRS also taxes gambling winnings. For certain games, winners will need to file IRS Form W2-G. Table games such as blackjack, craps, pai gow, baccarat and roulette are exempt from W2-G reporting.
For some games, you may be able to choose either a lump sum, where the money is paid upfront; or an annuity, where the money is paid in installments. Some games do not provide a choice. Games should display whether there is a choice or if they are paid in annuities and lump-sum payments.
Often, winners have up to 90 days to determine whether they want a lump sum or annuity.
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Taking a lump sum from the casino means settling for cash at a discounted rate. Some winners, eager to spend their winnings opt for this choice, despite the fact that it is a lesser sum. Others, however, are not able to choose the lump-sum payment option and must accept annuities.
The discount rate for lump sums is determined through either the current prime rate or a rate formulated from U.S. Treasury securities chosen by the licensee. This can amount to 50 or 60 percent of the total winnings.
Winners deciding between a lump sum and annuity option may want to consult with a certified financial planner (CFP), tax attorney or certified public accountant (CPA) to go over their decision.
Claiming a casino annuity means committing your winnings to a long-term payment plan, which can take 20 to 30 years before it is all paid out. Generally, payments are paid out at the minimum annually.
To help understand what this looks like, here are some annuity regulations from Vegas, provided by the Nevada Gaming Control Board:
By leaving casino winnings in an annuity, you sacrifice some of the value of your money. There are three primary ways you can lose out.
First, inflation can affect payments in a negative way if the dollar substantially drops. The amount you have in the annuity now will not be able to buy the same amount of goods years from now. Second, the money could be earning interest over time rather than depreciating. If you had cash in hand, you could put it in a tax-advantaged and interest-bearing account.
Finally, having cash now enables you to make purchases today, rather than wait until years down the road.
Although a casino annuity itself is non-transferable, the payments themselves can be sold. If you did not have an option for a lump sum or decided that an annuity was the preferred method of payment at the time, it’s not too late to change your mind.
You can sell some or all of your annuity payments and receive enough cash to make major purchases.
These are just a few of the reasons people decide to sell their casino winnings.
Deciding to sell your payments is a simple process that can be completed in a matter of months. Begin the process by simply calling to get a quote from us based on the worth of future payments.
We will determine the amount you are eligible for by examining how much money you won, how often you receive payments, how much each payment is and the time period that you will receive payments in, and provide you with a competitive offer.
You will provide us with a copy of the award letter from the casino, and we may be required to go to get a court order on your behalf before everything is approved.
By taking advantage of the opportunity to sell your winnings, you may be able to make the lifestyle changes that you were hoping would accompany winning big and start your new future today instead of tomorrow.