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Casino winnings can be garnished for unpaid child support in Ohio

The state of Ohio takes child support obligations very seriously. Each parent has a duty to financially support their child, and falling to do so can lead to severe legal and financial consequences.

One way the state now cracks down on parents with overdue child support is with an "intercept program” that uses a database to make people with large gambling winnings don’t have overdue child support. If they do, the winnings can be taken to help pay down the debt.

Since the intercept program began in 2001, it has confiscated around $3 million throughout the country in lottery and racino winnings. The program debuted this fall at Ohio’s four casinos, which have been working with the Department of Job and Family Services to identify those who owe back child support.

Under an Ohio bill, which we discussed in a past article on our website, the casinos must run the name of winners through a database when their winnings tally $1,200 or more for slot machines, $5,000 or more for table games, or $600 or more in high-stakes games.

The states seven racinos, which are regulated by The Ohio Lottery also check big winners for child support debt by working with Job and Family Services. At racinos, those who win $600 or more are screened for child support arrearages.

As you can see, the state of Ohio is not going to allow parents to get away with not paying the child support they owe.

That’s why it’s crucial to contact an experienced family law attorney right away if you have been ordered to pay child support that you cannot afford or you are owed child support from the other parent who has not paid up. 

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