Pennsylvania Bill Seeks to Ban Credit Cards for Online Casinos

Legislators in the Keystone State have introduced a bill that targets to ban credit card usage on online casinos and online gambling activities within its jurisdiction.

PA Senate Bill 1159, which was initially spoken of by Pennsylvania Senator Wayne Fontana back in March, has formally introduced it to the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee.

Sen. Fontana stated the logic why PA Senate Bill 1159 needs to be lobbied and be put into law in the Keystone State. He noted that while Pennsylvania’s gambling industry is showing no signs of slowing down, the danger of gambling-related addiction developing on the citizens can increase,

“Since the expansion of online gaming and sports wagering in Pennsylvania nearly seven years ago, there is greater access to gambling which in turn increases the number of individuals who may develop a gambling disorder. At the same time, gambling and credit card debt often go hand in hand. The ease and convenience of being able to gamble from the comforts of your home any time or day can create the perfect storm,” Fontana added.

Fontana also divulged data pertaining to credit card usage in the state which showed that Pennsylvanians often have credit card balances greater than $5,640. This led Fontana to argue that gambling shouldn’t make their patrons run the risk of incurring more credit card debt.

How Will PA Senate Bill 1159 Affect Casino Laws in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s current state laws allow its citizens to use credit cards to fund fantasy sports, iLottery, sports betting, and online casino accounts.

Fontana’s PA Senate Bill 1159 endeavors to limit the access and usage of credit cards to continue funding online casinos and other gambling-related activities by enacting safety protocols. These will be put into place to prevent the negative effects of gambling for the people of Pennsylvania. 

Specifically, the wording of PA Senate Bill 1159 shall affect the ability for credit card payments on all forms of online gambling:

  • “No licensed operator may accept a credit card as a form of payment to fund a fantasy contest account”
  • “The (Lottery) department may not accept a credit card as a form of payment for the purchase of iLottery games”
  • “A sports wagering certificate holder may not accept a credit card as a form of payment for sports wagering”
  • “An interactive gaming certificate holder may not accept a credit card as a form of payment for deposit or wager”

The Pennsylvania Senate committee has been assigned to oversee Bill 1159. In the event that the committee approves the bill and Governor Josh Shapiro signs it to become a law, the credit card ban will take effect 60 days after becoming law.

What Have Other States Done to Address Credit Card Usage and Online Casinos?

Iowa, Tennessee, and Massachusetts are US states that have prohibited credit cards as a means to fund gaming activities such as online casinos and sports betting.

2020 saw Iowa legislators voting to ban the use of credit cards on sports betting. This was after the state started prohibiting credit cards from being used to purchase lottery tickets. Since the ruling, operators that failed to comply with the credit card laws are fined up to $200,000 by the regulators.

Meanwhile, Tennessee and Massachusetts have banned using credit cards on online gaming in their respective states.

Which States Still Legalize Credit Card Use for Online Casinos?

There are states in the US where online casinos are legal. This includes Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Rhode Island. Online casinos and sports betting are also legal in Pennsylvania, but if PA Senate Bill 1159 is approved, it will limit its citizens with one of the more convenient payment and deposit methods. But apart from credit cards, there are other funding options available for players such as cryptocurrency.

Last Updated on by jonathan r

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