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House committee votes to prohibit lottery tickets purchased with credit cards

House committee votes to prohibit lottery tickets purchased with credit cards

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
March 5, 2013

The House State Affairs Committee has approved a proposal to prohibit the use of credit cards when purchasing a state lottery ticket.

“I thought Idaho was a business friendly state,” noted Suzanne Budge from the Idaho Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association. Budge testified against House Bill 120 before the committee Monday afternoon.

The bill was presented to the committee by Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise. If it becomes law, it would prohibit retailers from allowing lottery tickets to be purchased with credit cards, although proposed amendments would allow retailers to sell lottery tickets via a debit card purchase.

“I support the use of debit cards,” said Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise. “People make purchases with debit cards all the time. Unfortunately this legislation made no distinction between the purchase of lottery tickets with debit cards and credit cards.” Woodings voted “no” on the bill.

The legislation will now be sent for amending. The plan is to amend it in such a way that it delineates between lottery tickets purchased with credit cards and those purchased with debit cards.

Yet at least one member of the committee believes that making such a distinction won’t make the bill any better.

“I think the burden that will be placed on Idaho retailers with this bill goes way beyond what it proposes to accomplish,” said Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens. “With the average purchase of $3.12, I don’t see how we accomplish anything by forcing retailers to distinguish between credit card and debit card purchases.”

Budge agrees. “A lottery ticket is a fully legal product, and the government should not be mandating to retailers how that legal product is sold,” she told IdahoReporter.com after the committee hearing. “Government should not be in the business of telling retailers how to transact the sale of this legal product. I thought Idaho was a far cry from the nanny state conditions of New York City. This is a very destructive choice.”

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