Published November 20, 2014
A state-by-state look at efforts to crack down on the use of welfare benefits.
ARIZONA: Welfare recipients cannot use their benefits to buy lottery tickets. Casinos cannot have ATM machines that accept electronic welfare benefit cards.
CALIFORNIA: Welfare benefit cards cannot be used to withdraw cash from ATMs at liquor stores, strip clubs and gambling establishments.
COLORADO: The use of benefits for gambling, alcohol or guns is prohibited.
INDIANA: Welfare benefit cards cannot be used to make purchases at liquor stores, gambling establishments, bars or gun dealers.
MAINE: Spending on alcohol, gambling or adult entertainment is not allowed.
MASSACHUSETTS: Welfare recipients cannot use their cards to buy lottery tickets, tobacco and alcohol. Lawmakers also want to prohibit spending at nail salons, jewelry stores, liquor stores and casinos and make tattoos, porn and guns off-limits, too.
MINNESOTA: Purchases of alcohol and tobacco are prohibited, and those caught more than twice using their benefits for those items are disqualified for life.
MISSOURI: Proposals to restrict spending on alcohol, tobacco and gambling died when the legislative session ended in May.
PENNSLYVANIA: Lawmakers want to restrict the use of welfare benefits to housing, toiletries, food, clothing and public transportation. Alcohol is already banned.
WASHINGTON: Tattoos, body piercings, alcohol and tobacco are prohibited. Bars, bail bondsmen, gambling establishments and strip clubs must deactivate the ability of their ATM machines to accept benefit cards.