The state of Illinois has a new tool for collecting delinquent child support. A new law
requires casinos and racetracks to withhold the winnings of gamblers found to owe child support in the state of Illinois. The law is part of a growing trend across the country, with multiple states, including Indiana and Colorado, already having such laws in place. The legislature passed the law in the hopes that it would bring down the nearly $3 billion in unpaid child support
that Illinois currently has on the books. Legislators expect the law to generate up to $1 million in its first year alone.
The law puts in place a system by which certain wins at the casino or racetrack can be analyzed for collection purposes. If a person wins more than $1200 dollars at a casino, or more than $600 on a two dollar bet at a racetrack, then the winnings become eligible for collection. The legislature chose these amounts as the baseline, as they also act as the threshold for declaring gambling winnings on a tax form in order to collect them. If the gambler’s winnings qualify, then the casino will enter the winner’s information into a computer system, which will check it against the state’s delinquent child support rolls. If the computer notifies the casino or racetrack that the winner owes back child support payments, then the law requires the casino to seize the winnings.
Casinos and racetracks may seize the winnings in any form, including chips, cash, and vouchers, and they will take as much as is needed to pay off the debt, up to the full amount of the winnings. The law also allows the casino to take a 5 percent administrative fee for their diligence, but the law caps that fee at $250. Once the casino collects the money, they turn it over to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which then distributes the money to the family whom the winner owes.
The law also places requirements on casinos and racetracks to provide notice to all gamblers about the possibility of the establishment seizing their winnings. The law requires the casino to post signs at each entrance or exit, as well as at any credit location in the establishment.
If you are currently involved in a child support or child custody dispute, contact a Naperville family law attorney
today. Their knowledge and experience can ensure that your rights are adequately protected in court.