If I Win Big in Las Vegas and I am a UK Tax Resident, Do I Pay US Tax?

Posted on December 29th, 2022

Here’s a question that we keep getting asked- it’s relevant to UK residents who win in Las Vegas. American citizens are taxed on their gambling winnings in their home country, UK citizens aren’t (in the United Kingdom).

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If you travel to Las Vegas, get lucky, and win big on the slots (say the Siberian Storm slot) or the blackjack tables, or you beat the roulette table with the Martingale or the Labouchere system, do you have to pay tax?

We have heard of many reports of casinos withholding tax from UK players who have won big in Vegas. But bear in mind that with-holding is not the same as paying- you may be able to claim this back later.
casino taxThe good news, is that the US has a double taxation treaty with the UK and with many other countries such as New Zealand and Canada. Any decent Las Vegas casino, once you have told them you are British, Kiwi or Canadian, should ask for proof (passport, driving licence etc) and then give you a couple of forms to fill out. Then you should be paid the full amount of your winnings.

The bottom line is , as a UK resident you are NOT subject to with-holding tax on your winnings at a US casino as long as you fill out the right forms (check this out at the IRS website).

Ask for a W8-BEN and get the casino to get you a TIN…they are the forms you need to fill out. And take proof of ID..ie your passport and drivers licence. They will also ask for your tax reference number, (National Insurance number), so make sure you write this down before you go.

The UK and US Have a Double Taxation Treaty

Some less salubrious casinos may tell you you have to pax tax on winnings….but if you are tax resident in the UK you DON’T. The USA has tax treaties with many countries and the UK is one of them.

If the guy at the cash-out isn’t aware of the rule, call for the boss. You can always print the details out from the IRS website and keep it with you.

Not all foreigners in Las Vegas get refunds. As far as we know (always check this yourself), residents of the following countries do:

(defined by treaty) the following foreign countries are not taxable by the US: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

For those not from those countries, you would be subject to NRA withholding at 30% on the gross proceeds from gambling won in the US.

This is what the IRS says:

“the IRS reminds people that they must report all gambling winnings as income on their tax return.

Gambling income includes, but is not limited to, winnings from lotteries, raffles, horse and dog races and casinos, as well as the fair market value of prizes such as cars, houses, trips or other non cash prizes.

You cannot deduct gambling losses that are more than your winnings.”

If you are a big jackpot winner in Las Vegas, it is better to be a UK resident than a US resident!

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