Washington Senate Passes CU Lottery Bill

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington state Senate passed a bill yesterday that will allow credit unions to offer prize-linked savings accounts – a fitting statement for “America Saves Week.”

The sponsor of the bill cited the $100,000 savings lottery held by Michigan credit unions that attracted more than $8 million in new savings, the main goal of the growing number of savings contests and lotteries.

The prize-linked accounts are designed so people enter the prize drawing every time they deposit money into their savings account. Credit unions say they will create a cap, however, to limit the number of times someone can enter the drawing so the contest doesn’t discriminate in favor of wealthy people.

Currently, the prize-linked account model is illegal under Washington state law, because it is considered gambling. The senate bill and a matching bill in the House would carve a provision into the law to allow credit unions to create the prize-linked accounts.

The House has yet to vote on the bill.

Washington is one of three states considering a savings lottery bill this year.


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