House Ways and Means Committee to Mark Up "Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts" of 2017

NIGA Member Tribes

Chairman Ernest L. Stevens Jr.
Jason C. Giles, Executive Director
Danielle Her Many Horses, Deputy Executive Director/General Counsel

House Ways and Means Committee to Mark Up "Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts" of 2017

November 6, 2017

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On November 6, 2017, the House Ways and Means Committee will begin markup the Republican proposed tax reform bill, "Tax Cuts and Job Acts" of 2017. The Ways and Means Committee intends to pass the bill on Friday.  Chairman Kevin Brady has indicated he will not accept any floor amendments.  

There are two proposed amendments to the tax code that effect gambling patrons.

Increase in Standard Deduction (Sec. 1002).   The standard deduction will increase to $24,000 for joint filers (and surviving spouses) and to $12,000 for single players.   This will impact low and middle income gamblers. The deduction for net gambling losses is and will remain an itemized deduction.  However, the standard deduction will be significantly increased, many taxpayers will not have enough itemized deductions to actually deduct their net gaming losses.  

Limitation on Wagering Losses (Sec. 1305).   Gambling losses will still be deductible only against gambling winnings.  This change will impact frequent and high-dollar players. However, current law allows players who are in the "business" of gambling to also deduct expenses incurred in carrying out wagering transactions (including travel, hotel stays, and food) as business expenses.   The provision appears to subject these expenses of professional gamblers to the deductibility cap based on wagering winnings.   

While these proposed changes to the tax laws would impact individual gamblers, it is not known if the effect would be felt at a business level.  If you feel that your casino patrons would gamble less often due to these provisions, please contact NIGA with your concerns.  

The Tax Bill is not in final form and still must proceed through the House of Representatives and the Senate, and if necessary through a Conference of both the House and Senate to work out differences.  The Republican Leadership is aiming to pass the Tax Bill by December 15th.  

Please contact Danielle Her Many Horses, Deputy Executive Director, by email atdhermanyhorses@indiangaming.org  or by phone at 202-546-7711 with any questions or concerns.