Pennsylvania Senator Wayne Fontana Delivers His Promised Ban on Credit Card Deposits

Thanks to a bill introduced by Senator Wayne Fontana, credit cards may soon disappear as a payment option for Pennsylvania online casinosHe and six cosponsors have proposed legislation that would amend the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to ban credit card usage for all online gambling in the state, which includes:

  • Online casinos
  • Online sportsbooks
  • iLottery purchases
  • Daily fantasy sports sites

The bill hasn’t come out of nowhere. Sen. Fontana, a Democrat, circulated a memo in March attempting to drum up support and solicit cosponsors for his proposal. The six colleagues who responded to his call as cosponsors of SB1159 include five fellow Democrats and a single Republican:

  • Amanda M. Cappelletti (D)
  • James R. Brewster (D)
  • Jay Costa (D)
  • Jimmy Dillon (D)
  • Lisa Baker (R)
  • Timothy P. Kearney (D)

Fontana believes that removing credit cards from the available payment options will protect online gamblers from harm. He says the average Pennsylvanian has over $5,600 in credit card debt and that online gambling shouldn’t be among the ways to accumulate more.

If the bill becomes a law, Pennsylvania will join Iowa, Massachusetts, and Tennessee in eliminating credit card use from online gambling. Similar bans exist at the national level in the UK, Australia, and Norway. Meanwhile, other European countries like Sweden are considering following suit.

PA Players Still Have Many Payment Options

Credit cards provide a convenient way to pay for things, but have some drawbacks when it comes to gambling. Some financial institutions block credit card payments to online casinos, believing them to be fraudulent. Others treat them as cash advances and impose heavy fees on them.

Regardless of whether credit cards continue to be accepted at Pennsylvania online casinos, debit cards are a better option for most players. There are no fees associated with debit card casino payments for one thing, although some banks may still block the transactions. More importantly, debit card payments come from out of the player’s bank account immediately. That can help with financial discipline, while any form of gambling on credit is risky. Finally, many gambling sites offer withdrawals using the same debit card the player used to deposit, unlike credit cards, which require a separate withdrawal method.

Regardless of what happens with Sen. Fontana’s bill, there will be no shortage of methods to get money onto and off of Pennsylvania gambling sites. 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

About the Author

Chav Vasilev

Chav Vasilev

After years of managing fast-casual restaurants, Chav turned his passion for sports and occasional slot wins into a career as an iGaming writer. Sharing his time between Europe and the US, he has been exposed to betting and gambling for years and has closely followed the growth in the US. Chav is a proponent of playing responsibly and playing only at legal online sites. When not writing, you will find him watching and betting on sports, especially soccer, or trying to land the next big bonus on a slot.
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