Gambling sites deposit options
The No.1 deposit option for online gambling sites is Visa, but there are hundreds of ways to fund your online accounts.
Our definition of ”gambling” for this article is a broad term encompassing online sports betting, casino wagering, online bingo and many other niche sites where you are risking real money on variable outcomes.
Eventually the World Gambling List will offer detailed breakdowns of how to deposit money from each country; for now we will cover all the common ways to deposit money at gambling websites.
These include credit and debit cards, bank transfers, web wallets, prepaid cards, bitcoin and the ever-growing area of online payment processing.
Credit and debit cards
The most popular way to deposit money into gambling sites is via credit and debit cards. These types of deposits are instant and can be for large amounts, depending on what the cap is on your personal card.
A credit or debit card is issued by a bank, some of which can stop you from using the card at certain websites. This happens in places such as the USA and China, where the governments do their best to stop online wagering.
If your bank does not block transactions at online casinos or sports betting sites it is a simple process to fund your gambling account. As a general rule you visit the casino’s or bookies’ cashier section and choose your deposit method, following the prompts for the type of Visa deposit you wish to make.
Popular credit & debit cards:
Visa: The most widely known payment processor in the world. Many people have cards adorned with Visa, although this does not mean it is issued by Visa. Visa makes money by being the processor between you and your bank. It is regarded as a safe method of depositing money into online gambling sites. You will need to check the status of Visa gambling deposits in your country before using this method. For instance, Visa has forbidden some Russian banks from issuing Visas.
Mastercard: Is probably No.2 in the credit card chain and is a well-known brand in many countries. Often gambling sites have Mastercard bonuses, meaning if you use this deposit method you will receive a bonus. Maestro is another popular card owned by Mastercard.
Secured credit card: This type of card relies on the owner depositing money into the account. For instance, if you can deposit USD $1000 the bank may allow you a line of credit for a further $1000, giving you access to $2000 in total.
Pre-paid Visa: Acts just like a Visa; the difference is you can only use funds you have deposited into it. Can be bought at gas stations and various shops. For more details read the pre-paid cards section below.
Union Pay: The only official card provider in China, although restrictions on Visa and MasterCard have loosened in recent years. There are a limited number of gambling sites that will accept UnionPay cards which we will delve into in further articles.
A web wallet is the online equivalent of the one you keep in your pocket or handbag. It allows you to store your money electronically and spend it at websites accepting this form of payment.
Obviously you need to fund a web wallet. This can be done in many ways including linking a credit or debit card to the account, paying into an account at a bank branch and bank transfers.
For gambling sites they can be a great way to fund your account for several reasons:
- Low fees
- Insured banking
- Can easily link credit and debit cards to account
- Avoids government card blocking
- Provides added layer of security
Popular web wallets for gambling
Neteller: Cannot be used by Americans or Canadians but one of the major web wallets for online gambling. Simple to use, an account can be set up in minutes. You do need to verify your identity and provide a current address when you join Neteller, although there is a grace period where you can use your account with limitations before proving yourself. Once your account is funded, deposits to gambling sites are instant, while withdrawing to Neteller can take as little as a few hours, depending on the site.
Paypal: Has placed more restrictions on gambling deposits after being one of the main payment processors early days. Paypal generally will only be available at a gambling site if the bookie or casino has a licence in the relevant country. For instance, online casinos licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission will have Paypal available for UK residents but won’t for another of its clienteles, such as Australia where there are no licensed online casinos. You can fund your Paypal account with credit and debit cards as well as bank transfers and other localised options.
Skrill: Is accepted by thousands of gambling sites and is regarded as a safe and reliable e-wallet. You can fund your account with a linked card or many other ways. Once your Skrill account is funded, deposits at websites accepting Skrill are instant. Withdrawals are also instant but this just means instant on Skrill’s end; it might take the site you are cashing out from a while to process it. Skrill has a 1% charge on all transactions and has limits on how much you can deposit at a site deemed to be real money wagering.
Entropay: Is the go-to e-wallet service for much of Asia, Canada and many European countries. You simply link a credit card to the account and keep a balance in there to allow you to fund your account. A great service for people in countries with gambling restrictions because it bypasses any blocks on bank payment processing. Entropay has low fees and a good reputation.
Bank transfers or money wires
Popular methods to fund betting or gambling accounts on the Internet and, in fact, were popular ways to fund betting accounts long before the online age. They work on much the same premise as sending money to a friend or relative via your Internet banking.
When you sign up at a casino or sportsbook and select money or wire transfer as your payment method you will see bank details (of the betting site) and a reference number that you put on the transfer to identify the money as yours.
The bank account will either be local, meaning it’s in your country, or it will be an offshore bank account. Generally if you are betting at a bookie or casino licensed in your country it will be a local account that you are transferring to. If you are betting from the USA and depositing with a bank transfer, it will almost certainly be to an offshore account because of restrictions placed on banks by United States officials. But there are cases where unlicensed websites will use a payment processor or hold a bank account in a country despite not falling under the country’s tax regulations.
You can start the transfer in one of two ways:
1/ – Internet banking: This is done by logging into your bank and sending money to the bank details provided by the betting site. Depending on your bank and settings you will have a limit on how much you can transfer in one hit. If you want to lift this limit, option two is for you.
2/ – Phone or P2P: The other option to start the transfer is much the same. You simply contact your bank on the phone, or person to person at the branch, and send the money (with your reference number) to the gambling site’s account.
How long does a bank transfer take?
It can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to finalise a bank transfer to a gambling account and have the money accessible and ready to bet with. If you are transferring to an international account it can take up to five business days for the money to be processed.
Are bank transfers safe?
As with all the deposit options on this page it depends where you are sending the money.
What about money transfer companies?
Companies such as Western Union can be used to deposit money at online casinos and bookmakers. This is particularly beneficial for those of us in the USA. The pitfall of Western Union? High fees which can be anywhere from 8% to 17%.
Another popular one is Moneygram, which works much the same as Western Union in that you pay the company to deposit the money at a gambling site. This is the best deposit method for USA punters if a credit card won’t work.
Online payment processors
An increasingly popular way to fund gambling accounts is with online payment processors such as POLi. From the gambling website’s banking section you select POLi and then select your bank from the drop-down menu. You then log in to your online bank account as you normally would and confirm the payment (POLi is available only to AUD and NZD bettors).
The World Gambling List at this time endorses only POLI in this category, although there are several others looking promising. Watch this space.
The selection of prepaid cards accepted at gambling companies is growing all the time. A pre-paid card can be bought in person at service stations (7-Elevens usually have them), online at various websites and at many retail outlets in almost every city in the world.
The pros include no evidence on your bank statements of deposits at gambling websites and that prepaid cards will often slip past blocks put on banks processing payments to gambling sites. The biggest downfall is they are generally capped at small amounts.
Prepaid cards to look out for:
- American Express
The future or fad? We’re really not sure but bitcoin has certainly had an impact since becoming a gambling currency. At the start bitcoin was used solely at bitcoin casinos and sportsbooks. No mainstream fiat using online sites was using it. Now it is beginning to blossom as just one of many methods at gambling sites giving people with limited other options (or a thriving business on the Silk Road … joke) a (relatively) anonymous deposit method which can’t be blocked by governments.
To get started with bitcoin you need to open a bitcoin wallet and purchase the cryptocurrency from a vendor such as localbitcoins.com. Once you have funded the bitcoin wallet you choose bitcoin as your deposit method and then send the required amount from your bitcoin wallet to the unique address provided by the gambling website. Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals are instant and are slowly gaining in popularity.
Online sports betting and casino sites
In 2018 the number of real money sports betting sites and online casinos is staggering, especially when you consider the heavy restrictions (which will surely be lifted one day) on online gambling in countries such as the USA and China. Imagine the growth in the industry if they adopt the UK’s gambling laws.
Online bookmakers and sportsbooks
Betting on sport and racing is an extremely popular pastime in many countries. Even betting on novelty markets such as politics and winners of reality TV shows has become popular. Most people do it online these days because of the ease of it. You simply visit a website or download an app and you are one of the above deposit methods away from punting on your chosen event.
In good time the World Gambling List will provide an honest critique of many sports betting websites around the world and advise people in various countries (We’ll look at our readership) on how to deposit money in their jurisdiction.
They have come a long way in the past 20 years as computers, smartphones, tablets, TVs, Internet connections and just technology in general have improved. Now you can play hundreds of different video slots games and even live dealer card games such as poker, blackjack and baccarat with a feed beaming on to your device and an attractive man or woman doing the dealing.
There are three main categories people fall into when they go to play at an online casino. They either live in a place with regulated online casinos such as the UK, Malta and some European or Scandinavian countries. They live in places such as Australia, New Zealand and many Asian countries which have not really addressed online casinos in their laws. The third type of person will live in a country with gambling restrictions such as the USA, China and many subcontinent countries.
The three types of peoples will have varying levels of difficulty finding an online casino to sign up at and ultimately deposit at. But with a little research, the good news is there will always be a way to gamble at online casinos for real money.