ATMs at most casinos readily accept California welfare cards

Welfare recipients in California can use their state-issued debit cards to withdraw cash at most tribal casinos and non-Indian poker rooms, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The state Department of Social Services website lists all the automated teller machines that accept the cards. The Times looked at the addresses of the ATMs and found they were located at 32 of 58 tribal casinos and 47 of 90 state-licensed poker rooms.

But the paper wasn't able to determine whether or not welfare recipients were indeed using their cards at the locations. The department denied a request to disclose transaction information from all the ATMs.

However, the story was enough to prompt Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to order the department to work with vendors to prohibit the use of the welfare cards at the ATMs. The state of New Mexico already blocks its cards from being used as casino ATMs.

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California welfare cards can be used in many casino ATMs (The Los Angeles Times 6/24)