BATON ROUGE - More than $2 million in Louisiana gambling winnings have gone directly to the children of non-custodial parents who are behind on child support. As of June 2014, the Department of Children and Family Services' (DCFS) child support casino intercept program has collected $2,052,985 from 1,526 non-custodial parents who owed back child support.
The program, which launched in September 2011, collects child support arrears from casino winnings totaling more than $1,200 at 19 state-licensed casinos.
"It is a tremendous accomplishment to collect more than $2 million through casino intercepts in this amount of time," said DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier. "Each collection made, large or small, proves that this program is an essential tool for collecting what is owed to Louisiana's children."
August is national Child Support Awareness month. Research has shown that child support collections significantly reduce the federal, state and local costs of providing cash assistance to single parent families.
To date, Boomtown Belle has intercepted the most money of Louisiana casinos - $191,006. The single largest collection to date came from the Boomtown Belle in June 2014 totaling $23,465.
These casinos reported the following totals: Amelia Belle $85,474; Belle of Baton Rouge $111,787; Boomtown Belle $191,006; Boomtown Bossier $83,958; Delta Downs $45,371; Diamond Jack $84,081; Eldorado $177,392; Evangeline $160,427; Fair Grounds Race Course $46,079; Harrahs $185,256; Hollywood Casino $177,494; Horseshoe $59,853; LAuberge du Baton Rouge $126,340; LAuberge du Lac $124,888; Louisiana Downs $51,517; Margaritaville Resort Casino $22,246; Sam's Town $109,390; St Charles Gaming (Isle of Capri) $96,702; Treasure Chest $113,716.
Former Senator Nick Gautreaux introduced the legislation in the 2010 session to collect owed child support from winnings of more than $1,200 at Louisiana casinos. Other states with similar laws include Colorado, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio and West Virginia.
Failure to pay court-ordered child support can result in liens against the non-payor's property, seizure of assets, suspension of driver's, business, professional, hunting or fishing licenses, interception of state and federal tax returns, passport denial and contempt of court charges, among other enforcement actions.
DCFS Child Support Enforcement offers custodial parents several resources, including parent locator services, paternity establishment, establishment of child support orders, enforcement of orders and collection and distribution of child support.
Any parent or person responsible for a child can receive services from DCFS' Child Support Enforcement program. Those currently in the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) or Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KSCP) or who receive Medicaid automatically receive child support enforcement services.
Posted on Fri, August 29, 2014
by The Lafourche Gazette