Covering Louisiana

Aug 26, 2014 6:38 PM by AP

State collects $2M from gamblers for child support

The state says it's reached a milestone, confiscating over $2 million in gambling winnings to cover child support payments in arrears.

The Department of Children and Family Services said Tuesday that as of June, its child support casino intercept program had collected $2.05 million from 1,526 non-custodial parents.

"Each collection made, large or small, proves that this program is an essential tool for collecting what is owed to Louisiana's children," said Secretary Suzy Sonnier in a news release.

The Advocate reports the program, which began in September 2011, collects child support arrears from gamblers when casino winnings total more than $1,200 at 19 state-licensed casinos.

Department spokeswoman Lindsey deBlieux says all of the money collected goes to the children.

To date, Boomtown in Harvey has intercepting the most at $191,006. The single largest collection came from that casino in June totaling $23,465.

Amounts collected at other casinos include: $185,256 from Harrah's New Orleans; $177,392, Eldorado in Shreveport; $160,427, Evangeline Downs in Opelousas; $126,340, L'Auberge Baton Rouge; $124,888, L'Auberge Lake Charles; $111,787, Belle of Baton Rouge; $113,716, Treasure Chest in Kenner; $109,390, Sam's Town in Shreveport; $96,702, Isle of Capri Lake Charles; $85,474, Amelia Belle in Amelia; $84,081, Diamond Jacks in Bossier City; $83,958, Boomtown-Bossier City; $59,853, Horseshoe in Shreveport; $51,517, Harrah's Louisiana Downs in Bossier City; $46,079, Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans; $45.371, Delta Downs in Vinton; and $22,246, Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City.

As of July, the state had $1.4 billion in total arrears due, deBlieux said.

The department said 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.

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