AUSTIN — Texas banks and credit unions want make a game out of saving money — every time you do, you’ll have the chance to win more.
If voters approve Proposition 7 in November, banks and credit unions can set up “prize-linked savings accounts” for customers. The basic idea is simple: The more money you save, the more chances you have to win a raffle prize. And unlike buying lottery tickets, you’re saving the money you put toward winning.
The federal government started allowing such incentives with the American Savings Promotion Act in 2015, and the state Legislature passed a bill that year allowing Texas banks and credit unions to offer raffles. But a constitutional amendment is needed to exclude the practice from the state’s definition of gambling, so Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, authored HJR 37 this year to put Proposition 7 on the ballot.
“I was looking to find innovative policy ideas to encourage saving and promote financial security in low-income areas, like the ones I represent,” Johnson said.
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