Whatever else you might have heard, gambling is an industry that reels in a lot of money to the Australian economy- $24 billion annually, to be precise. And why wouldn’t it be such a huge revenue booster? Gambling is fun, exciting, and gives you that feeling of risk and excitement that most other things just can’t match up to.
One of the best parts of playing casino games or buying lotto tickets is daydreaming about what you’ll do when you win big. Will that casino jackpot let you travel? Buy your dream house? Get you the yacht you thought you’d never be able to afford? The possibilities feel endless in the event that you win.
Still, despite these daydreams, most people don’t know what actually happens when they win the casino jackpot in a pragmatic sense. Certain things are going to happen and practical issues regarding the money will arise. If you gamble often, you likely want to know what exactly will happen if you win big.
Here, we’re going to tell you what really happens when you score big money playing your favourite gambling games.
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The Immediate Practicalities
While they may be the furthest thing from your mind when all the bells and whistles are screaming “I’VE WON!” in your head, there are some practical concerns you’ll need to focus on right away after making bank. Here, we’re going to tell you how to keep a clear head and deal with these issues.
Understand What You’ve Won
Whether your money is coming from an easy-to-win lottery, the slots machines, or the poker tables, you need to take a breath and understand what, exactly, you’ve won.
You’re likely rolling your eyes right now. ‘I won money,’ you’re probably thinking, ‘what else is there to understand?’ Well, it turns out that when winning the lottery there are a lot of ways that you can win and, as such, a lot of different ways that your cash might be paid out to you.
One of the most important things to know is that you’re going to need to take different actions based off how much money you make. You aren’t always going to get every cent paid out to you immediately. In cases of jackpots under a certain price range (usually $5000) you might be able to just walk up to the attendant and get your money. In larger payouts, though, you almost certainly won’t be able to.
If you win a large jackpot, you’re going to need to take a few additional steps. Exactly as you would do after winning a smaller jackpot, you’re going to need to go to an attendant and have them verify that, yes, you did indeed win. In some cases when you’ve won money on a machine, a technician may also be brought in to ensure that the machine wasn’t tampered with (or simply malfunctioning).
Then, there are a couple of things you will personally need to do to ensure that you get your winnings.
What You Need to Do
You’re going to need to present a valid, government-issued ID before you see even a penny of your winnings. This makes sense- after all, identity theft happens often, and in situations like this one would give the thief a lot of benefits. As long as you’re who you say you are, this step is pretty simple.
If your winnings are too big to all be given to you right away at the casino, you will likely be mailed a check later. This is also the case if other people need to be called in to look at machines or if you need to go home and come back another day with proper ID or paperwork.
You’re also going to need to make a few decisions. We’ll discuss these at more length in the next section, but you’ll basically need to choose how you’re going to receive the money you’ve won. From lump sums vs annuities to cash vs check, there’s so much to think about!
The Choices You Might Make
The first decision you’re going to need to make is whether you want to be given the lump sum or the annuity. When you win a lot of money, you’re going to be given the option to get all the money right away or to be given a slightly-larger-overall amount over the course of many years. The former is called a ‘lump sum’ while the latter is an ‘annuity.’
This decision can impact the next one that you’ll need to make, which is whether you want to be paid in cash or check.
If you don’t win enough to be given the option of an annuity, the casino may still give you the option of being given a check. They may prefer to pay you in cash, though, since they are a business and want you to use that cash to keep playing!
In most cases, you can decide for yourself which is the better option. Cash is tempting and immediate, but a check might be better if you don’t want to be carrying a ton of cash in your pocket.
If you win a lot of money- over $5000- you probably aren’t going to be given a choice. You’re likely going to simply be mailed a check later after your identity and the validity of your winnings are confirmed. This is especially the case if you take the annuity- you aren’t going to be handed a briefcase of cash once a year. That would be senseless.
Online vs Casino Winnings
There are different things you’ll have to do if you win online rather than if you win in a casino. While there are a lot of Australian laws that ban online gambling, there are still ways that you can engage in this form of gaming legally– and easily.
Be sure that you’re gambling at a reputable online casino. Also make sure that the site you’re on is operated legally, though we aren’t going to lie- you probably won’t accidentally place a bet on an illegal poker website. That would need to be done on purpose, which we do not condone.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you aren’t going to get a cash payout from a (legal) online casino. Instead, you’ll be given your winnings in cryptocurrency like bitcoin. While this may initially sound like a bummer, it isn’t that big a deal- you can sell this cryptocurrency for real money later.
Possible Future Choices
Once the initial winnings are distributed and are safely in your hands, you may think that it’s over. This is false. After winning the lottery or at the poker table, there are concerns that you’ll need to consider in the coming months- and years. Read on to learn what some of these concerns are and how to deal with them.
The Facts of Tax
While in other countries like the US gambling is heavily taxed, you as an Aussie have lucked out. The vast majority of the time, Australia doesn’t tax gambling winnings. If there’s any taxation at all, it will only be around 8%– a very, very low sum.
This is the case for a couple of reasons. First, gambling isn’t a profession- according to the Australian government, gambling can’t be a profession. It’s a recreational activity, and therefore there’s no reason to tax your earnings.
Not only is it not a profession, but it isn’t even the result of making money through work- it’s simple luck. The government knows and recognizes this and doesn’t tax the income that you make when you hit the jackpot. They (correctly) believe that it makes no sense to tax someone who’s already lost money in other past gambling activities.
This is in part because the government already taxes gambling operators. The cardinal rule of casino gambling (or the lottery) is that the house or gambling operator has the edge in all cases. Because they’ve won money off you already during the games that you’ve lost, it’s only fair that you aren’t punished with a tax for winning.
So what’s the bottom line? Basically, you don’t need to worry about taxes from any Australian casino jackpot that you win in. Just put it out of your mind, sit back, and enjoy the luxury that comes with your luck!
Turn Your Daydreams Into Reality
While this isn’t something that requires much elaboration, it bears being said that your biggest responsibility after winning is to turn the daydreams that you had before you won big into a reality.
Buy the things you’ve always wanted, but be sure to spend wisely. You don’t want to squander all your winnings within the month. Save and invest wisely- your future self will thank you!
Hit That Casino Jackpot
While winning big when gambling is definitely a dream come true, there are also a lot of practical concerns regarding winning. It can be easy to forget about these pragmatics when caught up in the excitement and euphoria of your newfound wealth, but you can’t let this happen.
Make sure that you understand both the immediate choices and long-term decisions you’ll need to make upon winning at casino games or in the lottery. As with everything, knowledge is power, and you don’t want to accidentally cheat yourself.
Now that you know what actually happens when you hit the casino jackpot, it’s time to begin betting! Check out this article to learn how to find an awesome casino so you can win big and put your newfound knowledge to practical use.
May the odds be ever in your favour!