Pennsylvania legislators introduce bill to ban credit card use for online gaming

A stack of credit cards
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A bill has been introduced that would prevent players in Pennsylvania from using credit cards to fund their online gambling activities.

Senate Bill 1159, introduced by Sen. Wayne Fontana, proposes amendments to Title 4 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, which concerns gaming in the state.

The bill states that operators “may not accept a credit card as a form of payment” for sports betting, daily fantasy contests, iLottery, and online casino activities.

Fontana drummed up support in March

In March Fontana circulated a memorandum to garner support for his proposal which aims to curtail problem gambling amid the continued growth of iGaming and sports wagering in the state. 

SB1159 ended up with six cosponsors, five of which are Democrats and one who is Republican. 

As part of his memorandum, Fontana included statistics from a study produced by Penn State, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and the state’s Gaming Control Board, which found that over 36% of Pennsylvania online gaming participants reported at least one gambling problem.

He also revealed that the average person in Pennsylvania has a credit card balance of $5,640 and he believes that online gaming “should not be another scenario to accumulate more debt.”

The bill has been referred to the Pennsylvania State Senate’s Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee.

Pennsylvania could join other states in the ban

Pennsylvania would join Iowa, Tennessee and Massachusetts as states that have prohibited the use of credit cards to fund gaming activities.

In 2020, Iowa regulators voted to ban the use of credit cards on sports betting after the state had previously prohibited credit cards from being used to purchase lottery tickets.

Since the ruling, Iowa gaming regulators have handed out over $200,000 in fines to operators for failing to comply with the credit card laws.

Both Tennessee and Massachusetts banned the use of credit cards from the onset of online gaming in the states.