Ohio Lotto to accept credit cards: is this good?

Don't Waste Your Money

At lottery outlets across the State of Ohio, like Murray Brothers Old Time Store in Norwood, scratch-off players are noticing something different this week: credit card readers popping up on the lotto ticket machines.

As of Nov. 1, 2017, Ohio becomes the first state in the nation to allow credit cards for lottery ticket purchases.

The state lottery is modifying 6,000 machines to accept plastic and even Apple Pay.

Why you'll be able to say "Charge it!"

Lotto players we spoke with outside Murray Brothers at first thought it sounded like a convenient idea, but then had second thoughts, wondering if people might end up spending too much money on scratch off tickets.

Toni Beck predicts problem gamblers will quickly run up debt. "If you are spending debt to buy lottery tickets that's probably not the best idea," she said.

The Ohio lottery says its is "responding to changing trends, with "more people not carrying any cash these days."

Only Ohio scratch-off tickets will be eligible for credit card purchases. Mega Millions, for instance, will still require cash.

Concerns about overspending

Until now, if you had $5 in your wallet, you would walk into a corner store, grab a couple of scratch off tickets, and take home $3 in change.  After all, you always want to have enough to buy a cup or coffee or snack.    

But now, if you have a credit card, who knows how many tickets you might buy.

To address concerns about gambling addiction, the state will limit spending to $100 per day per credit card (though if you carry 2 cards, you will be able to purchase $200 in tickets).

But Cornelia Schipp says problem gamblers may have a tough time stopping.

"I'm not for it. If you cant pay for it now, I'm not sure you should do it," she said. "I think it will be out of control."

We'll know in a few weeks if scratch off spending goes through the roof, or if players will resist the urge to play too much.  And that way you don't waste your money.

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