Deposit options at online casinos
The ways you can deposit money to online casinos vary greatly from country to country. For instance, the online casino industry is fully regulated in Britain so there are many ways you can fund your account.
But if you are in a country such as the USA or China where there is a tougher stance on online wagering, you need to delve a little deeper to complete your banking transactions.
This article will give you an overview of how to deposit money into online casinos, while we will go into further detail about each country in separate stories.
Credit & debit cards
The most common way people fund casino accounts, with players from most countries able to use cards such as Visa and Mastercard, although punters from the USA are only just gaining the ability to use bank cards in this way.
Visa: The most common type of credit card and one of the most popular with online punters. Often you will find there is a limit, much lower than you want to deposit, like $500 or $1000. USA players still sometimes have their cards blocked, although some gambling sites have started using a third party to process payments which allows the transactions to go through.
Mastercard: The Pepsi to the Coke (Visa) of the credit card world. Works in a similar way and has restrictions in some countries. Like with the Visa, it will come down to your individual bank.
Diners Club: Often won’t work at online casinos, but transactions can be organised by contacting the company.
Credit cards – By country
United Kingdom: The Brits use credit cards extensively to fund their casino accounts.
USA: Improving all the time with fewer reports of cards being blocked. Sites such as Bodog’s arsenal and Casino Club World have led the way in this area.
Australia: While the casino industry is not regulated in Australia, it is legal and entirely possible to use credit and debit cards to play at offshore casinos.
New Zealand: See Australia.
Spain: The Spanish regulated the online casino industry a few years ago and credit and debit cards are widely used for deposits.
Italy: Passed laws in 2011 which regulated the online casino industry in the country. Credit and debit cards are a common way of depositing funds.
China: Much like the USA, China residents have trouble depositing with credit and debit cards, with strict laws in place.
Japan: All major cards such as Visa, Maestro and Mastercard can be used by Japanese to play at online casinos.
Bank transfers or wires
The bank transfer, or bank wire, is a common way to fund your casino account and is available to anyone with a bank account. Even the gambling starved Americans and Chinese can use this method of depositing, at least at websites which offer it and also accept players from those countries.
A big benefit of making a bank wire is you are generally making the transfer from your own money, meaning banks and governments won’t restrict the amount you are transferring (ideal for high rollers).
If you are from a country where online gambling is legal, chances are online casinos will have a local bank account in your country, meaning the transaction can go through overnight, or at the worst inside 48 hours. If you are transferring to an international bank account it can take 4-7 days.
Online banking & money transfers
Lately more bank transfer companies have joined the market, including Instadebit and POLi (Australia & New Zealand) which allow you to sign into your bank account through their website. Simply, you sign up at the casino, go to banking or the cashier section and choose POLi or another payment processor. You then are taken from the casino’s site to POLi’s site and are asked to log into your bank. You then can see the transaction you requested back at the casino and OK it – funding your casino account instantly.
iDebit: A company set up to cater to the world, however this has not happened and it still remains as a popular Canadian-only casino deposit and withdrawal method. It allows you to transfer money from your online banking portal, instantly to your online casino account.
These have grown increasingly popular in the digital age, with more punters enjoying the easy deposits and withdrawals that companies such as Neteller facilitate.
The general gist of a web wallet is it acts like your wallet, but in an online sense. You link a credit card or fund your Neteller account with another method, then you can spend this money at thousands of online casinos, sports betting sites and, of course, retail outlets.
A transaction from your web wallet to a vendor, such as a casino, is instant, meaning you can begin playing immediately, but keep in mind withdrawals can take a few hours to be processed by the casino.
One of the main benefits of web wallets is the extra layer of safety they provide when gambling online. You are not giving over your bank details or your credit card number, you are simply giving casinos the details of your web wallet.
Often the web wallet you are using will guarantee your transaction, so if anything untoward happens on your account you will be reimbursed, though this generally takes a few weeks to be resolved.
The UIGEA blocked Neteller and many similar companies from accepting payments from USA citizens looking to gamble online. China has also cracked down on Neteller and company and they no longer operate in this market, but for much of the rest of the world it is a viable deposit option.
Common types: Paypal (may not work at online casinos in your country), MoneyBookers, Click2Pay and Ukash.
Neteller: Is a renowned web wallet that allows patrons of online casinos to deposit money into their gambling account. Neteller only operates in markets where online gambling and sports betting are regulated. This means you will only find Neteller at regulated online casinos in limited states in the USA and only for sports betting in Australia.
QIWI: Is the biggest web wallet in Russia with over 20 million users. QIWI is commonly found at online gambling websites as a deposit method. One of the big benefits of using this payment system is that QIWI account holders can deposit cash directly into these accounts via thousands of terminals dotted around the country.
Common prepaid cards include Skrill, Paysafecard and Visa Prepaid, often available at gas stations, corner stores, supermarkets and post offices.
They can be a great way to fund your account if you are from a country such as the USA where banking transactions can be restricted. You visit a card vendor and put the amount you wish on the card, which then acts like a credit card at an online casino.
There is usually a maximum amount you can put on these cards and the casino itself will generally cap how much you can deposit with this method. This is because often there is no address or name linked to your card. If this method involved huge deposits it would be open to people attempting to launder cash.
Another popular pre-paid card is Union Pay, which is available in more than 100 countries, including the USA and China.
Boleto: A prepaid voucher system in Brazil that has a huge footprint in online casinos. Basically it allows customers to fund their online casino account with cash or via online banking.
A final few words on prepaid cards: They are good for those players not looking to deposit thousands and they allow some players from markets with tough laws to deposit at gambling sites.
Technically this could have gone in the transfers section, but the cryptocurrency deserves a section of its own. The almost anonymous bitcoin works like gold. You buy it at an online exchange or in person and you can then transfer it to online casinos instantly and with no transaction fees.
There have been well-documented bitcoin frauds and thefts but it is becoming more secure and there are many casinos accepting this cryptocurrency, many of them using this as the sole deposit method. For Chinese punters in particular it has caught on. Rest assured the World Gambling List will write more about this topic in other articles.
Mobile casino banking options
Google Pay: Google Pay is not currently supported by any online casinos, although this could change with the tech giant always on the lookout to further maximise revenue, and not many any industries are as lucrative as gambling.
WeChat Pay: A chinese phenomena with over 1 billion users, WeChat Pay is built into the WeChat app. It is possible to use this banking method at online casinos that support it. It’s free to use and usually instant.
Staying safe when banking at online casinos
When depositing real money at online casinos you need to look out for certain things to ensure you stay safe. Always gamble at casinos in respected jurisdictions and do your research.
One of the biggest mistakes a punter can make is using a fake name at an online casino. Most of them will force you to verify your account to make a withdrawal and if you have used a false name you may be denied your payout.
When you are doing the aforementioned research, look for casinos with good reputations, read reviews on affiliate sites, look at other user experiences and always try to find a casino that uses https:// or secure sockets layer (128-bit to 256-bit) encryption.
Another important thing not to overlook is the customer service at the casino at which you are depositing. Does it exist? Is it 24/7 and does the website have an address displayed?
Also be aware that some banking transactions incur heavier transaction fees. For instance, on a $100 deposit on a standard Visa transaction you are looking at about a 2.7% transaction fee, or $2.70; while at a payment processor such as Western Union the fees can be as high as 16%.