News Story

Gambling With Welfare Money: Investigation Finds $87K From Bridge Cards Spent In Casino

State Senator: 'Obscene use of tax dollars'

A state investigation has found a casino in Michigan took in $87,000 off of Bridge Cards, the state’s debit card for food stamps, said State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

Sen. Jones said he was told by the Department of Human Services their investigation turned up a casino that accepted Bridge Cards.

The DHS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

"It's absolutely outrageous," Sen. Jones said. "These are tax dollars that are supposed to go to hungry families and the necessities of life — like clothing for their children. And instead, we have this obscene use of the tax dollars."

Sen. Jones said he will introduce a bill in the next two weeks that also will include prohibitions for using cards in gentleman's clubs and liquor stores, which he said the DHS told him were other places Bridge Cards were used. He said his bill will stop that from happening.

"Booze and strip clubs need to be off limits to welfare money," Sen. Jones said in a press release.

Sen. Jones sponsored Senate Bill 109 last session, which aims to stop Bridge Cards from being used in casinos; the bill passed in 2012. The information in this article is the result of an investigation of the amount of money the cards spent before the law took effect.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.