Which deposit method offers the easiest way of funding your online casino account? Many options exist, including credit cards, debit cards, eWallets and wire transfers, each with their own set of pros and cons. Every country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to online gambling, so there is no single standard for determining the easiest method. For instance, US players are much more restricted in how they can fund their online casino accounts due to federal and state laws governing financial institutions, while UK players tend to have no trouble.
Below is a list of the most common methods for depositing money into your online casino player account. Some gambling sites actually offer extra bonus offers depending on which method you use.
The most common method of depositing is through the use of credit cards. One major advantage is that they are easy to use; you simply go to your casino's cashier, enter your credit card information and the amount you wish to deposit, and the finds are instantly added to your account.
A disadvantage to credit cards is that there are often higher interest rates applied for gambling-related transactions. Furthermore, not all cards are accepted at every online casino. Accepted credit cards are usually clearly indicated under the site's depositing section. US players also face a unique set of challenges because their credit card companies may reject the transaction if it is clear that the funds are being used for an online casino account.
Debit card deposits are becoming more standard, as they allow players to bypass the higher interest rates of credit cards. Debit cards are used often in the UK and Europe. Depositing and withdrawing money are much easier in these locations because online gambling is not only legal, but is actually regulated by the government.
One increasingly popular alternative to credit and debit cards is prepaid cards. These allow US players to avoid the restrictions of credit cards, and since you pay for them in advance, players can better control their spending.
Electronic Wallets, or eWallets, are exactly as they sound. They are online accounts where your money is held and can be allocated elsewhere electronically. The draw of eWallets is their convenience. You can easily fund your player account, plus they don't charge excessive fees for using them at an online casino.
eWallets are usually free to open, but you will be charged a percentage of every transaction (something to keep in mind if you will be transferring large sums of money). Once you sign up for an account, you simply have to supply your bank account information, such as your account number and the bank's routing number. This will link your bank account to your online eWallet and allow you to easily transfer funds between the two. In a sense, eWallets can be viewed as a virtual middleman between your real world bank account and your online casino account.
Common eWallets include Neteller, Moneybookers and Click2Play. Many people also use NetPay, Central Coin, Payspark, Citadel and UseMyBank. PayPal is regaining popularity at online casino sites as well, but is limited primarily to players from countries where online gambling is legal, such as the UK. Due to the legal situation surrounding online gambling in the United States, most eWallets are no longer accepting USA players.
Another option is to transfer money directly from your bank account to your online casino account. A couple disadvantages to wire transfers is that the money can take several days to arrive in your account. They also tend to have higher fees than other depositing methods. The nice thing is that if you have never performed a wire transfer before, your bank will walk you through the entire process, including any information you will need to obtain from the gambling site.
Wire transfers are not an option for USA players. Banks are regulated by the UIGEA, a 2006 federal statute that prohibited financial institutions from conducting transactions between US players and online gambling sites. The law is explained in more detail in our US Gambling Law section.
Americans are more limited in their ability to fund their online casino account due to federal laws restricting financial institutions from accepting transactions to or from online gambling sites. This leaves USA players with a lot of questions, the most common of which are addressed below.
1. Can US players use credit cards to deposit at online casinos?
Some US players still have success with credit cards, but credit card companies fall under the umbrella of financial institutions restricted by the UIGEA of 2006. Your deposits will be hit-or-miss.
2. How long will deposits take to show up in my player account?
This depends on which online casino deposit method you use. The quickest is eWallets, but most of these no longer permit US players. Prepaid cards would be the next best option. Avoid bank wire transfers as they can take several days to show up in your account.
3. How can I ensure the safety of my deposit?
You can never be too careful when it comes to your personal and financial information. Unfortunately, since it is illegal to operate an internet casino within the United States, online gambling sites are located outside of the country and thus not subject to US jurisdiction. Your best bet is to stick with trustworthy websites that have well-established reputations of making secure financial transactions. The gambling sites recommended at GamblingSitesOnline.org are known for their solid reputations and we immediately remove any sites from our listings if we hear of any dishonest or questionable activity.
4. Is it illegal to deposit money at an online casino?
Online gambling is subject to both federal and state law. Federal law has restricted banks from allowing deposits, but has not restricted individuals from making them. If a financial institution mediates the transfer of funds to an online casino, the burden appears to be on them, not on you. Having said that, some states have implemented additional, more restrictive laws regarding online gambling. New York and Maryland are two such states. We recommend you check with your state's internet gambling laws before joining a casino site.
5. Can I withdraw money the same way I deposited it?
Some internet casinos will allow you to make withdrawals with the same method you used to make your deposit, but it is possible that you will have to receive your funds through a paper check.
In conclusion, most gambling websites offer a wide range of depositing methods. They want your money and are more than willing to assist you through the entire process. Don't hesitate to contact customer support to discuss the site's available methods and see which option works best for you. If you would like more information, be sure to check out our full range of online casino articles to learn more about gambling on the internet.