Colorado and West Virginia are putting children first.
At least two states have designed a unique way to go after parents who owe child support: They want to take their gambling winnings. Colorado will roll out its plan in July; West Virginia hopes to follow a few months later.
Evelio Silvera, executive director of Casino Watch, said the gambling industry is fighting back.
“The problem is they don’t want to share information that they can’t use to increase their own bottom line,” he said. “That’s the real shame.”
When a jackpot winner fills out the state tax form in Colorado, the casino will perform a background check to check on overdue child support.
West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) hopes to work directly with casinos to get deadbeat parents to pay up.
Jeremy Dys, executive director of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, said it’s a good step.
“We applaud the DHHR and those who are seeking to make sure that children who need it the most … get the money back,” he said. “We need to go a little bit further – to strengthen marriages to make sure social problems are treated at home first.”