Massachusetts State Treasurer Steven Grossman recently announced that The Mass Lottery will begin accepting payment by plastic in order to make participation in state-sanctioned games of chance more convenient for consumers.
The new lottery payment parameters would be expanded only to allow the use of debit cards. Included in Grossman`s announcement was the assertion that strict training programs would be implemented for lottery outlets to curb the attempts of customers to gamble using electronic welfare cards or credit cards. Any use of a credit card for gambling is in violation of federal law.
“We are very tough on people who violate lottery rules,” said Grossman, according to The Boston Herald. “Lottery outlets average $37,000 a year in profit. Nobody wants to lose their lottery license, and we would come down like a ton of bricks on anyone who violates our rules by using an EBT or a credit card. It’s debit cards and debit cards only.”
Opponents to the payment policy change claim that allowing gamblers to put their lottery purchases onto plastic makes it too easy for impulse control issues to arise. Grossman countered by pointing out the fact that many lottery outlets have an ATM inside or nearby from which gamblers can easily withdraw money if they so choose.
“Thirty-three states now permit their customers, their citizens to use debit cards. It`s just an equivalent for cash, just an alternative for cash in the 21st century,” said Grossman, as reported by The Boston Herald.
However, experts have long made the claim that consumers using plastic for purchases lose the tactile sensation of parting with cash and therefore often wind up spending more as psychologically it does not feel like spending real money. Studies have shown that people are often time less inclined to squander their money when made to pay with cash as opposed to plastic such as a debit card.
For gamblers, the pleasant feelings experienced when wagering may be disconnected from any unpleasant feelings of parting with their own money to do so if allowed to fund their lottery purchases with a debit card.