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Multiple US states considering new betting restrictions

| By Jill R. Dorson
Six years after legal sports betting became a states' rights issue, legislatures and regulators across the country have upped their focus on consumer and athlete protections. In the last week, bills that would ban using credit cards to fund digital gambling accounts and ban college player prop bets have been filed.
pennsylvania credit card ban

Next week, Wyoming’s regulator will begin its foray into additional athlete protection by exploring the college player prop ban idea.

In Pennsylvania last week, State Senator Wayne Fontana filed senate bill SB 1159, which would prohibit the use of credit cards to fund any kind of online gambling, including casino, lottery and sports betting. Pennsylvania law currently allows consumers to use credit cards to fund accounts, but problem and responsible gambling advocates say the practice is bad for those with addiction issues.

“There is a significant body of evidence that highlights the increased levels of harm if you gamble utilising credit cards,” responsible gambling advocate Brianne Doura-Schawohl told iGB. “An overwhelming number of international established markets have banned the ability to fund with credit cards, but also other modalities that can be funded by credit cards.”

The Pennsylvania bill would become effective within 60 days and has been assigned to the community, economic and recreational development committee. Should the bill pass, Pennsylvania would join a handful of other states, including Iowa, Massachusetts and Tennessee that do not allow the use of credit cards to gamble.

NCAA’s player prop proposal taking root

While credit card bans protect consumers, legislators and regulators are also seeking new athlete protections.

In North Carolina, where legal online sports betting went live in March, the legislative session opened on 24 April and Representative Marcia Morey has plans to introduce legislation banning college player prop bets, according to WRAL. The NCAA has asked legislators and regulators across the US to consider a ban. The association says it will protect college athletes from harassment. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board is the latest to institute a ban, which will go into effect on 1 August.

Responsible and problem gambling advocates also consider these types of bans to be another layer of athlete protection.

Regulators in Ohio banned college player prop betting in February. A Maryland prohibition on these types of bets went into effect on 1 March.

When the Ohio Casino Control Commission announced its ban, the agency said that Ohio was the 25th state to place a limit or ban on college player prop bets.

Some states will penalise those who harass

The OCCC last July added another level of athlete protection with a rule that prohibits anyone who has harassed an athlete from placing wagers in the legal market. The West Virginia Lottery in February also added a rule that keeps harassers from betting on the legal market.

At the request of the NCAA and the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Gaming Commission will hold an informational session on 9 May as it begins to consider how to handle college player prop bets going forward.

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