Welfare recipients in California using their welfare debt cards at casinos

Who said that welfare recipients don't spend their money on useful things?

Spurred by a newspaper's report that California's welfare debit cards can be used to withdraw cash in more than half the casinos in the state, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday issued an immediate ban on state-provided cash assistance at ATMs in gambling establishments.

The Los Angeles Times disclosed that Electronic Benefit Transfer cards work in automated teller machines at 32 of 58 tribal casinos and 47 of 90 state-licensed poker rooms. The report also found the state Department of Social Services published a list of useable ATMs where the EBT cards that work like debit cards could be cashed.

That list included the addresses of two Coachella Valley casinos — Spotlight 29 Casino, 46-200 Harrison St., Coachella, and Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, 49-500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon.

“I will use every available power I have to protect taxpayers from waste, fraud and abuse in government,'' Schwarzenegger said.

Spotlight 29 Casino spokeswoman Lisa Herman said the casino would not comment. . . .



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