The house always wins: Louisiana approves measure to confiscate gambling winnings of parents owing child support

The staggering amount of back child support owed to thousands of children throughout Louisiana – over $1 billion – prompted the state legislature to take definitive action last year. Specifically, lawmakers passed a measure calling for the confiscation of the gambling winnings of delinquent parents.

However, in order for the law to take effect, it had to first be approved by the state’s principal gambling panel, the Gaming Control Board.

In recent developments, the Gaming Control Board voted just last week to enact the rules/regulations of the child support gambling law without discussion or objection.

Accordingly, Louisiana parents who are behind on their child support and who win at least $1,200 gambling – the amount required to be reported on tax forms – can have their winnings confiscated by casino personnel starting May 20.

How does the law work?

Any person who wins at least $1,200 at a Louisiana casino will have their names entered into a database created by The Department of Children and Family Services to determine whether they owe back child support in the state.

If the casino determines that the person does in fact owe back child support, it will confiscate the amount owed from the person’s gambling winnings and assess an administrative fee of up to $35. Any excess gambling winnings will be returned to the person.

In order to ensure compliance with the new law, the state is requiring all casinos to submit a monthly report. The report must include the total number of searches performed, the number of matches, the total administrative fees assessed and, most importantly, the amount of back child support confiscated.

Interestingly, Louisiana law previously dictated that only slot machine annuity payments could be confiscated to cover back child support.

To learn more about nonpayment of child support or other post-divorce issues, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Related Resources:

La. to seize gambling winnings for child support (Bloomberg Businessweek)