Ohio regulators approve the use of gift cards for online sportsbook deposits

Hands holding a gift card
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Deposit options for Ohio sports bettors are changing thanks to a new decision by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). Executive Director Matt Schuler has decided to allow gift cards as means to fund sports betting accounts in the state.

While the decision is official, do not expect gift cards to immediately be available in stores and available to load an account. Operators who want to offer gift cards will need to get that option vetted and approved by the OCCC before putting it into place.

Deposit options in Ohio currently include credit cards in addition to e-wallets and ACH. One operator, Betr, has expressly prohibited credit cards. Other new customers in Ohio ran across issues where credit card deposits were processed as cash advances because the banks behind the cards have measures in place to flag gambling transactions and treat them differently.

BlackHawk Network, one of the top providers of retail gift cards for sportsbooks as well as restaurants and other stores, spoke with SBC Americas in December about how gift cards are not only handy gifts but also solve complications like the credit card issues some Ohioans have encountered since launch.

“There was a fair amount [of people] that were concerned about privacy and wanting to keep how much they invest or spend with sports betting private,” explained Head of Lottery and Gaming for BlackHawk Network Richard Gottlieb.

Gottlieb also said that some use game cards as a budgeting tool to ensure they keep to spending limits when it comes to their sports betting.