House OKs child support-casino bill

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Lawmakers have passed a bill that allows the Indiana Department of Child Services to more efficiently collect delinquent child support, including a gaming intercept requiring casinos to check whether gamers are on a state delinquency list before releasing large jackpots to them.

On Feb. 25, the full House of Representatives voted unanimously 98-0 in favor of Senate Bill 163, which had already received full support of the Senate in late January. Multiple issues are addressed in the legislation, such as matching state with federal law and allowing agencies or boards to suspend certain licenses if payments aren't made. But the casino provision is the most controversial, and was opposed by the industry.

This would require casinos to check gamblers with single-game winnings of at least a certain amount, against a list of deadbeat parents who are at least $2,000 behind in child-support payments. Amounts discussed included a $1,200 minimum amount, so that someone would have to win at least that much before anything could be frozen and put toward the delinquent child support.

An amendment added by the House Public Policy Committee would also add an administrative fee of 3 percent or $100, whatever's greater, onto the delinquent support amount for the casinos to do the checks. Also, the delinquent amount would take priority over any other secured or unsecured claims except for federal and state taxes.

Because the Senate hadn't voted on the amendments, the legislation went back to senators for consideration during the final week of the session before it could be forwarded to the governor's office.


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


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