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

22 February 2012

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,
John

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.

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. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

#### Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
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. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

#### Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots