Attorney General Maura Healey said Monday that her office is “looking at” the new cashless payment policy for concessions at Fenway Park, with equity in mind.
When the Boston ballpark opened for its 110th year earlier this month, Red Sox officials announced it had “transitioned to a fully cashless environment for the 2022 season,” accepting concession payments only via credit card or smartphone.
The park has “Cash-2-Card” kiosks set up, where fans carrying cash can load their money onto a Mastercard debit card that will also be accepted at any business that takes Mastercard.
During Healey’s “Ask the AG” appearance on GBH Radio, a listener emailed to ask Healey if Fenway’s cashless policy violates the law.
“Well, it’s something that I read about recently happening over at Fenway, and I know it’s a problem because not everybody has moved to plastic,” Healey said. “Now Fenway’s got a system that they’re putting cash on cards, but the question is whether that really is equitable and fair to people, so it’s something that my office is currently looking at and engaging with them on, because we want to make sure that people have an ability to use cash at the park.”
Massachusetts law requires retailers to “accept legal tender when offered as payment by the buyer,” and states: “No retail establishment offering goods and services for sale shall discriminate against a cash buyer by requiring the use of credit by a buyer in order to purchase such goods and services.”
Last session, Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues and House Minority Leader Brad Jones filed bills to repeal the “cash discrimination” section of state law.
Both bills died when the Consumer Protection Committee included them in study orders.
Similar cashless concession systems were implemented last year at Gillette Stadium and TD Garden, making Fenway Park the last of the major Boston sports venues to make the shift.
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