At more than half of the casinos in California, including four in San Diego county, welfare recipients are able to withdrawal money from ATMs using state-issued debit cards, according to a report.
The Los Angeles Times crosschecked ATM addresses on the Department of Social Services website with addresses on the California Gambling Control Commission's website. So far, state officials have been unable to determine how much money has been withdrawn, the Times reported.
The report found that the cards worked at 32 of 58 tribal casinos and 47 of 90 state-licensed poker rooms.
In San Diego, state welfare recipients can withdraw up to $300 at Pala Casino Spa Resort, Sycuan Casino, Golden Acorn Casino and Santa Ysabel Resort and Casino, according to the state's website.
"We have instructed our vendors to prohibit these cards from being accepted at ATMs located in casinos and card rooms," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's spokesman Aaron McLear.
"It is reprehensible that anyone would use taxpayer money for anything other than its intended purpose," McLear said.
Published at 11:58 AM PDT on Jun 24, 2010