Record Number of Visitors Flood Tampa in 2014
The city of Tampa is situated on an inlet on the western side of Florida that leads into the Gulf of Mexico. This is the economic centre of western Florida.
Florida, and Tampa in particular, continue to attract record crowds. In 2014, the Sunshine State attracted a record 97.3 million visitors with the Tampa Bay region being one of the top destinations.1
In Hillsborough County (Tampa), hotels reached 70% occupancy for the first time ever and generated a record $540 million in gross revenue. Meanwhile, nearby Pinellas County (Clearwater, St. Petersburg) set its own record with 5.9 million tourists spending the night in 2014.
There is a lot to do in Tampa. Some of the most popular tourist destinations include Busch Gardens, Ybor City, Big Cat Rescue, Tampa Theatre, Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center at Apollo Beach, Tampa Bay History Center, and the Florida Aquarium.
Gambling is also popular. And when it comes to gaming in Tampa, there’s only one destination—the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Tampa’s Gambling Casino: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is a gaming complex and luxury hotel located on Tampa Reservation, just east of Tampa. The 12-storey, four-star hotel has 242 air-conditioned rooms featuring mini bars and complimentary wired and wireless Internet access. It also has a pool, fitness center, spa, and salon.2
The 190,000-square-foot casino is the fourth-largest in the United States and sixth-largest in the world. It is open 24 hours and permits smoking indoors. The casino features over 5,000 slot machines; a 13,000-square-foot high limit slots room with over 200 slot machines; and over 110 tables (blackjack, mini and midi baccarat, pai gow poker, let it ride, three-card poker, and Texas hold ’em). The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is also home to Tampa’s premier poker room, featuring 50 tables of high stakes Texas hold ’em, Omaha hi, and seven-card stud.
Taxable Games in Tampa, Florida
As a Canadian or non-U.S. tourist visiting Tampa, Florida, you may be unaware that your casino winnings over $1,200 (including those from slots, gambling, poker, pari-mutuel, and sports betting) are considered taxable income by the IRS and are subject to a 30% withholding tax.
But not all games are subject to the 30% withholding tax. These include:
- big 6 wheel
Due to individual tax treaties, gambling winnings of those living in the following countries are not taxable by the U.S.:
- Czech Republic
- South Africa
- The United Kingdom
Tourists from all other countries are subject to the 30% withholding tax, with residents of Malta being the only exception (they have their winnings taxed at just 10%).
So if you’re not a visitor from on the lucky non-taxed countries above, how can you get your taxed winnings back? Simply by contacting Refund Management Services (RMS) to get the process started.
RMS: The Easiest Way to Get Your Gaming Winnings Back
If you’ve visited Tampa and had 30% of your gaming winnings held back by the IRS, RMS can help you reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings.
Founded by a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1998, RMS is the most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider for non-U.S. residents visiting Tampa, Florida. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest, while your refund cheque gets mailed out to you as soon as your refund is approved. We’ve never been refused an eligible refund. Contact us today!
1. “Florida broke record in 2014 with 97.3 million tourists,” Tampa Bay Times web site, February 16, 2015; http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/gov-scott-to-announce-2014-tourism-numbers-today-at-tampa-international/2217819.
2. “Tampa,” Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino web site; https://www.seminolehardrocktampa.com, last accessed May 28, 2015.