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May 22nd, 2022 at 10:51:49 PM permalink
(BTW, it feels weird to post this in Off topic, but I couldn't find an actual category that matches this.)

So, I have accumulated quite a lot of points at my favorite non-vegas casino. Points can be used for a variety of options, including Food, Gas, Gift shop, free play and hard cash,

Since I don't have time to make enough friends to buy gifts for, the casino is nearby and I don't burn much gas, and my host already covers most of my food, I have a surplus of points I can either keep stacking or have to start cashing out for free play or gas.

The conversion rate for free play and cash is the same, so from an optimization perspective, I'd take the cash, then throw that in the machines, rather than convert straight to free play. I earn points while playing cash, but I don't earn points while playing free play.

So. the question is: Is there a tax implication/difference between
- Getting $100 free play from points.
- Getting $100 cash from points.
- Buying $100 worth of food with points.
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May 22nd, 2022 at 11:31:01 PM permalink
I don't think you get taxed on valued items from points. But if the casino is just handing out $250 free plays to lucky seats every half hour, that might be considered a prize and would be taxable, especially if they add up to over $600 a year. If you're getting free room from comp points, you should double check at the slot club and find a manager who would know the answer on whether a hotel room is taxable on points. Points are a rebate, so it likely isn't taxable.
At my casino, points are already discounted by half from the machine to the kiosk, then if I want to convert to free play, that's another 50% discount. The best option is to buy meals at the usual double or triple price and get full value for the points.
Another casino I rarely go to I could use points for gas, and since it's half a tank round trip with high prices, that would be an option. I'd probably need 4 hours at a $50 table to make that work though because gas is so damn expensive now.
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May 22nd, 2022 at 11:42:50 PM permalink
Cash back, free play, conversions to cash from points are considered by the IRS to be REBATES.

REBATES are not taxable.

Buy a car and get a rebate check -- that is also NOT taxable.
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