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Online Gambling and Credit Card Debt Amid Pennsylvania's Growth Streak - PennsylvaniaCasinos.com News : PennsylvaniaCasinos.com News
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Pennsylvania State Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) is advocating for stricter regulations on online gambling payment options, citing concerns about rising credit card debt among players.

Now that online gaming and sports betting have joined Pennsylvania’s traditional brick-and-mortar casinos as part of the state’s gaming expansion, Fontana is spearheading a legislative effort to revise the regulations set out by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board concerning the acceptable sources of funding for online gaming.

Player Protection as a Key Driving Force

Currently, users can fund their gambling accounts for online games such as slot machines, table games, sports betting, and fantasy sports using credit cards. As with land-based casinos, Fontana’s proposed law would limit internet gambling purchases to debit cards. In his argument, he suggests that the state may reduce the likelihood of players developing gambling problems and accruing considerable debt by restricting their access to credit.

Statistics show that problems associated with gambling are on the increase among those who gamble online, which is certainly concerning. A study conducted in 2022 by Pennsylvania State University in conjunction with state authorities found that more than 36% of Pennsylvanians who played games online reported having difficulties due to gambling.

With a 12% rise over pre-pandemic levels, the average credit card debt in Pennsylvania has soared to almost $5,600, as the senator points out in the larger economic context. Even while inflation has a role, Fontana argues that the availability of online gambling makes the situation worse since it causes people to carry greater credit card balances that are liable to exorbitant interest rates.

Record iGaming Revenues

February saw record-breaking revenue for Pennsylvania’s online casinos, a watershed moment for the state’s booming online gambling sector. Revenue from online gaming increased dramatically to $184.9 million, a 400% increase from February 2023, according to the most recent statistics from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

Since the debut of online gaming in July 2019, internet casino operators in the Keystone State have produced a total revenue of more than $5 billion. This incredible development and profitability of Pennsylvania’s online gambling business is remarkable and may even imply that the sector is there to stay. However, consumer protection is still of the utmost importance.

As legislators around the US struggle to regulate internet gambling after the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in 2018, Fontana’s plan is reflective of a larger trend. The senator’s proposal stresses the need to safeguard customers from potential financial loss while also allowing the internet gaming business to expand.

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