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Initiative To Allow Lotto Ticket Purchases At Gas Pumps Raises Gambling Concerns

SHERMAN OAKS ( — While it is now possible to purchase lottery tickets directly from gas pumps at participating stations, not everyone is excited about the prospect of this "pay-and-play" while filling up.

The lottery's long-standing "cash only" rule, set up to keep people from overspending, has disappeared from 87 California gas stations so far, many of them in the Los Angeles area.

Many groups say they are concerned over what others are calling an innovation, arguing that it is another way to exploit the poor.

"This is going to increase visibility of the lottery, it probably will increase the volume of play," UCLA Gambling Studies program's Timothy Fong said. "What we don't know, is will it create more gambling problems."

The California Lottery says it is simply a convenience, and a way to reach the 75-percent of people who don't go inside to pay at the gas station. One lotto representative says there is a $50 limit for people to play per week.

After sliding your card, you have the option to play Powerball, Mega Millions or SuperLotto. There is a $1 convenience fee to play, and you are required to insert your driver's license to verify your age.

Your numbers are then printed on your receipt.


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