How to Deposit and Withdraw Funds from Online Sportsbooks
Whether you are a bingo player, casino gambler, poker player, or sports bettor, the matter of depositing funds to your favorite online gaming company is one of the greatest differences between gambling online and playing at your local bingo hall, your nearest casino, closest card room, or placing bets with your friends or with your local bookie.
Clearly, if you are playing online, you can’t just hand money to the cashier. Fortunately, online payment technology is just as advanced as online gaming technology. This article will cover, and will briefly summarize, the most popular payment methods both for getting funds to, and for receiving funds from, the most popular online gaming companies.
First, the traditional methods:
Credit Cards: You use your Visa, Mastercard, Diner’s Club, or American Express card to fund your account, much the same as you would use your credit card to buy a book online at Amazon. Many of the banks that issue credit cards, and especially those in the United States, will not process card transactions that are related to gambling, though some online gaming operators have found ways around these restrictions.
Gaming operators require a significant amount of verification for credit card deposits, so as to reduce the risk of chargebacks. Also, winnings cannot usually be refunded back to the card, so payouts of winnings after a deposit has been made by credit card usually need to be paid via check or wire transfer. Nevertheless, credit card deposits remain the most popular payment method for players, and especially those that are new to online gambling.
Debit Cards: Debit cards include the typical bank debit cards that remove funds directly from your bank account, as well as so-called “prepaid” debit cards and pre-loaded “gift” cards. Using debit cards for gaming transactions is more popular in the UK where these transactions are legally recognized, and thus it is easier for gaming companies to process transactions from banks that are sitused there.
The most popular debit cards for this purpose in the UK are Switch and Delta.
Checks: Not all online gaming companies accept checks because of the time that it takes to process and clear deposits that are made in this manner. Still, when they are accepted, checks are a relatively sure-fire way to get funds to your online gaming account. Checks do, however, remain a fairly popular way for players to receive winnings — especially players that are based in the United States.
ACH: This is a bank to bank transfer method used exclusively by banks in the United States. Not every gaming company offers this method, but for those that do, it is a relatively speedy way to get funds to and receive funds from online gaming companies — at least if you have a bank account in the United States.
Bank Wire Transfer: Much like checks in that payments made via wire transfer are not immediate. The difference is that wire transfers take place electronically, with no paper documents being required. Wire transfers are most commonly sent using the SWIFT network. In order to make a wire transfer to an online gaming company, you will need to take the instructions that the gaming company provides you with to your bank for execution. In order to receive your winnings via bank wire, you will need to ask your bank for wire transfer coordinates to your account, and provide such to the gaming company you are gambling with.
Western Union and Moneygram: Western Union and Moneygram transfers are popular because they require no bank account, and funds are ready to be picked up by the receiver virtually as soon as they are sent by the sender. Funds are sent via a book-ledger transfer at your local Western Union or Moneygram office (and one or the other of these offices exist in virtually every major city of every country in the world), and the recipient goes to their local office to pick up the money in cash. The downside to this payment method is the cost — which is usually calculated as a percentage based on the amount of money being sent.
Fortunately many gaming companies will pay your Western Union or Moneygram fees for you, provided your deposit is over a specified minimum amount, though they will usually make you pay the fees when they are sending you a withdrawal via this method. Western Union and Moneygram have a tendency to be more popular with online sportsbooks than with online bingo halls, online casinos, and online poker rooms.
In addition to the above-mentioned traditional payment methods, which are used by thousands of people every single day in the course of every-day business, there are a number of online wallet services.
Online wallets offer a simple, yet extremely secure means of sending and receiving money online. Once you have opened an account with one of the popular online wallet service providers listed below, it is usually a fairly simple and straightforward process to send funds to your online wallet account right from your bank account, or conveniently using a credit card. From there you can both transfer funds directly to your favorite online gaming companies, as well as receive winnings using the same online wallet account — and said transfers take place and are credited IMMEDIATELY when they are requested by the sender.
Popular online wallets:
Moneybookers is perhaps the most versatile of the online wallets. It is based in London and is regulated by the Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom. Moneybookers opened for business in 2001 and offers accounts denominated in a variety of currencies. Personal as well as company accounts are available. Moneybookers offers local payments in over 30 countries, which makes it exceedingly convenient for residents of those 30 countries to use. Even members located in other parts of the world can still interact with Moneybookers using a credit card and SWIFT transfers. Moneybookers is not useful for gaming purposes to residents of the United States.
Neteller: Neteller is among the most popular of the online wallets, and for good reason since almost every gaming company in existence accepts Neteller payments. They are licensed by the FSA in the United Kingdom, and though they did experience some bumps in the road and corresponding negative publicity when they pulled out of the U.S. market, they have proven themselves to be a major force in the online wallet industry.
Neteller accounts can be denominated in a wide selection of currencies.
Residents of the United States cannot use Neteller to process payments to or from gaming operators.
Liberty Reserve: Liberty Reserve is a relative newcomer to gaming payment processing. They have not gained popularity and are accepted by very few gaming operators. However, they are popular with players because they require virtually no verification procedure to set up an account, which can be used immediately, whereas the more popular wallets can take some time to get operating, and tend to require verification by phone. Libery Reserve offers three account currencies: U.S. Dollar, Euro, and Gold. One of the obstacles to widespread acceptance of Liberty Reserve by merchants and players alike is that in order to fund your Liberty Reserve account, you need to in effect buy Liberty Reserve credits from a recognised exchanger, for which you are charged a fee.
In order to withdraw credits from Liberty Reserve, you are required to transfer Liberty Reserve credits to an exchanger, who deducts his fee and fowards funds to your bank account. Liberty Reserve itself never actually processes payments in and out of the banking system. This online wallet is friendly to United States residents.
PayPal: PayPal is the largest and most well-known online wallet system.
At its inception, nearly every gaming site accepted payments via PayPal. However, after enforcement action being levied against them by the U.S. government, PayPal completely withdrew from gaming industry processing. Recently I have noticed that some gaming operators have started accepting PayPal payments again, though presumably they cannot use PayPal to accept funds from United States residents. In fact it is likely that the majority of gaming companies that accept PayPal don’t accept players from the United States at all.
WebMoney: WebMoney is most popular in the Russian market, and players will find that brands that are directed to that market will often accept WebMoney. From time to time, however, payments via this wallet are available at gaming companies that are directed to other markets.
WebMoney offers three account currencies, which are equivalent in value to the U.S. Dollar, the Euro, and the Russian Ruble. Accounts are said to be anonymous.