Ca. Assembly: Welfare Cards Can't Be Used in Strip Clubs, Casinos

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The California Assembly today passed AB 493, which prohibits welfare recipients in the state from using their state-issued debit cards to withdraw funds from ATMs located in casinos, strip clubs or similar establishments.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, state rules already prohibit the practice, but the new law, which now has to pass the Senate, would make it illegal to do so.

“Card use was limited last year after the Los Angeles Times reported they were used to withdraw about $12,000 from strip club ATMs in three years,” the paper reported. “The state paid $10.8 billion in benefits during that period.”

The vote was 50-8. The dissenters said that casinos and other such businesses are often the closest places with ATMs for people to use.

Specifically, the bill would “require the EBT (electronic benefits transfer) system to prevent use of EBT cards by recipients to access automated teller machines located in gambling establishments and adult entertainment establishments, except to the extent prohibited by federal law.”