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New Mexico's gas pump lottery sales face legal hurdle

New Mexico LotteryNew Mexico Lottery: New Mexico's gas pump lottery sales face legal hurdle

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Play at the Pump pilot program is facing a legal test regarding how New Mexico customers purchase their Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets.

As Lottery Post reported last week, consumers can now purchase New Mexico lottery tickets at some gas pumps without having to enter a store. However, the New Mexico House and Ways Committee subsequently objected that state law allows for the purchase of lottery tickets by only cash and checks, not debit cards as used at the pump, and attempts to expand payment options were rejected by the state legislature.

The New Mexico Lottery Authority responded that lottery tickets "have always been legally permitted to accept debit cards for all lottery purposes," adding the law only prohibits the use of credit cards as lottery payment.

However, Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Jason Harper, (R-Rio Rancho), said this response is not persuasive.

"Just because lottery has been allowing debit card purchases inside the gas stations doesn't mean it's legal; it just means it hasn't been challenged yet.... I don't think the law as it is written right now says you can use debit cards at all," he said in an interview.

Harper added the Lottery Authority issued a "very legalistic response" that failed to address other concerns he has, such as if there are safeguards in place to prevent underage lottery purchases.

The Lottery Authority responded players must buy fuel at the pump and only one lottery purchase can be made per gas buy. Daily spending is limited to $20 per debit card, with a weekly limit of $75.

"There is no controversy here," lottery lawyer Justine Fox-Young said. "The lottery has a clear mandate to maximize the dollars available for students' lottery scholarships. This initiative is intended to do just that, and New Mexico law is very clear that individuals may purchase lottery tickets using debit cards, whether inside or at the pump."

CSNews, Lottery Post Staff

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4 comments. Last comment 4 months ago by ressuccess.
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LiveInGreenBay's avatar - driver
Green Bay
United States
Member #169391
October 15, 2015
1243 Posts
Posted: August 9, 2016, 10:54 am - IP Logged

Whats the difference between a check and a debit card?  Its the same thing so whats the problem?

Never give up.  Banana

    dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
    United States
    Member #74096
    May 2, 2009
    22872 Posts
    Posted: August 9, 2016, 11:32 am - IP Logged

    I hope it's a quick victory with the Lottery Authority in the losers corner. States tend to follow each other's
    'great ideas'.

    Think about how retail stores are set up. All in a way to maximize purchases...go in for a soda..hey! there's
    a bag of chips or a bag of jerky, I'll get that too!...or get your gas and the candy bars on the counter practically
    scream want one? Sure you do! They're right in front of your face. The milk in the supermarket? All the way
    in the back so you see the cookies and bagged goodies and freezer items..its all meant to make you buy more.

    A $75 limit per week for lottery purchases with a gas purchase is just too convenient, it's right there and why
    not? Better than going in, right? The Lottery Authority says they have a clear mandate to maximize..I guess it's
    good they are upfront about that.

      Northern California
      United States
      Member #19948
      August 9, 2005
      151 Posts
      Posted: August 10, 2016, 6:48 pm - IP Logged

      The NMLA has always been able to accept debit payments for lottery purchases = they are virtual cash.


      The Senator doesn't know what he is talking about - go figure.


      Now - if the Senator wants to argue that AGE of purchaser cannot be determined at the gas pump - he might have a point. Its the AGE issue that has held up pay at th pump so far

        ressuccess's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

        United States
        Member #93164
        June 23, 2010
        1322 Posts
        Posted: August 13, 2016, 6:40 pm - IP Logged

        Oh no. I wonder why they have to face a hurdle and have to pay cash and checks instead of debit cards?

        I hope that one $2 ticket is the only one that matches all 5 numbers plus the Powerball to win the largest Powerball Jackpot in United States history of over $2 Billion Dollars!