PA Senator’s Online Gambling Credit Card Ban Makes RG Top Priority

Written By Corey Sharp on April 25, 2024
Online casino on a mobile phone also showing the Pennsylvania logo. There is a large credit card with chains on a paddlock on it. PA Senator Wayne Fontana has introduced a bill that would ban a player from using a credit card to gamble.

There had been talks back in March that Pennsylvania Senator Wayne Fontana would introduce a bill banning players from depositing money into online gambling accounts with a credit card. Fontana has now followed through and introduced Senate Bill 1159.

The new piece of legislation gives players another layer of protection in terms of responsible gambling in Pennsylvania. Hopefully, it gives Pennsylvanians an incentive to start betting within their means, and nothing more.

Bill states Pennsylvania gambling sites are not to accept credit cards

Should SB 1159 pass, Pennsylvania would join Iowa, Massachusetts, and Tennessee as the only states to prohibit the use of credit cards for online gambling.

Fontana cited back in March that 36% of people who have participated in online gaming have reported a gambling problem, according to the 2022 Online Gaming Report. In addition, the average Pennsylvanian has a credit card balance of more than $5,640. Online gambling should not add to that balance.

Fontana’s SB 1159 states that a license holder offering online casinos, online sportsbooks, iLottery or fantasy sports games “may not accept a credit card as a form of payment.”

Eliminating the use of credit cards as a means to gamble certainly can’t hurt Pennsylvanians. It’s likely going to help cut down on potential gambling problems that many would face otherwise. Fontana said in his memo last month:

“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.”

Responsible gambling message always an ongoing discussion

Fontana released his memo about the credit card ban last month during National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. However, the topic of problem and responsible gambling should always be considered a top priority from lawmakers and operators across the country.

Pennsylvania has several resources for players that makes responsible gambling a top priority.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) offers a self-exclusion tool that bans players from online gambling or visiting retail casinos. The PGCB upgraded its system last summer, making it more user-friendly for players to sign up.

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania (CCPG) is a nonprofit organization that educates and shares information on problem gambling, while also providing resources for help.

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) provides prevention and treatment resources not only for drugs and alcohol, but for gambling, too.

Fontana is hoping that less people will need these resources by eliminating the use of credit cards for online gambling. While it’s great the Keystone State has so many resources, hopefully, Fontana’s bill lessens the odds of someone developing a gambling problem.

How will people gamble online without a credit card?

If credit cards are banned in Pennsylvania for online gambling, reports there will be no shortage of alternate methods for funding the activity. Other common deposit and withdrawal methods include:

  • ACH/eCheck
  • PayPal
  • Prepaid Play+ card
  • Skrill, Neteller
  • Apple and Google Pay
  • Cash App and Venmo
  • Cash options like PayNearMe and depositing at partner casino’s cashier
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Written by
Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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