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Congress Bans Access to Welfare Cash From ATMs Within Liquor Stores, Stripclubs and Casinos

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards have essentially replaced traditional food stamps in many states. While intended to aid the needy for food and basic needs, the NBC New York "I-Team" discovered that among more than 7 million ATM withdrawals using EBT cards, more than $95,000 was withdrawn in Atlantic City over the last two years, including from ATMs in casinos, and thousands were withdrawn from liquor stores and stripclubs in New York:

A ban on EBT card withdrawals from ATMs in casinos, liquor stores, and stripclubs was included in the Payroll Tax Cut Bill which passed in House and is waiting for President Obama's signature. NBC New York notes that the measure of the bill regarding EBT card withdrawals was opposed by some Democrats.

"What stops people from going to Whole Foods and using their EBT card there and then going to the casino?" said Rep. Gwen Moore during Congressional debate before the bill's passing.

NBC notes that one Queens stripclub called "Perfection" accounted for 15 ATM withdrawals using EBT cards totaling more than $1,000.

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