June 15, 2024

A statement was signed by Megha Parekh on the 12th of March in a federal court in Jacksonville, Florida. The document outlined the impact of a $22.2 million theft from the Jacksonville Jaguars that had been carried out by one of its financial managers.

Amit Patel, aged 31, was sentenced to over six years in prison after he admitted committing fraud. He confessed to using the team’s cyber credit card to fuel his gambling dependency, depositing roughly $20 million on FanDuel and $1 million on DraftKings, according to legal documents. Patel was diagnosed with a gambling disorder last March, following his dismissal from the Jaguars.

A History of Betting

Investigations uncovered Patel’s betting habits dating back to high school where he would play poker, bet on sports and participate in daily fantasy activities. Throughout everything, he relied on one tool – his credit card.

In countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, credit cards are banned for online gambling. However, in the United States, only a few states enforce this prohibition. Nearly a quarter of US sports bettors prefer using credit cards for deposits, says data from international payment processor Paysafe.

Rising Complaints

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the federal agency responsible for ensuring consumer safety in finance, recorded an increase in complaints relating to credit card deposits with online sportsbooks. Notably, some customers complained about being charged an additional cash advance fee for each bet without prior knowledge.

Discussions to Ban Credit Cards

Prominent in his belief that credit cards should be banned from sports gambling is Jay Zagorsky, an associate professor at Boston University. He notes that America is currently going through a savings and self-control crisis, referring to a recent survey suggesting that 60% of Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck.

Effects of a Credit Card Ban

Countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia have successfully implemented policies banning the use of credit cards for gambling. Similar measures are being considered in the United States, with only five out of thirty-eight states having a ban currently in place.

In-Depth FAQ

1. Why are credit cards a problem in sports betting?

The main issue is that credit cards can easily fuel gambling addictions due to their ready availability. This can lead to quick losses and accumulating debt, putting bettors at a severe disadvantage and causing financial strain.

2. How does a gambling addiction affect an individual’s life and career?

A gambling addiction can lead to increased financial stress, potential legal repercussions, and damage to professional and personal relationships. For instance, Amit Patel ended up embezzling millions from his employer to fund his gambling habits, a decision that led to job loss and jail time.

3. How are states currently addressing the issue of credit card use in sports betting?

Some states have bans in place limiting sportsbooks from accepting credit card deposits. Others, such as New York, have implemented caps on annual credit card deposits to sportsbooks. Nevertheless, the majority of states currently allow the use of credit cards for this purpose.