Double or Nothing: California Moves to Stop Welfare Recipients From Using Cash to Gamble

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has moved to stop a legitimately disturbing trend: welfare recipients using state-issued debit cards withdrew welfare payments as cash from casino floors. Since October 2009, welfare recipients have withdrawn more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors.

Schwarzenegger issued an executive order requiring welfare recipients to “promise ” they will use cash benefits only to “meet the basic subsistence needs” of their families. It is not clear what penalties come from broken promises. More than half of the tribal casinos and poker rooms in California showed such withdrawals using the debit cards issued by the state in 2002.

The state is moving to get the card vendor to blocking its use at casino machines. Of course, they could still take cash at other locations (soon to be located near casinos) and let the good times roll.

Source: LA Times.

29 thoughts on “Double or Nothing: California Moves to Stop Welfare Recipients From Using Cash to Gamble”

  1. California can save much more money by paying the state workers minimum wage.

  2. the only problem with the idea of taxing corporations is that they don’t pay taxes we do. all they do is jack up the price to cover the taxes. so the pair of shoes that cost 10 bucks now cost twelve and we pay the tax. and smaller companies that might have been able to compete at 10 but cant at twelve go by by.

  3. A parasitic minority known as the Ruling Class.–Karl Friedrich

    Thank you KF

    Figure 4: Share of wealth held by the Bottom 99% and Top 1% in the United States, 1922-2007.

    Here are some dramatic facts that sum up how the wealth distribution became even more concentrated between 1983 and 2004, in good part due to the tax cuts for the wealthy and the defeat of labor unions: Of all the new financial wealth created by the American economy in that 21-year-period, fully 42% of it went to the top 1%. A whopping 94% went to the top 20%, which of course means that the bottom 80% received only 6% of all the new financial wealth generated in the United States during the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s (Wolff, 2007).

    Woosty’s still a Cat thanks for the above link.


    Toronto’s Police Chief Blair making up regulations on the fly, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!

  4. Karl,

    Relax. 😉

    I was just posting a link to a story from today’s L.A. Times that was directly related to the Professor’s original story. Some of the regulars here post updates to featured stories in an effort to keep others informed and the posts up-to-date.

    By the way, I don’t disagree with your assessments on war funding and proliferation. If you take the time to look at some of my other comments on this blog, I think you’ll see that. I also posted something today on the G-20 “5-meter” law that was lied about by police officials in Toronto (you can see that link under the “Corrections” tab). Also, did you know that $1 Billion was spent (wasted) for three days of security for this event?

    Have a good evening.

  5. Remember George, you could issue strip club and casino cards to every gold-bricker in every state and it would be only a drop in a bucket compared to the truly unimaginable corporate & military welfare that goes on unreported under our noses each and every day as just standard operating procedure.

    Lets see, 1.8 million dollars versus how many B2 bombers have been churned out at 1 billion per copy with no enemy to deploy them against? Lets, see. If you were to click a stop watch right now and counted the seconds it would take you 32 years to click off a billion seconds. 1 airplane. 32 years. What has Uncle Sam pissed away in Afghanistan? Lets say it’s a trillion dollars. That’s a thousand billions. If it’s not that yet it won’t take long when the price of fuel is $400 per gallon. Put it in perspective man. Railing against welfare cheats is pure rightwing nonsense designed to obfuscate who is realliy stealing from the taxpayer — a parasitic minority known as the Ruling Class.

  6. And all that amounts to squat when you consider Uncle Sam squanders $400 per gallon on gas for each & every machine deployed in perhaps the most absurdly unwinnable war in human history.

  7. Pingback: Catholic Tide
  8. While this isn’t kosher, I think CA would save a lot more than $1.8M if they went after corporations that exploit loopholes to pay less in taxes.

  9. We need to “walk a mile in their shoes” before we sit in judgment. Some people take their welfare checks and buy cigarettes, which is a waste of money in my book; but, I am not addicted to nicotine. Some even buy alcohol. When you are poor, the idea of hitting it big can really eat at you. I don’t think Arnold has ever been that poor to know.

  10. If we aren’t going to charge Wall Street and Bank execs with misuse of tax dollars (bonuses) then we can’t bitch about the welfare gamblers. Not unless, of course, we want to be habitual hypocrites.

  11. oh puleeeeze! Let’s kick ’em while they’re down…and beat ’em up reeeeeeal good for doin what the Gov and the Corporationss and the rest of the mindless greedmongering slaughtercrack mobs do everyday under the guise of ‘law’….

    ‘The root of addiction is unresolved emotional trauma. When traumas, be they extreme or mild, are not resolved they leave behind a slew of painful, unprocessed feelings in the unconscious. ‘


  12. I want to know (rhetorical) how gambling with taxpayer dollars is any different than taking graft to influence Congress to bailout Wall St. criminals or going to war against a country that didn’t attack us for the personal profit of the President and Vice President.

    Misappropriation of funds is misappropriation of funds.

  13. AY,

    I think the better question is how are they surviving the rest of the month? If they have another source of income that they didn’t report when qualifying for welfare, they could very well be charged with something.

  14. And then there were none. They have already won the lottery. If they are gambling with taxpayer dollars they have it better than the rest.

    I know the justification for funding the cash is that there are some incidental that come up that cash is needed. Well, this does not appear to be within the realm of classification, in my book at least.

    Could they (the recipients) be charged with misuse of government funds?

  15. Of course it’s laugh out loud shocking, but before the debit cards they could just take the welfare check, cash it and then go to the casino. And, as Prof. Turley points out, they can still go to a grocery store or whatever, get the money from that ATM and then go to the casino.

    If they violate their promises, can they be sued for breach of promise?

Comments are closed.