Bill Targets Credit Card Funding For PA Sports Betting, iGaming Accounts

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PA sports betting

Pennsylvania lawmakers want to prohibit customers from using credit cards to fund online gambling accounts, including PA sports betting apps.

Senator Wayne Fontana filed Senate Bill 1159 on Monday, calling for an outright ban on credit card funding for all online gambling. The legislation explicitly mentions online casino, iLottery, daily fantasy sports, and Pennsylvania sports betting accounts under the proposal.

“There are more young folks between 18 and 30 gambling online, and they are running it up on their credit cards,” Fontana told LSR on Wednesday. “The state is partners with (online gambling companies), and we have an obligation to make sure people do not get addicted if we can help it.”

Stats since PA sports betting launch

In March, Fontana submitted a memo detailing problem gambling statistics to his chamber. The memo also mentioned the average Pennsylvanian carries more than $5,600 in credit card debt.

With greater access to gambling following the legalization of online PA sportsbooks and online casino games, Fontana cited a Penn State University online gambling report, which found 36% of Pennsylvania customers reported having at least one gambling problem.

“We have a (problem gambling) hotline and warnings out there. This is a more substantial approach, though, to hold down gambling addiction, especially with our young people,” he said.

Few states outlaw credit card funding

Pennsylvania would join three other states if SB 1159 generates enough support to pass the legislature. States that currently prohibit funding online gambling accounts with credit cards are:

Online gambling accounts, including those for PA sports betting, can be funded with cash deposits from apps like PayPal and Venmo. Players can also use their debit card or fund accounts through an ACH transfer.

Bill has support on both sides

Fontana, a Democrat, has six co-sponsors, including Republican Senator Lisa Baker.

“This is consumer protection. Whether you are Democrat or Republican, I think it is pretty simple,” Fontana said.

Fontana hopes to add more co-sponsors to the bill and push for an initial committee hearing in the next few weeks. If the bill is unsuccessful this year, Fontana told LSR he will introduce it again next year.