Colorado has legal gambling casinos in several towns there.
Father (or Mother) goes to a casino to play.
And wins. Pretty big. At least $1,200. Maybe substantially more.
Father (or Mother) gathers up their winning chips and goes to cash out.
There’s a bit of a delay.
Finally, Father (or Mother) is handed their, uh, net proceeds.
Father (or Mother) complains that they’ve been shorted on their winnings.
Under a recent Colorado law, before cashing out any player who wins at least $1,200, the casino is required to check child support computer system records to determine whether the winner owes any back child support.
If the winner does owe back child support, the arrearages are collected by deduction from their winnings.
This new law has resulted in collection of $600,000 in statewide child support arrearages in just the first year. Not bad.
Casinos aren’t thrilled about the new law. Their customers get angry. And following the law is a nuisance.
Worst of all, casinos fear it is already starting to deter deadbeat gamers from turning out at the casinos.
In other words, deadbeat parents are actively avoiding an opportunity to meet their child support obligations with found money won at the casinos.
This casts some doubt on various special interest groups’ vigorous assertions that those who don’t pay child support don’t pay because they can’t afford it.
Colorado was the first state to pass a law like this … although many states require child support enforcement out of lottery winnings.
Other states are watching Colorado’s apparent success and eagerly contemplating trying to duplicate it.