Good Question: Can credit cards buy lotto tickets in NY?
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Here’s the answer to a good question about playing the lottery.
Most of us have been there at some point, you dream of becoming a multi-millionaire overnight and buying a lotto ticket. To get one, you have to use cash only, right? Wrong and here’s how we got to that answer.
Pam sent me this email. “I have a question for you that nobody seems to know the answer to. Why is it that Speedway is the only place that takes credit cards for lottery? Nobody else does. We are all wondering this. Speedway said that they make a lot of $ off of it too. So, it is great business for them!”
To be honest, at first, I thought it couldn’t be true. I’m also no lotto expert. I just assumed it was cash only for tickets because they wanted “real” money in the system immediately.
So our team went out to a couple of Speedways in the city. Sure enough, they take cards. Not just for Mega Millions or Powerball but for anything lottery.
Here’s the thing, if you want to use a card, you have to go to the cashier. The lotto machines remain cash only. Store employees tell us a lot of people do that but you may not be able to use cards everywhere.
The New York State Gaming Commission told me taking cards for lotto tickets is up to the retailer .”We do not mandate accepted forms of payment for lottery products. The NY lottery is reviewing cashless options for vending machines.”
I also went through an analysis from bankrate.com. It shows many states, nearly half the country, outright ban credit cards to buy lottery tickets.
The primary reason behind that position is problem gambling, to keep people from taking on debt when getting sucked into the promises of riches. That can snowball into serious money trouble.
If you have a gambling problem, you can get help by visiting NYProblemGamblingHelp.org or calling the number 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369). You can also text HOPENY (467369).
If you have a good question that you want us to answer, email Brennan Somers at GoodQuestion@whec.com.