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Can you buy lottery tickets with a debit card? Probably yes.

Yes, You can buy lottery tickets with debit card, but mainly credit cards are used these days to purchase anything from human skeletons to celebrity encounters. But the winner of the next major lottery drawing will probably buy a paper ticket with cash in person.

Some states have laws prohibiting that you can not buy lottery tickets with debit card or any other means, even where you purchase them. Credit cards are also prohibited by state law or by the banks themselves as a means of purchasing them. Just 20 states allow credit card lottery transactions, and seven of those leave the decision up to retailers. (See chart below: ‘State laws for the purchase by credit card of lottery tickets.’)

Want to buy an online Powerball ticket? Odds are you can’t-anyway, legally. According to the official Powerball website, most states in the Powerball Network, Washington, D.C., and the US Virgin Islands prohibit the sale of Powerball tickets online on official government lottery sites, those who authorize such purchases also need buyers to be within same-state boundaries. If your state is not in the Powerball network, to make a legal ticket purchase, you will have to fly to a participating state.

State laws set the rules for whether you can buy lottery tickets with debit card which, retailers have sway

Why can’t you buy lottery tickets with debit card? since gambling is regulated by state law, your state law decides whether you can buy plastic lottery tickets with debit card or any other means of payment. You can’t purchase tickets with a credit card in Connecticut, for example. However, unless the particular store forbids debit use, you can use a gift card or debit card. Lottery tickets may only be purchased with cash in a handful of states, including Tennessee and South Carolina.

Other states, including Pennsylvania and Kansas, are leaving it to individual retailers to determine which payment forms to accept. They will decide whether to allow you to buy lottery tickets with debit card or not.

Use caution with online reseller sites which tells you that you can buy lottery tickets with debit card

Some companies are seizing the opportunity to reach lottery players who want to use plastic in their area, but may not have that option. When attempting to purchase lottery tickets online, use them with caution.

Third-party lottery sales websites like, located in Nicosia, Cyprus, allow customers to buy online lottery tickets using credit cards as one of the payment options or use debit card to buy lottery tickets. They will send someone on your behalf to buy the ticket and then keep them. You pay a service premium, and you’ve got to believe that they’re going to pay off. This notice was posted on the Powerball website: “There are no website rules that claim to sell tickets to buy and hold tickets for you or sell ‘services’ to you, most lotteries assume that if they paid for such tickets bought (if actually purchased) by an unlicensed reseller, they would breach state and federal laws.

Fears of gambling addiction

The key argument for banning credit card use is that unmanageable debt could be accrued by compulsive gamblers. Credit counselors warn that for individuals with low financial self-control, this is mainly a problem.

If you don’t have enough money to buy a lottery ticket, don’t pay by credit card, says Bruce McClary, spokesman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. ‘Irresponsible use of credit may give rise to unmanageable debt and the consequent serious consequences. Overspending is a major problem that requires immediate attention, whether due to gambling or other variables.

Stop taking cash with your credit card out of an ATM, too. “If a machine can’t take credit cards, going to an ATM and getting a cash advance with their credit card could be their next instinct,”said McClary. You are potentially winding up costing yourself more by doing so. Because of the high APRs usually associated with credit card cash advance purchases. It’s a very risky step to consider paying for a lottery ticket by getting a cash advance.

Purchase rules to buy lottery tickets with debit card vary by state

Can you buy lottery tickets with debit card in California, Arizona, florida, virginia and many more? However, in the United States, only state lottery associations and approved dealers can legally sell lottery tickets, and no one can sell lottery tickets across a state line so, if you are in Alabama attempting to buy a lottery tickets with debit card or through other way in another state online, think again.

Certain states have started selling their own online lottery ticket sales to state residents for other lottery games. In 2012, Illinois became the first state to allow the purchase of individual lottery tickets online. Many other states have followed suit since then, including Minnesota, Georgia and Kentucky. For on-the-go gamblers, the Kentucky Lottery now provides a smartphone app.

Cards may ban sales, too

However, the decision whether to accept credit cards actually rests with retailers of lottery tickets and even credit card issuers. Ultimately, most of the states approving credit card payment for lottery tickets leave it up to retailers to decide. In states where the government and merchants allow credit card transactions, the issuing bank may have rules of its own.

According to a spokeswoman, American Express forbids the use of its cards for gambling services. Visa and Mastercard declined to comment on their lottery ticket purchasing policies. But recommend that customers ask the issuing bank of their credit card for more precise lottery purchase details. “If approved by the state and the merchant, it is also up to the bank to decide if they can use their card,” said Steve Kenneally, vice president of the Center for Payments and Cyber Security of the American Bankers Association. To see if your bank-issued credit card could do this, read your particular cardholder agreement. Banks have the option of blocking a lottery transaction that could be legal

Kenneally said, “If there is a policy under which the card cannot be used for betting, all transactions recorded in this way will be blocked, blocking it is perfectly legitimate, this action is called ‘overblocking.”

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