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Welfare recipients face ban on spending in casinos, strip clubs

Published February 28, 2013 7:07 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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 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