Ohio Residents Losing Billions To Gambling

Ohio Residents Losing Billions To Gambling

Between 2012 and 2015 Ohio residents bet close to $62.9 million on everything from casino games to lottery tickets. They won a collective $53.3 billion but between the state’s lottery and casinos as well as horse racing, lost a collective $9.7 billion.

Despite this huge loss, the gambling industry is benefiting many in Ohio thanks to the state lottery having sent $1 billion to local public schools. Because Ohio’s casinos pay a 33% tax rate one billion dollars was produced and used to fund four of Ohio’s largest cities, including Columbus, which gets over $2.5 million each quarter. The state also invests 2% of all casino revenues into the Problem Casino Gambling and Addictions Fund.

However, despite the fact that the residents’ losses are the state’s gains, gambling is still causing issues in Ohio as it often leads to probe,ms for communities as well as the families and individuals that live in them. It was determined that over the course of 2015 slot machine play led to $535 million worth of losses and $273 million was lost on table games.

Over the last few years state officials earmarked 2% of proceeds from the state’s casinos for what ended up being a $21 million fund. That money was put towards paying for various training and treatment programs as well as to strengthen the state’s educational system.

It wasn’t until 2013 that gambling losses could be claimed on the taxes of Ohio residents. The Federal Government placed a limit on this type of taxing, ruling that winnings had to be itemized on one’s tax returns. Residents are now permitted to deduct losses only if their losses are less than their winnings.

When it comes to Ohio state taxes casinos are required by law to withhold 4% of the amount a gambler wins if their winnings are between $600 and $5,000. Each quarter the casinos take the money they withheld from all winners and submit it to the state. Certain cities in Ohio also place their own taxes on casino winnings. In Columbus, it is 2.5% of their winnings. In Cleveland it is 2% and in Cincinnati it is 2.1%

Unfortunately often city officials find themselves in trouble with the law after dipping into Ohio’s public funds in order to pay off a personal gambling debt. In 2013 a fiscal officer for the state confessed to the Troy Township Chairman trustees that she stole money from the fund to pay off her gambling debts and them promptly resigned from her position. Her taxes were then audited and it was determined that she stole $46,217 from the state by forging checks. Before the tax audit took place the woman had paid back $35,141 of it. After the audit was completed she paid an additional $11,076.

In March of 2016 the Ohio Problem Gambling Conference took place. Topics discussed at the conference included how to best help prevent gambling addiction and treat those already suffering from a gambling addiction.

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