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Casino winnings pay child support

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

Indiana’s casinos have blocked payouts to hundreds of state gamblers who are behind on their child support payments during the past year.

The Indiana General Assembly mandated an intercept program in 2010, and the state’s 13 casinos began implementing it late last year. The state provides the casinos a list of parents who are at least $2,000 or three months delinquent in their child support payments, and the casinos are then required to check the names of gamblers who win $1,200 or more against the delinquent list and withhold money from those listed. Those winnings are turned over to the Indiana Department of Child Services, which holds the money for 10 days to allow for possible appeals before sending it to families.

The DCS reports that since October, when the first casino implemented the new program, operators have withheld about $650,000 from 376 men and women, some on more than one occasion. Sixteen gamblers have actually paid off their child support debts with their forfeited jackpots, according to DCS Deputy Director Cynthia Longest.

Data shows that jackpots have been withheld from 19 people who’d never made even one of their court-ordered child support payments; 35 people have had all or part of their winnings intercepted more than once, and one person lost four jackpots as a result. The highest single amount withheld and turned over to DCS was $18,000. Most of the intercepts have occurred at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson and Indiana Live in Shelbyville, which serve the largest number of Indiana residents.

State and casino officials estimate the program might eventually result in over $1 million annually in intercepted payments, though some speculate that amount could decrease as more people become aware of the program and try to sidestep it.

Rehearing "Kids may hit the jackpot" IL Jan. 20 -Feb. 2, 2010

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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