A recent Evansville Courier and Press story stated that the state of Indiana began implementing a mandatory intercept program that would block casino jackpot payouts to gamblers who were delinquent on child support payments. Operators from the state’s 13 casinos have withheld $650,000 from 376 people since the program began in 2010. According to the deputy director of the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), 16 gamblers paid off their child support debt with forfeited jackpots.
“The state provided each casino with a list of names of individuals owing at least $2,000 or who were more than three months behind in child support and part of a joint federal-state child support enforcement program. Casinos were required to check the names on the list against the names of gamblers who won $1,200 or more and withhold the winnings from those who were delinquent. The money was then sent to the DCS, who held it for ten days to allow for appeals before remitting the funds to the families owed.”
Casino operators initially apprehensive about participating in the program, citing concerns about the time involved in conducting searches and potential problems on casino floors. However, state officials have been working with casino operators to streamline the process. The casinos got to keep a small fee for conducting the searches, which amounted to $16,000 since the program started. Casino owners and state officials expect the program collect $1 million per year in intercepted jackpot payments.
Few gamblers have complained about the program, and no cases of mistaken identity have occurred. A legislative liaison for Indiana Shared Parenting remains skeptical of the long-term success of the program as more gamblers become aware of it and invent ways to circumvent it, such as going to out-of-state casinos.
The state of Colorado has child support enforcement methods that are equally effective. A Colorado defense attorney can explain Colorado’s child support laws and your legal obligations under those laws. If you have not been paying court-ordered child support, the state can garnish your wages, unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits. Your driver’s license, passport and any other professional licenses you have can be denied or suspended. Federal and state tax refunds and lottery winnings can be intercepted, and your delinquency will be reported to the credit bureaus.