New state regulations now ban the spending of welfare money on cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets.
Other restrictions include prohibiting the use of a welfare electronic benefit card at liquor stores, gambling sites and strip clubs, as required under federal law.
For a first offense, violators will stop receiving welfare benefits for a year, two years for a second offense and permanently for a third offense.
The state is relying on businesses and the public to report suspected violations.
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