Home » Pennsylvania senator proposes credit card ban for online gambling | Yogonet International

Pennsylvania senator proposes credit card ban for online gambling | Yogonet International

Pennsylvania Senator Wayne Fontana has introduced Senate Bill 1159, aimed at banning the use of credit cards for depositing funds into online gambling accounts. Fontana emphasized the need for enhanced consumer protection and responsible gambling measures within the state when filing the bill.

Fontana’s bill follows through on discussions that began in March, positioning Pennsylvania alongside the likes of Iowa, Massachusetts, and Tennessee in banning credit card funding for gambling if the legislation is passed. The move seeks to address growing concerns surrounding problem gambling, particularly in online gaming.

In filing the bill, Fontana expressed the need to curb gambling-related harm, citing statistics from a 2022 Online Gaming Report indicating that 36% of online gaming participants in Pennsylvania have reported gambling problems. 

Fontana underscored the potential financial risks associated with online gambling, highlighting the average Pennsylvanian’s credit card balance of over $5,640 and emphasizing the need to prevent further accumulation of debt through online gaming.

Senate Bill 1159 specifically targets online casinos, sportsbooks, iLottery, and fantasy sports platforms, stipulating that license holders offering these services may not accept credit cards as a form of payment. 

Fontana’s memo accompanying the bill stresses the importance of promoting responsible gambling practices and preventing individuals from falling into a cycle of debt due to excessive gambling.

Often called a ‘gambling addiction’ or ‘gambling disorder,’ this behavior becomes a problem when an individual develops a strained relationship with loved ones, borrows money to gamble, gambles to experience a high or feeling, and misses work, school, or other activities and obligations in order to gamble,” the memo reads.

The initiative aligns with ongoing efforts to prioritize responsible gambling in Pennsylvania, with various resources available to players including the self-exclusion tool offered by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, educational initiatives by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania, and prevention and treatment services provided by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

The bill is currently under review by the Community, Economic, and Recreational Development Committee.