Illinois has a significant backlog of unpaid child support payments due to delinquent non-custodial parents avoiding their child support debt. In August of 2013, the state had almost $3 billion in unpaid child support debt, and was attempting to find ways to garnish payments from known delinquent parents. One of the programs that Illinois has established in the last few years has had great success: the wage garnishment program, which provided that employers of delinquent parents were required to garnish a certain percentage of the delinquent employee’s income to offset the payments due every month.
The Gaming Intercept Program
Illinois took the program one step further and created the Gaming Intercept program in 2013, a joint venture between the Illinois Gaming Board and Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The joint venture provided that the Illinois Gaming Board was able to intercept the jackpot winnings of noncustodial delinquent players and turn in the money to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to pay back payments of child support.
How the New Program Works
The new law, which amended the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975, the Riverboat Gambling Act, and the Income Withholding for Support Act, and which was signed into effect in August 2013 by Governor Pat Quinn, provides casinos and horse tracks access to a state case registry of child support orders, and permits them to input winners’ names to determine if they are delinquent on their child support. If the gambler’s information is found on the list, then the casino or horse track will intercept the gambler’s jackpot winnings, and subsequently turn it into the Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services. The casinos and race tracks receive a certain percentage of the winnings as part of an administrative fee, creating an incentive for them to review each gambler who fits the bill.
The Scope of the New Program
The new amendment has a specified scope for application. First and foremost, not every winning will be intercepted. The Act applies only to gamblers who win just enough money at the casino that they are subject to file a Form W-2G, an IRS form that requires that certain gambling winnings must be disclosed to the IRS. The program dictates that the gambling facility may intercept on any winnings totaling $1,200 or more and through any type of currency, whether it be chips, tokens, vouchers, etc. The casino or horse track is required to post notices to their clientele notifying them of the right of the gambling facility to intercept on winnings that fit within the specifications.
The Success of the Program Since its Commencement
The amendment to the law has only been in effect for some months now, but as of January 2015, more than $120,000 in winnings from gambling facilities have been seized from deadbeat parents. When divided out, this totals more than 42 people and 56 jackpots that have been seized since the start of the program only months earlier. The first success of the program came the second day of the commencement of the program, when the delinquent payer won a $1,224.48 jackpot, which was then seized to go toward his $30,000 backlog of child support payments. One delinquent parent who had almost $21,000 due in child support had his winnings intercepted 11 times, and, as a result, fully paid off the support due. So far, the largest jackpot to be intercepted was $5,850.
Clearly, the program has had quite a bit of success in its first few months of operation. Other states around the country are implementing their own version of the Gaming Intercept program into law, and hopefully will be seeing similar success.
Experienced Family Law Attorneys in DuPage County
Being delinquent on your child support payments can have serious financial and legal ramifications. The family law attorneys at Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help advise you if you or your ex-spouse has been delinquent on child support payments. Contact our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation.
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