PA Senator Debuts Bill Banning Credit Cards For iLottery, Online Gambling

Pennsylvania could become the fourth state to prohibit using credit cards for online gambling, including the purchasing of iLottery tickets.

State Senator Wayne Fontana introduced Senate Bill 1159 on April 22, which would ban licensed operators from accepting credit card payments for online gaming like iLottery, fantasy sports, online casinos, and mobile sports betting.

If passed, the bill would amend the Amusements of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes and take effect 60 days later

Iowa, Tennessee, and Massachusetts have passed similar legislation and do not allow credit card use for online lottery and gambling activities. Australia, Norway, and the UK also have national bans.

Credit card ban bill addresses responsible gaming issues in Pennsylvania

Sen. Fontana introduced his bill to address responsible gaming concerns in his home state, which launched the Pennsylvania online lottery in 2018. The state also has robust industries for retail and online casinos and sports betting.

Fontana announced his plans for the bill in March, citing the risks of accumulating credit card debt from online gambling as his primary reason.

In his message, Fontana said that the average Pennsylvanian’s credit card balance exceeds $5,640. The expansion of iLottery and other forms of online gaming have increased people’s access to gambling, and 36% of those who have participated in online gaming have reported at least one instance of problem gambling behavior.

Examples of these behaviors include:

  • Borrowing money to gamble
  • Missing work, school, or other commitments to wager
  • Betting to experience “a high”
  • Experiencing strained relationships with loved ones as a result of gambling

Six senators co-sponsor SB 1159

The debut of Senate Bill 1159 drew support from six state senators on both sides of the aisle. The five Democrats and one Republican cosponsoring the bill are:

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

With a focus on responsible gaming, SB 1159 can become another asset in the state’s efforts to reduce the number of people affected by problem gambling and help those who are.

The Pennsylvania Lottery also takes an active role in promoting responsible gaming. It co-hosted two public gatherings in March along with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), and Council on Compulsive Gambling PA (CCGP).

Other ways to purchase Pennsylvania iLottery tickets

If SB 1159 becomes law, Pennsylvanians will still have a handful of viable funding options to play iLottery games. Deposit and withdrawal methods available include:

  • ACH transfer (no deposit or withdrawal limits)
  • Debit cards (deposits only, no deposit limit)
  • PayPal (no deposit limit, $10,000 max withdrawal)
  • PA Lottery Play+ Account ($25,000 max balance on account for deposits and withdrawals)
  • WebCash, which can be purchased at any PA Lottery retailer and redeemed online through your PA iLottery account ($1,000 max per transaction)


Photo by PlayiLottery

About the Author

Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby has been writing about the online and retail lottery industry in the US since 2021. He is a contributor to multiple Catena Media sites and has a background in poker, sports and psychology which he incorporates into his writing. You can email him at [email protected].
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