Are Gambling Losses Tax Deductible?

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Summary: My wife and I took a trip to Las Vegas this year, and while we did not go over our budget, we did suffer a bit of a loss at the blackjack table in the casino. I have been told by a friend that it may be possible to deduct my gambling losses on my taxes – is this true?

Dear Esq.,

My wife and I took a trip to Las Vegas this year, and while we did not go over our budget, we did suffer a bit of a loss at the blackjack table in the casino.

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I have been told by a friend that it may be possible to deduct my gambling losses on my taxes – is this true?

Hopeful in California

Dear Hopeful,

Yes, it is true that you can deduct losses incurred while gambling from your Federal income taxes. However, there are a couple of very important rules:

1. You can only deduct gambling losses to the extent that you declare gambling earnings; and

2. You must have receipts.