Record Number of Australian Tourists Visiting the U.S.
Australians love to gamble; in fact, over 80% of Australian adults partake in some form of gambling, making it the highest gambling rate in the world. Not surprisingly, Australian travellers visiting the United States bring their enthusiasm for gambling with them.
Unfortunately, Australia does not have a tax treaty with the United States. That means anytime an Australian wins a substantial amount playing the slots, gambling, playing poker, or from the lottery, sports betting, or parimutuel, their winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax.
In 2014, a record 75 million international visitors came to the United States, a seven percent increase over the 69 million travellers who arrived in the U.S. in 2013. The overall number of international visitors to the U.S. has been increasing since 2010 after a post-recession tumble in 2009.
In 2013, a record 1.2 million Australians visited the United States and spent a record $6.8 billion. The seven percent year-over-year increase represents the ninth straight record year of growth in tourism. Between 2013 and 2019, the number of Australians visiting the United States is expected to increase 25% to 1.51 million.
Top Games Australians Play in the U.S.
Home to some of the largest casinos, Australians love to gamble, betting on everything from the Melbourne Cup (horse race) to playing slots, poker, and blackjack. Some of the popular games Australians enjoy playing when they are in the United States include:
Baccarat: Baccarat is a popular casino game played everywhere. In baccarat, two cards are dealt to both the players and banker; the winning hand is the one that totals the closest to nine. Face cards and tens have no value.
Blackjack: The object of blackjack is to draw cards and come closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. Cards are dealt clockwise from a shuffling machine; players are dealt two cards, while the dealer takes one card. The cards are dealt face-up so you can see your point value. Blackjack is played with three, four, six, or eight decks of cards.
Pai Gow: Pai gow is a popular game played with dominos. The object is to create two hands that are higher than the bank hands. If both are higher, the player wins; if only one hand beats the bank, it’s a tie; and if both are lower than the bank, the player loses.
Parimutuel: Unlike a casino, where you place a wager against the house, with parimutuel (horse racing, dog racing), you bet against all of the other players wagering on that particular event. Under the parimutuel system, the odds keep changing as more and more people place bets. As a result, the final odds may be much higher or lower than the odds posted when you made your bet.
Roulette: In roulette, the dealer spins a wheel with either 37 segments (0-36) or 38 segments (00-36) in one direction and a white ball in the other direction. The object of roulette is to guess which segment the ball will rest in.
Sic Bo: Sic bo is an old Chinese game played with three dice. The object of the game is to predict which numbers will appear once they are shaken. Bets range from a specific triple with payout odds of 180-to-one to betting on the value of one of the dice with payout odds of one-to-one.
Regulations and Treaties: U.S. Casino Tax Return for Australians
Australians who enjoy gambling need to be aware of the gaming tax laws when visiting the United States. In particular, that means knowing that the IRS holds back 30% of any substantial gaming winnings.
In the United States, winnings over $1,200 from slots, gambling, and poker, are considered taxable income and subject to a 30% withholding tax. For example, if you win $3,000 on the slots, the casino will only give you $2,100, while the IRS gets to keep the rest.
Not all games are subject to the 30% withholding tax, however; some games, like baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette, are not taxed. What you win is what you get to take home
Because there is no gaming tax treaty between the United States and Australia, you are entitled to reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings. There are two ways you can go about this. The first way entails dealing with the IRS directly and navigating the confusing U.S. tax system. The second, much easier way is to talk to the casino tax recovery experts at Refund Management Services (RMS).
RMS: The Most Trusted Name in U.S. Gaming Tax Refunds for Australians
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. Then our Customer Service Agents take care of the rest. Your refund cheque gets mailed out to you as soon as your refund is approved.
To find out how RMS can get a portion or all of your gaming tax refund back, simply call us toll-free from the United States or Canada at 1-888-272-5559. You can also contact us by e-mail at [email protected].
“Forecast of International Travelers to the United States by Top Origin Countries,” U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries web site; http://travel.trade.gov/view/f-2000-99-001/forecast/Forecast-COUNTRIES.pdf, last accessed March 18, 2015.
“Fast Facts: United States Travel And Tourism Industry –2013–,” U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries web site; http://travel.trade.gov/outreachpages/download_data_table/Fast_Facts_2013.pdf.