Gambling with Welfare Cash

Via the LATCalifornia welfare cards can be used in many casino ATMs

The cards, provided by the Department of Social Services to help recipients feed and clothe their families, work in automated teller machines at 32 of 58 tribal casinos and 47 of 90 state-licensed poker rooms, the review found.

The state is moving to halt this ability.  The fact that the cards are designed to be used in ATMs is part of the issue, however, and the ATMs just happen to be in casinos.

Of course, the bottom line is that if citizens are receiving direct cash payments through programs like Temporary Aid for Needy Family (TANF) also known simply as “welfare” then there is always the possibility that the money is being spent improperly regardless of the delivery system.  Still it is problematic, if not galling, for said delivery system to be right next to a blackjack table.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter