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MasterCard illegally adds fees to Lottery players

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: MasterCard illegally adds fees to Lottery players

All you need is a dollar and a dream to play the Lottery, except if you're paying with MasterCard — then it's an extra 10 bucks.

Plus interest.

The credit card company has quietly been treating subscription purchases of Lotto or Mega Millions tickets as cash advances — making them subject to an extra fee.

MasterCard is also charging higher cash advance level interest on the Lottery ticket purchases, as much as 24.9% percent in some cases.

That, too, is a no-no, Lottery officials said.

"They're breaking state law," said Jennifer Givner of the New York State Lottery. "It is illegal to charge additional fees beyond the price of a lottery ticket."

Givner said Lottery officials have alerted MasterCard, via an intermediary, and are "examining ways to fix this."

She said about 22,000 customers pay their Lotto subscriptions with credit cards.

"A number of our customers have already started using other forms of payment for their subscriptions," she said.

MasterCard passed the blame for the extra bucks to the banks that issued the cards.

"We don't have rules that prohibit issuers from charging a cash advance fee," a spokesman said. "Fees charged to cardholders are up to the individual issuer."

Several disgruntled MasterCard customers told the Daily News the firm's move was hardly priceless.

"They're collecting money off of people when they shouldn't be," said Christina Wilkinson, 37, of Ridgewood, Queens, who bought two yearlong subscriptions using her Chase MasterCard last month.

Wilkinson said there were two $10 service charge fees - and daily finance charges — that weren't there in 2009 when she made a similar purchase with her credit card.

When she called Chase MasterCard, they blamed the Lottery for the extra charge, Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson was eventually able to convince Chase to drop the $20 in service fees — but still had to pay the finance charges.

Tim Tango wasn't so lucky. He was socked with a $10 advance cash fee and interest charges for using his Chase MasterCard for a July 15 purchase of a yearlong Lotto subscription.

"They refused to help me," said Tango, 55, of Seatuket, L.I. "So I said, 'Cancel the card.' "

Tango, a Chase customer for 30 years, wound up having to pay off the complete balance with the added Lotto charges.

Yet another customer, who asked not be identified, provided a credit card statement which showed that Capital One MasterCard charged him the $10 fee for a $50 Lotto subscription — and an immediate $1.18 in interest on the combined amount.

MasterCard began treating Lottery ticket purchases as cash advances around June 1, when a new federal law aimed at cracking down on Internet gambling went into effect.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) has called for an investigation. "It seems to be a misinterpretation of federal law," Addabbo said.

Thanks to truesee for the tip.

Daily News

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11 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by sully16.
Page 1 of 1
rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
Member #73904
April 28, 2009
14903 Posts
Posted: September 17, 2010, 9:08 pm - IP Logged

MasterCard is guilty of outright gouging and I hope they get clobbered for it legally.

They should pay back double to everybody they screwed and then massive punitive damages on top of it just to get the message out to all the would-be crooks out there.







"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke



    Nino224's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
    United States
    Member #62793
    July 9, 2008
    673 Posts
    Posted: September 18, 2010, 1:43 am - IP Logged

    Cancel your card. That's how you hurt 'em!

    "...a chance to push everything aside, the circumstances that've controlled our lives, and do it our way now. Good, bad or otherwise. You'll maybe get lost in it, tied up in it a little bit, but if you work your way through that the real you shows up, I think. Maybe what's at your core deep down, maybe that comes out. Maybe that's what it's about." Mike Pace 

      HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
      United States
      Member #94283
      July 17, 2010
      2284 Posts
      Posted: September 18, 2010, 10:54 am - IP Logged

      Cancel your card. That's how you hurt 'em!

      Yeah but you hurt yourself too, especially if you've had it 30 years like the one guy.  Your credit score usually plummets when you lose an old credit line unless you have a bunch of other old lines to make up for it.

      It would be better to pay it off immediately and then don't use it.  That way you keep the benefit of an old credit line, they lose money from stores on usage fees and they lose money on interest you've been paying.  It's a win/ lose/ lose situation.  Jester  FWIW I know some cards require usage occasionally or they'll cancel the card.  So you'd have to use it to buy a small item every 10 or 12 months and pay the bill before interest accrues.

        Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
        Atlantic Mine, Michigan
        United States
        Member #416
        June 23, 2002
        1614 Posts
        Posted: September 18, 2010, 11:14 am - IP Logged

        Mastercard would not be at fault here.  Mastercard isn't a bank that "loans" the money on a credit card, they are a payment processing company.  It would be up the the bank that handles the card to charge fees or not.  In now way is this Mastercard's fault, it would be Capital One, Bank of America, Chase, or whatever bank the credit card is from.  I think the story is kind of misleading.


          Monkey Butt, USA
          United States
          Member #54569
          August 23, 2007
          1124 Posts
          Posted: September 19, 2010, 6:10 pm - IP Logged

          MasterCard is guilty of outright gouging and I hope they get clobbered for it legally.

          They should pay back double to everybody they screwed and then massive punitive damages on top of it just to get the message out to all the would-be crooks out there.

          I agree with you 100%. The greedy bas-tards should be fee gouged themselves. Sound like a lot of buck passing on behalf of the government and banks. Yet they pay no hefty fees when they take their greedy butts on gambling excursions to Monte Carlo or Vegas themselves.

          That's why I always pay cash for my lottery purchases and if i order anything I pay with a money order and the only credit card I use is a pre-paid credit card. Keeps me on my monetary budget and I don't have a monthly bill every month. No money on the card, no charging for me.

          Viva la prepaid charge cards. I recommend them to anyone.

            Sacramento, CA
            United States
            Member #96354
            August 28, 2010
            159 Posts
            Posted: September 19, 2010, 11:29 pm - IP Logged

            Our state lottery won't allow credit card purchases of lottery tickets. It's just as well. Playing games of chance with money you don't have yet is a sure way to find yourself living on the street.

              savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
              adelaide sa
              Member #37136
              April 11, 2006
              3300 Posts
              Posted: September 21, 2010, 2:30 pm - IP Logged

              YEAH most gambling isnt allowed on credit.  one of my staes lotto orgs had a buy via credit card on their website, and i took advantage of that for about 2 years, before someone have a prob wei noticed and it all ended.


              but i dont have a prob with them charging cash advance fees, it is meant to be a cash only game. so the charges should be same lvl as cash

              2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

              keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                United States
                Member #72448
                March 18, 2009
                1227 Posts
                Posted: September 21, 2010, 7:26 pm - IP Logged

                I thought of becomming a subscriber a few times.  Thought I'd use my debit card (cash), I wouldn't need to spend money on gas driving to stores that way (plus spending extra money on non-lottery related store purchases).

                However, has anybody won a net multi-million $ JACKPOT yet who was a subscription ticket holder?  If yes, please share the details.

                Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!


                  Hermanus104's avatar - 5027340606 1e360c8038_s.jpg
                  Northern Virginia
                  United States
                  Member #83350
                  December 5, 2009
                  1313 Posts
                  Posted: September 21, 2010, 8:19 pm - IP Logged

                  Our state lottery won't allow credit card purchases of lottery tickets. It's just as well. Playing games of chance with money you don't have yet is a sure way to find yourself living on the street.

                  In Virginia, I've bought lottery tickets with a debit card - I couldn't buy them with a credit card.

                  In South Carolina, I could not figure out where I put my cash, and you had to pay for lotto tickets in cash. 

                  I don't know how Georgia works, because I use cash for almost everything.

                  Today's winning 3-ball is going to be a number between 000 and 999.

                  In a lot of states, lotteries benefit education. That makes the REAL winners the only people who can't play!


                    United States
                    Member #10720
                    January 23, 2005
                    933 Posts
                    Posted: September 25, 2010, 3:27 pm - IP Logged

                    usually, they don't accept credit card for Lottery here.

                      sully16's avatar - sharan
                      United States
                      Member #81740
                      October 28, 2009
                      40299 Posts
                      Posted: September 26, 2010, 6:27 pm - IP Logged

                      not allowed to use credit cards here in mich.

                      Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

                      For a lead role in a cage?


                                                                  From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"