New Senate Bill Set to Ban Credit Card Gambling Deposits

Senate Bill 1159 seeks to ban igaming operators from accepting credit card deposits, leading to a safer and more responsible online gambling environment and potentially a significant reduction in problematic gambling behavior.
New Senate Bill Set to Ban Credit Card Gambling Deposits
April 29, 2024

The talk of a new Bill being introduced that would ban the use of credit cards for online gambling deposits started about a month ago, and has now become a reality.

Pennsylvania Senator Wayne Fontana recently introduced Senate Bill 1159, which seeks to ban the use of credit cards for gambling deposits and limit the way players can put money into their online casino and sports betting accounts.

Should it pass, the Bill will significantly limit the options for a number of players, as data shows many problem gamblers are willing to go into credit card debt to gamble online.

Senator Fontana hopes that introducing the bill will help with the promotion of responsible gambling and stop the spread of problem gambling in the state, which has become a serious issue in recent years.

Popular Deposit Method to Be Banned

While the SB 1159 offers a solution that may not seem very popular, online casinos in PA would not be the only ones with a law like this, as Massachusetts, Iowa, and Tennessee all have an ongoing ban on credit card deposits for online gambling.

In the simplest terms, the Bill would prohibit regulated online casinos, sportsbooks, fantasy sports operators, and ilottery operators from accepting deposits made via credit cards. While this may cause a slight inconvenience to players looking to deposit money into their accounts, it would also limit players from going into debt to gamble online.

According to Fontana, about one third of all people involved in online gambling have reported a gambling problem at least once, as of 2022. On the other hand, the average Pennsylvanian has over $5.5k of credit card debt, and it is the Senator’s hope that this ban would help players with a possible gambling addiction avoid falling into further debt over it.

In a recent memo on the topic, Fontana said: “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.”

Would Online Gambling Still Be Possible in Pennsylvania?

Credit card igaming deposits are very popular in Pennsylvania, but the payment method is definitely not the only one available to the players.

In fact, there are numerous other ways to deposit cash into your online casino balance in PA, but each of them requires you to deposit money from your actual bank accounts instead of money borrowed via a credit card.

The passing of the Bill would certainly lead to popularization of PayPal and Apple Pay online casinos, as these payment methods would still allow players to deposit their money online and do so in a secure and discreet way.

Other payment methods such as eChecks, Venmo, CashApp, Skrill, and Play+ Cards would all remain available as well, which means most players would have no trouble moving their money to and from igaming operator accounts.

The one thing that would change, however, is the players’ ability to go into credit card debt to fund their gambling habits, which would certainly go a long way towards promoting responsible gambling and reducing the dangers of problem gambling in the Keystone State.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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