Sports Gambling’s Next Hurdle Is Credit Cards After Court Ruling
In wake of legalization, banks weigh changes to card policies.
Payment firms have template for allowing gambling purchases.

For U.S. states ready to legalize gambling, banks hold many of the cards.

The Supreme Court ruled this week that states can allow betting on individual sporting events, but gamblers who want to place those wagers using a credit card face a major hurdle: The largest U.S. issuers, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and American Express Co., don’t yet allow their cards to be used for sports gambling.

“We will closely watch developments from the ruling and will consider any implications to our policy as the states put their own processes in place,” Mary Jane Rogers, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan, said in an emailed statement.

The stakes are huge. Americans illegally bet an estimated $150 billion on sports games each year, a figure that’s enticing for credit-card issuers looking to gin up extra spending by their customers. Still, allowing cardholders to fund their gambling habit with a credit card could create problems for lenders, which are left on the hook if a borrower can’t repay.
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By Jennifer Surane
May 18, 2018, 8:51 PM GMT+5:30


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