Commission recommends tweaking the MA gaming law

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – If you win big at a casino, should casinos check to see if you owe back taxes before paying out? 22News discovered why the Mass. Gaming Commission is hoping the Mass. gaming law is tweaked.

The Gaming Commission is asking the state legislature to increase the amount to match the federal I.R.S. standard.

If you win more than $600 playing the lottery even scratch tickets or Keno, you have to go to a Mass. Lottery office to claim your cash. There it’s reported to the Department of Revenue.

“I think $600 is kind of low,” said Ludlow’s Barbara Leary.

MGM and Wynn are hoping the state’s legislature increases the amount from $600 to $1,200 for casinos to check on your back taxes before paying you money.

The lottery agents and players we spoke to agree with the increase, but think the reported lottery amount should increase as well.

Carl Roy owns the Country Trading Post and Restaurant in Chicopee, “If they’re going to do it, make it fair across the board that would be fair.”

The Gaming Commission believes keeping the amount at $600, would be a benefit for Connecticut casinos, Mohegan Sun is the only casino left in Massachusetts that isn’t challenging the law.

It’s now up to the state legislature to make any changes to the law.

Below is a statement sent to 22News from MGM Springfield spokesman Carole Brennan:

“MGM, along with the other applicants, has suggested small changes to the Gaming Act that would make our facilities more competitive and successful. A world-class facility like MGM Springfield will help Massachusetts recapture revenues that currently benefit neighboring states. Our recommendation to increase the threshold that triggers a withholding is based on our extensive experience in the gaming industry, and it will allow for more patronage and opportunity in Massachusetts.” 

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