Each year, Canadians buy millions of dollars in lottery tickets, but how they pay for those tickets could end up costing them much more.

Arnold wrote Steele on Your Side after he was charged a $3.50 service charge on his CIBC MasterCard for purchasing $7.00 worth of lottery tickets. The credit card statement indicated the service charge was for a cash advance. Arnold wants to know if all gambling purchases are considered cash advances.

CIBC told CTV that the charge on Arnold’s card stems from how the merchant is set up to take credit card purchases and has nothing to do with the type of credit card you use. In this case, the lottery ticket kiosk was classified as a "quasi-cash merchant". That means credit card purchases from these merchants are processed as cash advances.

As a goodwill gesture, CIBC refunded the service charge for Arnold because he was unaware of the merchant's set-up. But it's something consumers may want to ask about before buying lotto tickets with credit cards at lottery kiosks.