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Welfare recipients withdrew $1.8 million from casino ATMs

June 24, 2010 |  4:13 pm
California welfare recipients withdrew more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors between October 2009 and May 2010, state officials said Thursday.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also issued an executive order Thursday requiring welfare recipients to sign a pledge that they will use their cash benefits only to “meet the basic subsistence needs” of their families. It gave the state Department of Social Services seven days to produce a plan to reduce other types of “waste, fraud and abuse” in the welfare program.

The moves come in response to a Los Angeles Times story describing how Department of Social Services officials failed to notice that the debit cards they issue to welfare recipients could be used at more than half of the tribal casinos and state-licensed poker rooms in California.

--Jack Dolan in Sacramento