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Pennsylvania Lottery testing payment with credit, debit cards

Pennsylvania LotteryPennsylvania Lottery: Pennsylvania Lottery testing payment with credit, debit cards

People can now use debit and credit cards to purchase Pennsylvania lottery tickets at nine Smoker's Express stores in the Harrisburg area as part of a new payment trial.

The Pennsylvania Lottery is testing out the financial viability of allowing people to use credit and debit cards to purchase draw and instant lottery tickets. The test, which started this week, is the result of an ever-growing population of Pennsylvanians that don't carry cash and can't play the Lottery.

"We've been hearing from Lottery players for years asking for an electronic payment option," said Pa. Lottery spokesman Gary Miller. "Consumers, increasingly, are using electronic payment for all types of retail purchases."

In one study, Miller said, it was found that 60 percent of people carried less than $20 in cash and 18 percent carried no cash at all.

"That leaves very few consumers walking around with cash to play the Lottery," he said.

While retailers have traditionally only accepted cash for ticket payments, Miller said it is up to each individual retailer to determine what forms of payment they will accept in Pennsylvania.

A number of stores — not just the nine Smoker's Express shops — already accept credit and debit cards for lottery tickets.

One of the benefits of only allowing customers to purchase lottery tickets with cash, is that people are not able to buy tickets on credit with money they don't have. The cash requirement has served as a safeguard.

Miller said he hopes that people will continue to play responsibly with the additional payment option.

"We want people to play responsibly. By that we mean use only their discretionary income," Miller said.

"Part of the test is to see how consumers are playing. It's not really our place to tell people what constitutes responsible play because it may mean something different to every player. But every player has thought about what it means to them."

Miller said the timeline for the test is open ended. At some point, Lottery officials will look at the results of the test and determine the future of credit and debit card payments for the Pa. Lottery.

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30 comments. Last comment 10 months ago by msharkey2001.
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Deo-nonfortuna's avatar - hqdefault
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Posted: February 11, 2016, 3:59 pm - IP Logged

PA is the only state which has pick 2 lotto, and taking people's cash is not enough. WTG PA Lotto.

What a greed monger!

    TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
    Brooklyn, NY
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    Posted: February 11, 2016, 4:05 pm - IP Logged

    I would imagine that the retailers aren't too happy giving up 2-3% of their selling commission to credit card processing fees.

    The Meatman

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      LiveInGreenBay's avatar - driver
      Green Bay
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      Posted: February 11, 2016, 4:30 pm - IP Logged

      Credit cards to buy lottery tickets?  Are they nuts!

      Never give up.  Banana

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        Posted: February 11, 2016, 4:32 pm - IP Logged

        I would imagine that the retailers aren't too happy giving up 2-3% of their selling commission to credit card processing fees.

        It cost a lot of money handling cash also, and dont forget that less cash means lower risk of gettiing robbed. I think their revenue will rise.

        Return of Investment, ROI 2014 20% | ROI 2015 20% | ROI 2016 14,45%

          HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
          Idaho
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          Posted: February 11, 2016, 4:35 pm - IP Logged

          A number of stores — not just the nine Smoker's Express shops — already accept credit and debit cards for lottery tickets.

          I'm not understanding what the big deal is if other retailers already do this? 

          In Idaho plenty of retailers have been accepting credit cards for as long as I can remember.  Each retailer has the choice, and I guess it's worth it to pay the fees because they continue to accept them.  My CC companies often offer 5% cash back at gas stations or grocery stores, so I always make the effort to buy most of mine at a place I can get the cash back incentive for that quarter.

            DEE88's avatar - animal doggy2.jpg
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            Posted: February 11, 2016, 5:19 pm - IP Logged

                 The next big story will be about all the people that are in debt cause of the  C.Cards and Debit cards...and the people will be saying   "But the Lottery made me do it".....LOL

                   2079    1085   8841    7227   3305   4651

              DEE88's avatar - animal doggy2.jpg
              PA
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              Posted: February 11, 2016, 5:20 pm - IP Logged

              PA is the only state which has pick 2 lotto, and taking people's cash is not enough. WTG PA Lotto.

              What a greed monger!

                 They need to get rid of that PK 2 game...Puke

                     2079    1085   8841    7227   3305   4651

                Candlelight777's avatar - nw saucyelf.jpg
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                Posted: February 11, 2016, 5:44 pm - IP Logged

                I think allowing credit cards is a bad plan but accepting debit is another story and actually makes sense. Most places here in Indiana only accept cash, but i always go by my local tobacco store because i can buy my cigs and my lottery on my debit card in one easy transaction. It's the main reason i don't buy my lottery tickets from other places..i don't want to have to go by the ATM and get cash plus they make you break it up into two separate transactions if you are buying gas for example. I vote yes on debit cards...no on credit cards..seriously who buys their lottery with their credit card!!!

                "Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip, conflict calms down.

                Like adding charcoal to embers or wood to fire, quarrelsome people kindle strife."

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                  Raven62's avatar - binary
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                  Posted: February 11, 2016, 5:55 pm - IP Logged

                  It's being done in preparation for a Cashless America. Once it is implemented in other Countries can America be far behind? http://www.cnbc.com/2015/05/15/this-country-is-trying-to-go-cash-free.html

                  A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                    Chris$'s avatar - Sphere animated2.gif
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                    Posted: February 11, 2016, 7:13 pm - IP Logged

                    this will be major trouble for those who can't control their spending.

                    lots don't care about their credit, or what they owe so this may be 

                    something that comes back on the pa lotto for pushing this. 

                    what they gain may not be what they hoped for if people don't pay

                    up. problem gamblers may have a field day for awhile

                    ♠♣♥♦= $$$$

                      Bondi Junction
                      Australia
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                      Posted: February 11, 2016, 7:39 pm - IP Logged

                      People can now use debit and credit cards to purchase Pennsylvania lottery tickets at nine Smoker's Express stores in the Harrisburg area as part of a new payment trial.

                      The Pennsylvania Lottery is testing out the financial viability of allowing people to use credit and debit cards to purchase draw and instant lottery tickets. The test, which started this week, is the result of an ever-growing population of Pennsylvanians that don't carry cash and can't play the Lottery.

                      "We've been hearing from Lottery players for years asking for an electronic payment option," said Pa. Lottery spokesman Gary Miller. "Consumers, increasingly, are using electronic payment for all types of retail purchases."

                      In one study, Miller said, it was found that 60 percent of people carried less than $20 in cash and 18 percent carried no cash at all.

                      "That leaves very few consumers walking around with cash to play the Lottery," he said.

                      While retailers have traditionally only accepted cash for ticket payments, Miller said it is up to each individual retailer to determine what forms of payment they will accept in Pennsylvania.

                      A number of stores — not just the nine Smoker's Express shops — already accept credit and debit cards for lottery tickets.

                      One of the benefits of only allowing customers to purchase lottery tickets with cash, is that people are not able to buy tickets on credit with money they don't have. The cash requirement has served as a safeguard.

                      Miller said he hopes that people will continue to play responsibly with the additional payment option.

                      "We want people to play responsibly. By that we mean use only their discretionary income," Miller said.

                      "Part of the test is to see how consumers are playing. It's not really our place to tell people what constitutes responsible play because it may mean something different to every player. But every player has thought about what it means to them."

                      Miller said the timeline for the test is open ended. At some point, Lottery officials will look at the results of the test and determine the future of credit and debit card payments for the Pa. Lottery.

                      I wouldn't use credit cards, you may find that credit card issuers will charge cash advance fees, plus interest from time of transaction. 

                      With debit cards, as the payment comes directly out of your account, there won't be any fees or interest.

                      We all get a lot out of lotteries!

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                        bel air maryland
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                        Posted: February 11, 2016, 8:52 pm - IP Logged

                        So if you buy lottery tickets with a credit card not only do you lose your money, but now you have to pay 15-20% interest on the money you lost. Who does this really benefit besides the credit card companies?

                        "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

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                          Wyomissing, PA
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                          Posted: February 11, 2016, 9:32 pm - IP Logged

                          "What the big deal" is the PA Lottery is testing publicly touting the ability to buy lottery tickets with debit and credit cards. The ability has long been there, but until now, the PA Lottery has kept it on the down-low.

                          Personally, many years ago, on multiple occasions, I bought lottery tickets in PA using an Amex charge card with no issues. While credit card fees cut into merchant margins, time is also a factor for high volume quick stop places. Easier and faster to ring up lottery with gas on a card verses splitting into separate transactions with different tenders.

                          Also, handling cash comes with a cost too, which can be more than many laypeople would expect. Banks, armor car services, etc charge fees. Plus, the security aspect of cash, which is a common problem lottery players run into when cashing in tickets. Many shops struggle to cash winners over $100.

                          On a related note, I've noticed the self-service terminals appear to have a blank space on the front where a card reader could go. Maybe PA Lottery is thinking along the same lines I am. Can only hope so, because cashing in winning tickets is increasingly become troublesome as retailers often have little cash available. Even supermarkets near me often struggle to payout more than a hundred or two unless someone has recently purchased a money order and the clerk hasn't drop the cash into the safe yet.

                          It would be great if the PA Lottery would come out with a reloadable debit card for both play and collecting winnings. No more fussing with cash, and cashing out up to $600 (in PA; some states have lower claim limits) would be a breeze to a debit card. No more worrying about whether the retailer has enough cash.

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                            Happy California
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                            August 2, 2014
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                            Posted: February 11, 2016, 11:22 pm - IP Logged

                            "What the big deal" is the PA Lottery is testing publicly touting the ability to buy lottery tickets with debit and credit cards. The ability has long been there, but until now, the PA Lottery has kept it on the down-low.

                            Personally, many years ago, on multiple occasions, I bought lottery tickets in PA using an Amex charge card with no issues. While credit card fees cut into merchant margins, time is also a factor for high volume quick stop places. Easier and faster to ring up lottery with gas on a card verses splitting into separate transactions with different tenders.

                            Also, handling cash comes with a cost too, which can be more than many laypeople would expect. Banks, armor car services, etc charge fees. Plus, the security aspect of cash, which is a common problem lottery players run into when cashing in tickets. Many shops struggle to cash winners over $100.

                            On a related note, I've noticed the self-service terminals appear to have a blank space on the front where a card reader could go. Maybe PA Lottery is thinking along the same lines I am. Can only hope so, because cashing in winning tickets is increasingly become troublesome as retailers often have little cash available. Even supermarkets near me often struggle to payout more than a hundred or two unless someone has recently purchased a money order and the clerk hasn't drop the cash into the safe yet.

                            It would be great if the PA Lottery would come out with a reloadable debit card for both play and collecting winnings. No more fussing with cash, and cashing out up to $600 (in PA; some states have lower claim limits) would be a breeze to a debit card. No more worrying about whether the retailer has enough cash.

                             A reloadable debit card for both play and collecting winnings. This could have some merit to it. 

                            Drum

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