Pennsylvania lawmaker looks to ban credit cards for online gambling

Pennsylvania lawmaker looks to ban credit cards for online gambling
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The rise of online gaming and gambling has one Pennsylvania lawmaker looking to protect players in the Commonwealth.

Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny County) plans to introduce legislation that would ban the use of credit cards to gamble online, which has the potential to rack up large amounts of debt.

The average credit card balance for Pennsylvanians is over $5,600, Fontana said.

In addition to not only racking up credit card debt, especially if you happen to have a gambling problem, you’re also expected by the credit card company to pay interest and fees, potentially raising the amount of money owed even further.

Fontana goes on in his memorandum to cite a 2022 Online Gaming Report done by Penn State University, saying that over 36% of online gaming participants in PA reported at least one gambling problem.

“Gambling and credit card debt often go hand in hand since this disorder can lead to financial problems that affect one’s ability to pay off debt,” Fontana said. “Therefore, I will be introducing legislation that would prohibit the use of credit cards for iLottery, online casino games, and sports betting and fantasy sports. With the average Pennsylvanian having a credit card balance that exceeds $5,640, online gaming should not be another scenario to accumulate more debt.”

Iowa, Tennessee and Massachusetts are states that have already outlawed credit card use for online gambling and sites such as DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM, to name a few.

March is “National Problem Gambling Awareness Month.” Often called a “gambling addiction” the behavior becomes a problem when someone develops strained relationships with loved ones, borrows money to gamble, gambles to experience a high or feeling, and misses work, school, or other activities and obligations to gamble.