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New Mexico lottery players now able to buy tickets at gas pumps

Aug 4, 2016, 10:42 am

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New Mexico Lottery

A state lawmaker is concerned over a new program that allows people to purchase lottery tickets at gasoline pumps in New Mexico.

The new program started a couple weeks ago despite a state statute requiring all lottery tickets be purchased only with cash or check and not with credit cards.

"It prints it out right there — nice. I guess it'll save me a lot of time," a lottery player said Tuesday.

Another Las Cruces resident is concerned: "They need to have some sort of legislation to stop people from getting into financial problems. This is a form of gambling."

The gas pump requires players to verify their year of birth — and pump gas — before receiving their tickets.

"If someone takes their parent's debit card and goes and purchases gas, can they buy lottery tickets?" State Rep. Bill McCamley, (D) District 16, said. "We think the answer to that is — yes."

A letter signed by 13 legislators states the New Mexico Lottery proceeded with the project without legislative approval. There is nothing state legislators can do about the program until the next legislative session.

New Mexicans will keep on playing while lawmakers sort it out. "I think that's pretty simple, pretty easy," a lottery player said.

The New Mexico Lottery Commission has not responded to questions regarding the use of debit cards to buy lottery tickets at gas pumps.

A spokesman, however, told KRQE in Albuquerque "using a debit card is simply an electronic check and retailers have used debit cards in the past, according to our sales director."

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