As New Jersey becomes one of the fastest-growing gambling markets in the U.S. with legal sports betting, online gambling and more, bettors have more opportunities to cash winning tickets and earn profits at the state’s sportsbooks and gaming and poker tables. Whether hitting a jackpot or taking home a modest return, paying taxes on those winnings is part of the experience.
All gambling income — whether you play at land-based casinos or on the state’s online casinos and sportsbooks — is subject to tax and should be reported on your federal and New Jersey income tax returns. This page answers general questions about how gambling winnings are taxed in New Jersey. Tax issues can be complex, so it’s advisable to consult a tax professional or financial advisor to avoid potential mistakes.
Tax rates depend on your annual income and tax bracket. Gambling income is subject to state and federal taxes but not FICA taxes, and the rate will depend on your total taxable income (not just wages) minus deductions (standard or itemized).
Marginal tax rate is the bracket your income falls into. Effective tax rate is the actual percentage you pay after standard deductions, etc., and operate on a sliding scale depending on filing status and total taxable income. The state tax rate in New Jersey is 3%, which is the rate your gambling winnings are taxed.
When gambling winnings are combined with your annual income, it could move you into a higher tax bracket, so it’s important to be aware of gambling income before starting tax preparation.
Yes, any and all gambling winnings are considered taxable. That includes winnings from casino games, slots, poker, sports betting, pari-mutuel racing.
Depending on the amount of your winnings, your casino, sportsbook or pari-mutuel wagering provider may have already withheld federal and state tax, which is indicated in a W-2G form mailed to you. Even if you didn’t receive a W-2G form and no tax was withheld, it is your responsibility to report all gambling winnings on your tax returns.
And to be clear, this apples to all online gaming, too, including online poker and casino games, and online sports betting.
Gambling winnings are subject to a 24% withholding for federal tax, though the actual amount you owe on your gambling win will depend on your total income. That tax is automatically withheld on winnings that reach a specific threshold (see below for exact amounts).
In addition, New Jersey assesses a 3% state tax on income, which includes gambling winnings
Depending on the amount of winnings, bettors may receive a W-2G form, which is sent by the payor (casino, pari-mutuel operator, sportsbook, online casino, online sportsbook, etc). The form reveals the amount of winnings and if any tax was withheld. A copy of that W-2G is sent to the Internal Revenue Service.
Expect to receive a W-2G form if your gambling winnings exceeded any of these thresholds the previous calendar year:
Casinos are not required to issue a W-2G for winnings for table games (blackjack, roulette, craps, etc.), though the IRS expects players to keep track of their wins and losses.
If your winnings were non-cash prizes, such as an automobile or vacation trip, the IRS instructs you to report the fair market value of each prize.
Non-residents with winnings at New Jersey casinos or racetracks are still subject to New Jersey state tax.
You will not receive Form W-2G if your gambling winnings did not meet the automatic withholding threshold. But be aware that your gambling winnings are still considered taxable income.
Without a W-2G, how do you know the amount of your winnings and losses?
The IRS expects you to keep an accurate record or diary of all betting activity and may require you to substantiate wins and losses with records and receipts. If your wagers were placed online, your sportsbook, casino or pari-mutuel provider should have a complete record of all your bets during the previous calendar year that can be easily accessed.
Yes there is. But …
The IRS may request that you substantiate gambling wins and losses. This is where accurate record-keeping becomes so important.
Your documentation may include:
Your tax bill could become more expensive if the IRS decides to add penalties and interest.
If you received a W-2G form detailing your gambling winnings, so did the IRS, which is obviously aware of that income. If your winnings did not meet the W-2G threshold, the IRS may not be aware, but the agency maintains that taxpayers are legally obligated to report all gambling income.