A Pennsylvania Bill Could Ban the Use of Credit Cards That Fund Sports Gambling and iGaming Accounts

A Pennsylvania Bill Could Ban the Use of Credit Cards That Fund Sports Gambling and iGaming Accounts

Last week, a Pennsylvania bill (Senate Bill 1159) was filed that could change how players fund their online gambling accounts. The bill was filed by Senator Wayne Fontana, who wants an outright ban on credit card funding for all online gambling. Fontana specifically mentions online casinos, iLottery, daily fantasy sports, and Pennsylvania sports betting accounts. 

Fontana had this to say about the issue with credit cards funding online gambling in Pennsylvania:

There are more young folks between 18 and 30 gambling online, and they are running it up on their credit cards,” – Fontana told Legal Sports Report, “The state is partners with (online gambling companies), and we have an obligation to make sure people do not get addicted if we can help it.”

In March, Fontana submitted a memo that detailed problem gambling. He noted that the average Pennsylvanian has roughly $5,600 in credit card debt. Additionally, data from Penn State University reported that 36% of Pennsylvania customers have said they have at least one gambling problem. They do not want gamblers to try and chase their losses by piling on even more credit card debt. 

Where is credit card funding for online gambling prohibited?

Iowa, Massachusetts, and Tennessee are three states that currently have credit card funding for online gambling outlawed. Pennsylvania could be the next to join if Senate Bill 1159 gains enough support. Currently, online gaming accounts in Pennsylvania can be funded with cash deposits from PayPal and Venmo. 

Along with Iowa, Massachusetts, and Tennessee, the United Kingdom prohibits the use of credit cards to find online gambling. The research noted that 22% of gamblers who used credit cards in the UK were considered problem gamblers. Using credit cards to fund online gambling was outlawed in 2020 in the UK.

What is the next step for Fontana’s proposed bill?

The General Assembly has about six months to pass Fontana’s proposed bill. Their current legislative session will end in November. It could take time to convince other legislators that this bill is for consumer protection. Fontana currently has six co-sponsors of the bill, including Senator Lisa Baker. In the future, Fontana hopes to add more co-sponsors to get the bill passed this year. If not, Fontana plans to re-introduce the bill again in 2025.

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