Washington State Wants to Allow Prized-Based Savings Sweepstakes (Misc News: January 25, 2011)
Legislators in Washington state are being asked to allow prized-based savings contests similar to Save to Win in Michigan.
CU Journal reported Tuesday that Michigan savers stashed away $8.5 million in additional savings through the first year of the contest. Three states passed legislation last year that will allow credit union-sponsored savings lotteries and as many as six others are working on it this year, said Stacy Augustine, senior vice president/general counsel for Washington Credit Union League.
“We’re trying to create an outlet of savings when we have an abysmally low savings rate,” Augustine said.
The Washington bill would amend the state’s Gambling Act so that depositing funds into an account does not qualify as gambling, so is not covered under the Act. It would lay out other restrictions. “We don’t want the gambling casinos to get into the savings business,” WCUL President John Annaloro said.
The legislation has the support of the state Gambling Commission, the Lottery Commission and the credit union regulator. It also is supported by the Washington Asset Building Coalition, a broad-based group dedicated to building assets for low-income individuals.
To ease passage, the bill would allow banks to also offer savings-based contests.