Home » Pennsylvania Lawmakers Considering Credit Card Ban For Online Gaming

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Considering Credit Card Ban For Online Gaming

Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Cristian Pache reacts after striking out

Sep 28, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Cristian Pache (19) reacts in front of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jason Delay (55) after striking out to end the game at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

  • A Pennsylvania bill seeks to prohibit the use of credit cards to fund online gaming
  • The prohibition would deny credit card usage for sports betting, daily fantasy sports, iGaming, and iLottery in the state
  • Pennsylvania would join Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Vermont in prohibiting the use of credits cards

Much like the 76ers in the playoffs, the use of credit cards to fund online gaming accounts in Pennsylvania may soon be on their way out.

A new bill was introduced in the Keystone State to prohibit Pennsylvania gamblers from funding online gaming services in the commonwealth through credit cards.

Sen. Wayne D. Fontana’s (D-42) bill, SB 1159, has most recently been remanded to the Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee. If eventually approved, the commonwealth would join a handful of other states to prohibit the use of credits cards to fund online gaming services.

Addressing Problem Gaming in Pennsylvania

Fontana’s bill seeks to prohibit the use of credit cards to fund the following online gaming services in Pennsylvania:

  • Sports betting
  • iGaming
  • iLottery
  • Daily fantasy sports

If approved, Pennsylvania would join Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Vermont in prohibiting the use of credits cards to fund online gaming services.

Fontana published a memo to his Senate colleagues when introducing the bill, noting that the consumer protection bill aims to help curb problem gaming among Pennsylvanians and not allow individuals to rack up credit card debt through online gaming.

He announced in March his plans to introduce the bill, which is fitting as March is “National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.”

“Gambling and credit card debt often go hand in hand since this disorder can lead to financial problems that affect one’s ability to pay off debt. Therefore, I will be introducing legislation that would prohibit the use of credit cards for iLottery, online casino games, and sports betting and fantasy sports. With the average Pennsylvanian having a credit card balance that exceeds $5,640, online gaming should not be another scenario to accumulate more debt,” Fontana noted.

Limiting Harmful Funding Options for Pennsylvanians

The United Kingdom and Australia have both banned credit card usage to fund gaming services, but only a few states in the U.S. have done so.

By prohibiting credit cards, it would protect Pennsylvanians with problem gaming habits from racking up debt to fund their habit.

“Since the expansion of gaming to include online gaming and sports wagering, there is greater access to gambling which in turn increases the number of individuals who may develop a gambling disorder. In fact, over 36% of online gaming participants in the commonwealth reported at least one gambling problem according to the 2022 Online Gaming Report produced by Pennsylvania State University in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs as well as the state’s Gaming Control Board,” Fontana wrote.

Recently, Amit Patel, 31, a former employee of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was sentenced to more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud after using the team’s virtual credit card to fund $20 million on a FanDuel account and $1 million on a DraftKings account for daily fantasy sports.

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