Strip club ATMs banned from TANF use in California

A sign in red light bulbs indicating the presence of an ATM machine.

Roxanne, you don't have turn on the red ATM light or I'll be back… (Photo: Sloshspot)

California is in the middle of a titanic budget crisis, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken it upon himself to pummel any source of wasted funds into submission – including strip club ATMs. The Los Angeles Times reports that more than $12,000 designated for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which is intended for welfare purposes, was withdrawn at various strip clubs across the state from 2007 to 2009. Among the strip clubs noted by name in this ongoing investigation are Sam’s Hofbrau, Seventh Veil and Star Strip, according to the California Department of Social Services.

Strip club welfare ATMs: When you need adult entertainment

The prospect of strip club ATMs being used in a less-than-responsible way by patrons with families to feed and clothe has prompted Schwarzenegger to terminate strip club locations from the list of approved locations where welfare recipients can withdraw emergency money. According to the Times, more than half of casinos and state-licensed poker rooms in California permit welfare recipients to access their quick TANF payday. Department of Social Services spokeswoman Lizelda Lopez said that “common sense” will be used to re-evaluate where emergency welfare cash advance funds should or should not be withdrawn.

Strip club managers ‘shocked,’ were unaware of ATM usage

Strip club managers who were willing to submit to interviews claim that they had no way of knowing that the strip club ATMs were welfare approved. The third-party machines were provided via a California state contract with the Quest ATM network, although as Star Strip manager Joey Mancini put it, no Quest sticker indicating welfare emergency money status was affixed to his strip club’s ATM. Nevertheless, Mancini insists that California officials “must be wrong” about the $1,265 in TANF emergency cash advance funds taken from his machine.

Smile when you say that, Mr. Mancini. Gov. Schwarzenegger is watching.


Los Angeles Times

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