New Mexico Bill Would Allow Credit Card Payments for Lottery Tickets

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

The controversial issue of acceptance of credit cards has recent emerged in New Mexico:

In an effort to boost ticket sales for New Mexico’s struggling lottery, DemocraticState Senator John Arthur Smith has proposed a bill to allow players to purchase tickets with their credit cards. At this time, the only payments accepted for lottery tickets are cash and, in some venues, debit cards or prepaid cards.
The main concern, to no surprise, is the risk of consumers going in to debt to financetheir gambling, a particularly difficult issue for gambling addicts. As it turns out, there are a patchwork of state policies around this issue, with some states enabling the use of credit cards and some not. Issuers too may treat such purchases as cash advances,so cardholders would need to be familiar with specific terms of their cardholder agreements.

It is unknown whether or not simply enabling credit card purchases would be sufficientto move the needle on lottery sales. Separately, it appears that the economics of the practice has not been well thought out:

Another issue to consider is the fees that lottery ticket sellers will have to payfor credit card processing. Will they have to boost their ticket prices to accommodate this new payment option, or will the lottery fund absorb the fees?


Overview by Ken Paterson, VP Research Operations for Mercator Advisory Group

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