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New York will allow credit cards to be used for mobile sports betting once online sportsbook apps launch in the Empire State. Customers will be able to use credit cards to fund accounts across multiple skins on each approved platform. 

It’s all set out in the latest mobile sports betting FAQ released by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC), which plans to narrow down its list of mobile sports betting licensees before Dec. 6, 2021:

 “A patron may deposit and withdraw funds to and from their account with an operator through electronically recognized payment methods, including but not limited to credit cards and debit cards, or via any other means approved by the Commission,” according to the website FAQ. “(State law) limits the number of accounts per patron to one account with any operator.”

With at least two sports betting platforms likely in New York, that could add up to a lot of credit card use — especially in a market that is expected to generate nearly $1B a year from online sports betting. 

Outside of New York, not all states are on board with allowing credit cards to be used for sports betting. Iowa specifically prohibits credit cards from being used for sports betting. In Massachusetts— which has yet to legalize sports betting in any form — at least one sports betting bill pending in the Senate reads, “a wager shall not be paid by use of a credit card.” 

So, how does New York plan to regulate the use of credit cards to fund online sports betting accounts in what may likely become the largest sports betting market in the nation? Gaming Today has gleaned a few hints from the New York mobile sports betting RFA, issued in July 2021. 

Mobile Sports Bettor Account Requirements Per The RFA

When it comes to mobile sports betting accounts, New York will not be a free-for-all. Credit card advances and other funds used for sports betting will be kept within prescribed limits. 

Account-holders who hit a $2,500 annual lifetime deposit threshold will trigger responsible gambling measures under state law. And bettors who attempt to circumvent deposit thresholds will be expected to be held accountable. 

For example, if a mobile sports bettor deposits $2,499.00 across multiple operator accounts to avoid the $2,500.00 threshold, the sportsbook operator is required to flag that behavior. 

“An operator should implement acknowledgment procedures if they know or should have known that the patron has taken action specifically designed to circumvent the threshold,” according to the NYSGC mobile sports betting FAQ. 

Is Betting With A Credit Card A Good Idea? 

Still, using a credit card to advance funds into a sports betting account is generally considered unwise. Also, credit card issuers themselves may prohibit the use of credit cards, and sometimes debit cards, for gambling, even in states where regulators allow credit and debit cards in gambling transactions. 

Sports bettors in Michigan found that out when card issuers refused to authorize credit for online sports betting and online gambling after Michigan launched both early this year. Credit cards are allowed to be used for online gambling under Michigan law.

Cash advance fees and credit card interest up the ante, as NerdWallet clarified in a June 2021 article.

“Gambling as occasional entertainment with money you can afford to lose is one thing. But ‘borrowing’ money on a credit card and paying extra fees to gamble could end up being a bad idea, especially if you land in credit card debt because of it,” the article says. 

Next Steps In The Launch Of Mobile Betting In New York

New York mobile sports betting still appears unlikely to launch this year. The tentative timeline set by the NYSGC points to a launch early next year. 

New York officials have said they are hopeful for a launch ahead of the 2022 Super Bowl


About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Writer and Contributor
Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, she has been known to watch UK basketball from time to time.

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