MIGA responds to state cash card concerns

11 February 2011

The member tribes of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) are taking necessary steps to ensure that the cash cards given to public assistance recipients in Minnesota to purchase food and necessities cannot be used for cash withdrawals at tribal gaming properties.

MIGA Executive Director John McCarthy said that state officials have never approached the tribes with any concerns about potential misuse of the state-issued EBT cards at tribal casinos.

“The tribes were unaware of this issue until it surfaced in the media over the last couple of days,” McCarthy said. “Now that we’ve been given a heads-up, MIGA tribes are working with their ATM vendors to identify a solution. We appreciate being made aware of the problem. We would not want to facilitate anyone’s misuse of public assistance.”

McCarthy said the solution likely involves making technical adjustments so that all casino cash machines are able to recognize and block the EBT cards.