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$1.8M In Welfare From CA Casino ATMs

From the Los Angeles Times:

The Chumash resort in Santa Ynez is one of the 32 tribal casinos in California with ATMs that accept welfare recipients’ debit cards.

California welfare recipients withdrew $1.8 million at casino ATMs over eight months

By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times

June 25, 2010

California welfare recipients using state-issued debit cards withdrew more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors between October 2009 and last month, state officials said Thursday.

Gov. Arnold 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.

Well, this will immediately put a stop to any untoward use of welfare benefits.

The order also gave the state Department of Social Services seven days to produce a plan to reduce other types of "waste, fraud and abuse" in the welfare program.

The moves came after The Times reported Wednesday that officials at the department failed to notice for years that welfare recipients could use the state-issued cards to withdraw taxpayer cash at more than half of the tribal casinos and state-licensed poker rooms in California. The state initiated the debit card program in 2002.

Casino withdrawals, which represented far less than 1% of total welfare spending during the eight months for which the department released data, averaged just over $227,392 a month.

Schwarzenegger has already ordered the vendor that runs the state welfare system’s ATM network to prohibit the cards from working at casino machines. Republican lawmakers are now calling on the administration to track down the people who withdrew cash at gaming centers and recover the money…

Sure, that will happen.

The electronic benefit transfer cards allow welfare recipients to access two accounts: cash offered through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and an electronic version of food stamps, which comes with strict rules governing how the money can be spent.

The cash benefits, however, can be withdrawn and spent just about anywhere. A Times review of state records found that the cards work at ATMs in 32 of 58 tribal casinos and 47 of 90 state-licensed poker rooms.

Most of the ATMs impose a withdrawal limit of about $300 a day. The monthly cash grant for a family of three ranges up to $694, while families with more than 10 people can get as much as $1,469, documents from the Social Services Department show…

For politicians to pretend to be surprised by this is laughable.

Democrats, who have been fighting to preserve the state’s fraying social safety net in the face of a $19-billion budget gap, angrily rejected a Schwarzenegger proposal last month to eliminate the cash portion of welfare…

What a shock!

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 25th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “$1.8M In Welfare From CA Casino ATMs”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Wonder how much was spent on Colt45 and Zig-Zags?

  2. wardmama4 says:

    Banned – you forgot lap dances and a little coke up the nose to end a wonderful CA casino vacay on the taxpayers dime.

    Every single one of those State-issued debitWelfare cards should be immediately revoked and the person charged with fraud and put on a Never Again To Receive Welfare (in any of the 50, not 57 states) List. Today.

  3. NoNeoCommies says:

    As long as they can get their hands on cash, they can spend it on anything.
    Since we are already on the road to full-on Socialism, just open up government stores where welfare recipients have to shop because they never get cash.

  4. canary says:

    The Indians will just complain to Obama whose shelling out tax-payers money to their casinos.

  5. GetBackJack says:

    Here’s the thing – Vegas was built for the Mob to be able to launder money in greater amounts than anyone thought possible. Decades later, New Jersey came on line for the same reason.

    Suddenly there were Indian Casinos everywhere. Without any national Discussion about the merits of the idea. Boom … poof … done.

    So, one has to ask about “Indian Casinos” …. since no part of the federal government gives a rats ass what happens to these conquered and displaced people within our boundaries (I mean, really … is there anyone other than the former Shah of Iran who’s seen more broken treaties, broken promises and lies than the American Indian? Hell no) The Indians are clearly being used … but by whom?

    Cui bono?

    Who is the real interest behind the Indians all over the nation running casino operations (good lord, could ANYTHING be further from their culture, roots and world view than an effing casino???)

    Who are the Indians laundering money for?

    When the Wacky Huegenots set up operations on the Cabazon Indian Reservation in desert SW California, a tribe of, well …. damn few people …. and then the Cabazon became rather suddenly one of the most stupendously sized and prosperous casino resorts in America out there in the placid and scenic California deserts (not) …. surely some of us have noticed the Weird Meter is pegged out.

    BTW – Wacky Huegebots is slang for Wackenhut.

    • canary says:

      Well, I’ve always associated Vegas with the mob, and know there are Indian reservations in Nevada but not sure they own them. But, in some states only the Indians can own gambling. Maybe it’s counties. I can’t remember if gambling is legal in Kansas, or you go across the border.
      Maybe each state is different. Where I live, they are very respected, and get free everything, and run more than just casinos. Some places they are the only ones that can sell things and stuff. Free education, business grants, medical (state & Indian) free land off reservations, oil rights. Conservatives respect them, and no one complains. The Indians don’t have gangs or cause trouble.

    • GetBackJack says:

      Canary –

      Without Reservation: The Making of America’s Most Powerful Indian Tribe and Foxwoods, the World’s Largest Casino
      by Jeff Benedict
      (Harper Collins, Hardcover $26)

      From six white men who only ‘claimed’ to be Indians to the world’s most powerful Indian Reservation casino operation.

      A must-read.

    • canary says:

      GetBackJack: We have alot of blue eyed, blond haired Indians here. They say you only have to prove you have Indian blood in you. I noticed more papers for school that will show such as Indian children can transfer out of a school out of their district, while the papers I sign to prove my son lives in the school district increases.

      Obama wrote of his maternal grandmother’s Indian heritage, implying it was established, but didn’t say his mother, he, or his children recieved benefits.

      Perhaps, it helped Obama in the private & elite schools he attended starting in Hawaii.

  6. fallingpianos says:

    Would this be considered credit toward meeting our G8 “obligations”?

    Then again, probably not. I know of no dictators with Swiss bank accounts among them. Unless Chief Walking Eagle is considered to be their president as well.

  7. bobbys says:

    They call you Lady Luck.
    But there is room for doubt
    At times you have a very unladylike way of running out
    You’re this a date with me
    The pickings have been lush
    And yet before this evening is over you might give me the brush
    You might forget your manners
    You might refure to stay and So the best that I can to is pray.

    Luck be a lady tonight
    Luck be a lady tonight
    Luck if you’ve ever been a lady to begin with
    Luck be a lady tonight.

    Luck let a gentleman see
    How nice a dame you can be
    I’ve seen the way you’ve treated other guys you’ve been with
    Luck be a lady with me.

    A lady doesn’t leave her escort
    It isn’t fair, it isn’t nice
    A lady doesn’t wander all over the room
    And blow on some other guy’s dice.
    So let’s keep the party polite
    Never get out of my sight
    Stick with me baby, I’m the fellow you came in with
    Luck be a lady
    Luck be a lady
    Luck be a lady tonight.

    Luck be a lady tonight.
    Luck be a lady tonight.
    Luck, if you’ve ever been a lady to begin with
    Luck be a lady tonight.

    Luck let a gentleman see

    Luck let a gentleman see

    How nice a dame you can be

    How nice a dame you can be

    I know the way you’ve treated other guys you’ve been with

    Luck me a lady, a lady, be a lady with me.

    Luck be a lady with me

    A Lady wouldn’t flirt with strangers
    She’d have a heart, she’d have a soul
    A lady wouldn’t make little snake eyes at me
    When I’ve got my life on this roll.

    Roll ’em, roll ’em, roll ’em, snake eyes
    Roll ’em, roll ’em, roll ’em!

    So let’s keep the party polite

    Let’s keep the party polite

    Never get out of my sight

    CRAPSHOTERS

    Never get out of my sight.
    Stick here, baby, stick here, baby.

    Stick with me, baby, I’m the fellow you came in with
    Luck be a lady

    Luck be a lady

    Luck be a lady tonight.

    Coming out, coming out, coming out
    Right!


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