Welfare recipients face ban on spending in casinos, strip clubs

The salt lake tribune

Published: February 28, 2013 07:07PM
Updated: March 3, 2013 11:18PM

Utah welfare recipients soon may be legally barred from using electronic benefit cards at ATMs in casinos, liquor stores and strip clubs.

The House voted 72-0 on Thursday to pass HB209 to outlaw that. It now goes to the Senate.

“We’re doing this to comply with federal law,” explained Rep. Derek Brown, R-Cottonwood Heights, sponsor of the bill.

He said the state could lose its federal Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) block grant if it does not adopt such restrictions — which the federal government has called for because of abuses in other states.

Brown noted that Utah has no casinos. Most TANF recipients are also single mothers, who are not likely to spend their money at strip clubs or liquor stores.

Lee Davidson