Today I learned an interesting paradox that arises when you buy lottery tickets with a credit card. Luckily, I was not the lottery ticket purchaser, I saw this on a local TV news program, where a gentleman was very upset to find out that this was actually the case (i.e. if you buy lottery tickets, or services from the OLG, the Credit Card company treats it as a cash advance).
I thought this was a great idea as a deterrent to buying lottery tickets (or using the new OLG Gambling on-line program), but the credit card companies logic is also very sound. Think of it, I buy lottery tickets with money that I borrowed, but will promise to pay it back? No, the Credit Card Company wants you to have the cash right away, and the only way to do that is via a cash advance.
To quote the OLG web site directly:
It’s important to note that your credit card issuer may apply a cash advance fee when using credit cards on PlayOLG. To be sure, check with your credit card issuer.
Please note: Not all credit card institutions accept online gambling transactions. If yours is rejected, please try a card issued by a major Canadian bank or INTERAC Online.
Evidently folks are not reading the suggestion to check with their Credit Card Companies as there are plenty of stories complaining about extra charges, and unnoticed cash advances.
Frankly, I am thinking good on the Credit Card Companies (for once), but that is very mean-spirited of me.
One more helpful thing from the OLG site on their “Where does all the money go” page:
2% of forecasted OLG slot revenue to problem gambling funding