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MasterCard charging extra Lotto fees

UPI News Service, 09/17/2010 

New York State Lottery officials said MasterCard has been illegally charging an extra $10 to purchase Lotto or Mega Millions tickets.

Officials said the credit card company has been treating subscription purchases as cash advances, making them subject to an extra fee, and the company has also been charging higher cash advance level interest on the purchases, sometimes as much as 24.9 percent, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

"They're breaking state law," said Jennifer Givner of the New York State Lottery. "It is illegal to charge additional fees beyond the price of a lottery ticket."

Givner said Lottery officials have contacted MasterCard through an intermediary and they are "examining ways to fix this."

MasterCard said the individual banks issuing the cards are to blame for the extra fees.

"We don't have rules that prohibit issuers from charging a cash advance fee," a spokesman said. "Fees charged to cardholders are up to the individual issuer."

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