More than 6,300 casino and lottery jackpots have been intercepted by Ohio government agencies for due child support
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has seized more than $10 million in unpaid child support from gambling winnings of non-custodial parents with due support payments since 2014, the government agency has revealed.
Local news outlet LimaOhio.com reports citing figures from the Job and Family Services Department that as many as 6,353 jackpots have been intercepted in the past five years.
Child support agencies are authorized under state law to confiscate jackpot and prize winnings from gambling activities from non-custodial parents who owe child support payments.
While Ohio manages to collect an average of 69.6% of all child support owed, a rate significantly higher than the nationwide one, state agencies still face difficulties in their bid to get money to all children that are owed support. According to agency books, nearly $5 billion in unpaid support is still due. Some of the payments date more than four decades back.
As mentioned above, more than $10 million in gambling winnings has been confiscated in the period between 2014 and March 31. The seized funds include winnings from lottery, racino, and casino activities. Nearly $2.3 million was intercepted across the state last year.
Agencies and Industry Working Together
Commenting on the recently released figures, Kimberly Hall, Director at the state Department of Job and Family Services said that the confiscated money was a good example of the Ohio government and its gambling industry working together “toward a common goal.”
Ms. Hall went on to say that non-custodial parents with due child support should fulfill their responsibility to their children first and their gambling winnings were helping with this.
The state Department of Job and Family Services has been working with the Ohio Lottery Commission, the Ohio Casino Control Commission as well as the state’s casinos and racinos. Government agencies and gambling venues jointly established in 2014 an automated interface to crosscheck gambling winners with a database of non-custodial parents with due support payments.
If a winner owes their children support, the gambling establishment where they have scored their winnings or the Ohio Lottery Commission withhold part of their gambling payment. The intercepted portion of the winnings then goes to their child or children.
News about the seized gambling winnings arrives as Ohio lawmakers are considering the possibility to introduce a new gambling option to state gamblers. Two separate sports betting bills have gone before legislators, but it is yet to be seen whether any of these will get enough support.
One of the bills calls for the authorization of sports betting at casinos, racinos, and fraternal and veterans organizations. A second-phase roll-out of wagering could also bring the activity to bars, stores, and other lottery vendors.
The other bill would only allow sports betting at casinos and racinos, as its sponsors have voiced concerns that introducing the activity in multiple other establishments would make it hard to protect children from being exposed to the risks associated with sports gambling.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the day’s top casino news stories.