Welfare as Wave Life: Don’t Blame it on Rio

As the Los Angeles Times noted last year, welfare “clients,” as the system calls them, were using their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to spend millions in casinos and on cruise ships headed for Rio de Janeiro. All clients going out on the town this weekend should check out this notice on California’s EBT Client Website.

“The locations where you can use your EBT card to withdraw cash may have changed,” the site says. “Please check the list of locations on this website to see where you can withdraw cash benefits in your area. You can no longer get your cash benefits at ATMs and point of sale devices in liquor stores that don’t accept your CalFresh benefits. You also can’t get your cash benefits at casinos, poker rooms, card rooms, adult entertainment businesses, bail bonds, night clubs/saloons/taverns, bingo halls, race tracks, gun/ammunition stores, cruise ships, psychic readers, smoking shops, cannabis shops, tattoo/piercing shops, and spa/massage salons.”

Looks like the problem goes beyond cruise ships and casinos. One legislator advanced a bill to block use of EBT cards to buy booze and cigarettes. It failed to pass. But just to make sure, check that list of sites where you can withdraw cash benefits in your area.


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