Indiana Man Allegedly Hid Slot Winnings to Avoid Child Support Payments 

Indiana man Lance Halderman (pictured) was arrested this week for allegedly getting someone else to collect his casino winnings in order to avoid child support payment debts.

In Indiana and various other states, local authorities are allowed to confiscate gambling winnings if the winner has been court-ordered to pay outstanding child support. The process flags those who have such debts when their ID is scanned to claim their win.

Halderman, 44, of Michigan City, Indiana, is charged with level 6 felony cheating at gambling over the incident, according to local news.

Police say that Halderman won a $2,000 prize on a slot machine at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, but recruited another casino patron to cash the win for him. Allegedly he did it to avoid a $2,000 child support debt. 

Cheating at gambling in Indiana could see a sentence of up to 30 months in prison. The player who collected the money told police he had no idea what he was doing was illegal and didn’t know Halderman prior to the event. 

Not Blue Chip’s First Rodeo 

Blue Chip Casino is operated and owned by Boyd Gaming. It has 1,900 slot machines and 42 table games across its 65,000 square feet of gaming space. Interestingly, two years ago, the casino saw a separate similar incident of a winning gambler trying to dodge child support.

In May 2022, Billy J. Butler, of Mishawaka, Indiana, won $1,340 at a slot machine in the casino. However, he owed $4,800 in child support debts. Earlier that day, he had also won an unspecified large sum, only to be informed it would all be going to his child support. 

When he hit the second win of $1,300 Butler learned his lesson (or not) and decided to recruit a woman at the casino to collect the win for him. He offered her $200 to pick up the winnings in her name. 

Unluckily for Butler, an Indiana Gaming Commission officer was present on the casino floor and overheard the discussion. Butler got away that day, but was later apprehended at his home.

During his arrest, police also found cocaine and an illegal firearm. We couldn’t find any information on Butler’s sentencing online. 

Intercepting Gambling Winnings

The practice of automatically checking gambling winners’ legal history for outstanding mandated child support statements is fairly widespread, but also controversial. 

In 2019, some $3.2 billion in owed child support was collected from gamblers across 13.6 million cases in the U.S, according to the National Child Support Engagement Association.

Some California tribal casino operators were asked by the state to conduct the checks, but have fought legally against it, claiming it violates their sovereign rights to determine their own laws.

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