Do Win/Loss Statements Factor in “Recycled” Money?

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Cash being inserted into a slot machine

We continue to get a lot of tax and win/loss statement questions – it must be that time of the year! 

And before we address today’s question around win/loss statements, we do like to remind Flip The Switch readers that we’re not accountants. We recommend all players work with an accountant with Gambling Law experience to ensure they get personalized advice that’s accurate to their particular situation.

Some of the questions we’ve received are quite specific, and we unfortunately will not be able to provide 1 on 1 tax advice. Today’s question, however, is a bit simpler, and we can answer with more confidence:

Does the loss amount on your win/loss statement reflect an accurate dollar loss or does it include recycled money?

Monica F.

A win/loss statement will reflect all bets made and all winnings from those bets. This means that if you put $100 in a machine and play for an hour on that $100, all bets and wins will be reflected on that statement. 

Some players get confused because they’ll say they never put, say, $500 in the machine, but the coin-in reflects all bets on that $100, not that $100 was put in. So in that way recycled money is indeed accounted for.

Recycled or not, though, the loss amount will still reflect the total amount lost based on what the casino’s card system reported, and what was estimated to be won/lost on table games.

Even if you did $1,000 worth of spins on your $100, if at the end of the session you lost $100, that will be what’s recorded. This presumes your card is properly inserted, and active, for the entire session.

So yes, even though recycled money is factored in, it’s still an accurate accounting of your overall losses. And if your question is asking so you can use it for filing your taxes, please check out this previous article on why win/loss statements alone are not acceptable for tax filing purposes, and the proper documentation to procure to ensure you’re in good shape.

Have a question? Submit yours here!


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