|Global Cash Access, which transfers funds to the gaming industry, now allows states to block transfers of money from government assistance accounts to casinos.|
48 American states and over 1,000 casinos in the US, Canada, Caribbean and Europe have been blocked from making such transactions.
Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, is an electronic system that allows transfer of government benefits from a government account to a retailer account to pay for products received.
Nearly 85 percent of food stamp benefits are currently being issued by EBT. By using an EBT card, clients can also access cash benefits through automated teller machines.
'We applaud GCA for their efforts in putting together this remarkable program,' said Gregg Solomon, senior vice president of operations for Mandalay Resort Group. 'This enhancement is a positive reminder for people on government assistance that their spending should benefit their family's well being, first and foremost.'
'It's the right thing to do, and unless a state tells us not to block access to their EBT cards we will continue to do so as more states move their benefits electronically,' said Bob Fry, chief financial officer of GCA.
GCA's Responsible Gaming Partnership was initiated in 1999 in cooperation with the National Council on Problem Gambling to urge gaming patrons to 'think' and act responsibly in obtaining funds for gaming activities through GCA cash access devices.
Shortly after the creation of the Responsible Gaming Partnership, GCA added an unprecedented component, the Self Transaction Exclusion Program (STEP), which offers problem gamblers a method to block their own access to ATM, credit card and POS debit card cash advances at more than 1,000 casinos throughout the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Europe.