With autumn just around the corner, many Canadian retirees are getting ready to head south and take advantage of the hot weather. The most popular travel destination for Canadian retirees, affectionately referred to as “Snowbirds,” is Florida. With more than 100 casinos, Florida is one of the biggest states when it comes to gambling.
Florida is a top travel destination for Canadians. In 2013, a record 3.9 million Canadians visited the sunshine state, spending $4.4 billion.1
In addition to relaxing on the beaches, swimming, visiting the Everglades, Key West, Walt Disney World, and Kennedy Space Center, many Canadian tourists enjoy spending their time in the state’s casinos.
Florida has over 140 casinos, eight of which are commercial; the rest are all located on Native American reservations. In Florida, you can play 1,644 table games and 41,880 slots and gaming machines. The minimum bet at Florida casinos is $0.01 and the maximum bet is $10,000. If you like poker, Florida is for you, where you’ll find over 881 live poker tables to play at.2
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is the biggest casino in Florida. Located on Tampa Reservation, off Interstate 4, just east of Tampa, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has everything you could ever need for a fun-filled night or weekend.3
The 190,000-square-foot casino offers a huge selection of gambling from the newest slots to Asian-inspired table games. It has 4,100 gaming machines and 154 table games. The High Limits Slots Room alone covers over 13,000 square feet with over 200 slot machines with single bets up to $1,000. In the poker room, you’ll find 50 tables of live action, from Texas hold’em to Omahan hi to seven-card stud.
The 12-story hotel has 242 rooms. It has also earned the prestigious Four Diamond rating from AAA for more than eight years in a row. After you check in, you can take advantage of the hotel’s spa amenities, get a massage, body treatment, or lounge by the pool with a private cabana. You can also find a wide variety of dining options from fast food to elegant upscale steak and seafood.
Seminole Casino Immokalee
Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Seminole Casino Immokalee is located in the town of Immokalee, just 35 minutes from Naples and Fort Myers and 90 minutes from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The casino first opened in 1994 and expanded in 2009. A hotel and new poker room was added in 2015.4
The casino floor covers 75,000 square feet and features over 1,300 Vegas-style slots and video poker machines with denominations from $0.01 to $100. With over 30 table games, you can try your luck at blackjack, mini baccarat, pai gow, Mississippi stud, and let it ride. The Poker Room at Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee features six tables. Games offered include limit and no limit Texas hold ’em, seven card stud, and Omaha hi lo.
The Seminole Casino Hotel is an upscale retreat with 19 suites and 81 deluxe rooms. The casino also has a wide variety of dining options from fresh steak and seafood at the EE-TO-LEET-KE Grill to contemporary Asian-fusion cuisine at Lucky Mi.
Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino
Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino is a racetrack and casino in Hallandale Beach, mid-way between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The raceway began in 1939 and grew to include a full retail and entertainment complex. The Village was built around and incorporated into the racing, slots casino, and poker venue.5
Gulfstream, which is one of the most important venues for horse racing in America, is home to the $1,000,000 Florida Derby, which takes place in May. It also hosts a series of six races known as the Sunshine Millions and the $500,000 Donn Handicap.
The casino at Gulfstream is 19,500 square feet and features Las Vegas style slot machines and 20 poker tables. Gulfstream Park and The Village have over 15 restaurants, nightclubs, or cafes.
Your U.S. Casino Winnings Are Subject to a 30% Withholding Tax
If you are a non-U.S. resident and you visit Florida (or any other state that has gambling) and win a significant amount of money playing the slots or betting on the horses, your gaming and pari-mutuel winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax.
But if you live in country that has signed a U.S. tax treaty, such as Canada, you may be eligible for a refund.
Some of the countries that do not have a U.S. tax treaty include Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates. However, based on a recent court case, winners from these countries may qualify for a refund if they meet certain criteria.
If you win a substantial amount gambling (typically over $1,200), your winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax by the IRS. For Example, if you win $2,000 playing the slots, the casino will pay you $1,400; the IRS keeps the rest.
RMS is the Easiest, Fastest Way to Get Your Money Back
If you’ve been to the U.S. and had 30% of your winnings held back by the IRS, Refund Management Services 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. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest. Once you provide us with complete documentation, your claim will be processed and we will submit it to the IRS.
We’ve never been refused for an eligible refund. Contact us today!
1.“Florida,” Government of Canada website; http://can-am.gc.ca/business-affaires/fact_sheets-fiches_documentaires/fl.aspx?lang=eng.
2.“Florida,” World Casino directory website; http://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/florida.
3.“Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino,” Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino website; https://www.seminolehardrocktampa.com/.
4.“Seminole Casino Immokalee,” Seminole Casino Immokalee website; https://www.seminoleimmokaleecasino.com/.
5.“Gulfstream Park,” Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino website; http://www.gulfstreampark.com/.