Senate Passes Bill Over Seizing Gambling Winnings From Parents Owing Child Support

April 27th, 2010 – by Glen Farmer

This Monday, the Louisiana state Senate approved a piece of legislation that has given the state the power to seize gambling winnings from deadbeat parents that have failed to pay their child support. Provided the child support payments are over thirty days late, the state can begin to seize the winnings from those parents who have decided to gamble instead of live up to their responsibilities.

Senator Nick Gautreaux (D-Abbeville) introduced the bill that has passed through the Senate unanimously. A 38-0 vote has sent Senate Bill 53 to the House, where upon it will see the next round of voting.

Under the potential legislation, an existing law will see an amendment. Current law states that the Department of Social Services is entitled to seize winnings from the lottery as well as progressive slot jackpot payments. The new legislation would simply add to the existing law. The new addition would state that “cash game winnings” that breach $1,200 could be seized by the Louisiana government. The $1,200 dollar limit comes from the necessity of filing a W2-G with the IRS after this limit is broken.

Louisiana is not the first state to take such measures to remove winnings from gamblers who owe back payments for child support. In the earliest days of 2010, Indiana had taken steps to add a similar measure to their legislature.

Due to the lack of regulation surrounding online gambling, Louisiana residents who prove to be successful through Louisiana online gambling venues will not, under this legislation, be required to pay their child support through these winnings. Until a regulatory body is established, players will have no backing at all from a government agency.

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