Debit card testing underway in some Pennsylvania lotto markets
The state lottery recently launched machines to purchase tickets in liquor and grocery stores which accept debit cards. The hope is expanding payment options will spark more interest in lotto tickets.
“Our debit pilot program is intended to help us prepare for the future,” Drew Svitko, executive director of the Pennsylvania Lottery told KDKA, a local news outlet.
Research indicates most people in the state do not carry very much cash on them. Most do not have more than $20 on hand at any given time. The thought is we are not far from being a completely cashless society.
With that in mind, Lottery officials are trying to make the process of buying tickets easier. Moreover, they want to prepare for the future before they lose too many customers.
The pilot program began in the state’s capital, Harrisburg. It recently expanded to Pittsburgh as well.
The lottery machines are about the same size as their cash counterparts. The feature a debit card swiper like you find at grocery store checkouts. The machines, however, are self-serve.
Critics worry this is a problem gambling issue
In the gambling world, the general opinion is credit cards should not be an option. Responsible gambling entails only playing with money one can afford to lose. Therefore, paying with lines of credit is something casinos and lotteries try to avoid.
Nonetheless, there are a couple of gas stations in Pennsylvania running promos which allow customers to put Powerball tickets on their credit card if they buy a tank of gas first.
Going forward, it will be a tough balance between responsible gaming and customers who prefer to live cashless.
More Powerball money good for state’s bank account
More money flowing in to Powerball and other lottery tickets would be a welcome change of pace for the state these days. There is still no budget solution in site for the state. The House refuses to sign off on the Senate’s proposed solution.
If no one bends soon, Pennsylvania stands a chance of going broke. The Allentown Morning Call recently reported that, without some sort of solution, the state’s General Fund will run out of money this week.
State lawmakers need to find a $2 billion budget solution, and fast. Because it is going to take a lot of debit card lottery purchases to get even close to that number.