Gambling Deposit Methods
Unlike land-based casinos there is no way to work on a cash and carry basis with an online casino. Everything is handled electronic from funding your account to transferring money from the account to a specific game, back to your account, and finally to withdrawals. The myriad of payment options accepted by online casinos is confusing at best and frustrating at worst because some payment processing services may not operate in all nations.
In general you will use an intermediary service to protect your privacy and your principal financial resources. Each casino has a "Cashier" page that explains what options are available for deposits and withdrawals. You may see more deposit than withdrawal options or more withdrawal than deposit options.
Some of the popular payment processing solutions require that you fund them with a credit card and they may charge a monthly service fee. US players may have fewer options than players from European or Asian countries. Casinos may also block access from certain countries, such as conservative nations in the Middle East and nations from Eastern Europe. US players may also be blocked in some casinos.
The following list of deposit options is no exhaustive. These are the most common methods still available today. One method in particular, bitcoin, may become ubiquitous due to its security and anonymity.
US Friendly Deposit Options
US players should be aware that the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) made it difficult and in some cases impossible to make direct deposits to and withdrawals from online casinos, except in certain circumstances. You will need to review the payment options provided by the casino of your choice very carefully. There is usually a minimum deposit requirement that varies by payment method. Most deposit methods also have transaction limits. Unless otherwise noted by the casino funds should be available immediately.Bitcoin and Ethereum
Bitcoin and other electronic currencies such as Ethereum are popular digital alternatives to hard currency. The transactions are recorded in public records called blockchains that are maintained by a voluntary community of computer owners. The computers are called miners and they earn very small fees from every transaction by solving equations that guarantee the integrity of the transactions. Several miners must agree on a solution before a transaction is encoded into the public blockchain.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are stored in wallets, which work like bank accounts. You can create as many wallets as you need. Each wallet can send or receive the digital currency for which it was created. The receiving wallet must issue a unique, single use address to the sender. A wallet may only have one active address at a time.
Wallet providers operate as standalone services. To convert hard currency (usually US dollars or Euros) to Bitcoin or Ethereum, or vice versa, you need to create an account with an exchange. These services operate like commodities brokerages where you buy and sell digital currencies at market prices. The exchanges require you to verify your identity and banking information before you can deposit or withdraw hard currencies.
Some casinos now prefer to work with Bitcoin and they may offer players incentives to make deposits via Bitcoin.Visa / MasterCard
Credit cards are trusted media of exchange because their issuing banks offer guarantees against fraud. Credit cards are ubiquitous as online payment processing systems and they do offer the benefit of protecting your primary bank account from direct connection to online merchants. Nonetheless, some banks block credit card transactions with online casinos due to the laws and regulations of their governing countries.
Large transfers of cash may be reported to the IRS in compliance with banking regulations. If your credit card transaction is blocked you should consider a different deposit option.
Online casinos typically use third party processing services to accept credit card deposits. In this way the transactions are not coded as gambling transactions. You cannot withdraw money directly to a US credit card.Pre-paid Debit Cards
Debit cards may be provided by many different companies, not just major banks. Some online casinos may accept deposits from pre-paid debit cards. Popular branded or co-branded debit cards include Pre-paid American Express, Pre-paid GreenDot Moneypak, Pre-paid Mastercard, and Pre-paid Visa cards. Some casinos may not be able to accept these debit cards.EZ Voucher or Paste and Pay
Online casinos that support this deposit method use a third party service to sell you a voucher. You pay the third party service with a credit card or pre-paid debit card. The voucher you purchase is assigned a unique identification number you then use to activate the voucher with the casino. Each voucher can only be used once. The casino requires you to verify your identity the first time you use the voucher deposit system.
Pre-paid vouchers are a great choice for making deposits because they have no overdraft or credit option. The voucher funds your casino account for only a specific amount and if you need more money you must purchase another voucher.ecoPayz
ecoPayz is an online payment processor service similar to PayPal. You make deposits directly to ecoPayz and withdraw directly to your bank account. The casinos that accept ecoPayz deposits may impose deposit limits, daily or weekly or monthly limits, and require 2-3 business days to complete withdrawal transactions. However, ecoPayz offers Pre-paid debit cards co-branded through MasterCard. There is also a virtual one use ecoVirtualcard.NETELLER
Now owned by PaySafe, the NETELLER payment processor service accepts deposits from Mastercard or Visa accounts and is used to make deposits to and withdrawals from casinos. The casinos usually impose a limit on deposit transactions, a weekly or monthly limit on NETELLER deposits, and require 2-3 business days to complete transactions. NETELLER also charges a monthly fee.PaySafecard
Owned by PaySafe, the Paysafecard is a virtual debit card system. You purchase in increments of $10, $25, $50, or $100 and enter a 16-digit PIN into the payment form of whichever Website accepts the PaySafecard deposit. PaySafecards are sold through retailers such as ePay, PriceRite, Randalls, and Tom Thumb.Skrill
Formely known as MoneyBookers, Skrill, owned by PaySafe, is an online payment processor service similar to Paypal. Although not as well known as Paypal, Skrill supports 40 or more international currencies. You make deposits directly to Skrill from your bank account and withdraw money directly from Skrill to your bank account. When making a deposit at a casino, look for the Skrill option. Skrill allows you to create accounts for free. There are some inconveniences involved in using Skrill, in that the amount you can deposit per transaction is limited and there may be a weekly or monthly limit imposed by the casino. You will also have to wait for the transactions to complete, which could take 2-3 business days.Money Transfer
Western Union offers a service to merchants called QuickCash where they can handle money transfers. Your online casino may be part of the QuickCash network. You'll have to contact them for details if they offer this option. Another possibility is DirectCash. Deposits are fast but the process is not as smooth and simple as most of the options provided above.Other USA Deposit Methods
Individual casinos may have other payment arrangements, including the use of checks, other credit cards, money orders, and even (sports) book to (sports) book transfer options. You may see options, such as wire transfers, on some sites but don't assume these are available to US players.
The 2006 UIGEA forbids US banks from processing transactions between online gambling sites and US players. State authorized race tracks and casinos that offer online gambling options may be able to accept ACH bank transfers.
The players are not held liable under the 2006 UIGEA for the deposits they make to online casinos. The casinos take the responsibility of managing their cash flow and player accounts. To protect yourself we recommend you only join casinos that are licensed under established gaming authorities and which operate from countries that are known to regulate online gaming carefully.
Although many players have traditionally accepted withdrawals in the form of checks or bank transfers, the rise of digital currencies has opened up a whole new vista of options for players. The chief advantage of using digital currencies over traditional banking transfers like checks and wire transfers is that the fees tend to be smaller. These costs of course vary by provider.
Non US Deposit Options
Some of the payment processing services listed as US friendly above also work well for non-US players.NETELLER
See description above. Available services are similar to those for US players.WireCard
Formely branding its service as Click2Pay, WireCard offers merchants and consumers multiple options for handling payments online and offline.Skrill
See description above. Available services are similar to those for US players.eChecks
Your regular bank may offer the ability for you to send e(lectronic) checks to online merchants. This is a fast, safe way to transfer money online. You need a checking account and your bank must (usually) provide online banking services.Eco Card
See ecoPayz above under US friendly deposit methods. Available services are similar to those for US players.Entropay
You purchase virtual Mastercard and Visa debit cards through Entropay. Creating an account is free and consumers can easily convert their cash balances to multiple currencies. Entropay cards are funded by bank transfer, debit card, or credit card.iDeal
Players from the Netherlands can use the iDeal payment processing service. The company works with Dutch banks to handle international payments for their customers. Merchants must advertise that they accept iDeal.Giropay
Giropay is a German payment processing service that links merchants to customers' German bank accounts much like iDeal does for players in the Netherlands. Consumers enter their payment information themselves through their bank account websites, to which they are directed by the merchants.POLIpayments
POLIpayments is an Australian online payment processor that merchants work with to connect customers to their bank accounts.eNETS
Players based in Singapore use eNETS to connect to their bank accounts safely and securely when making online purchases. Merchants may also accept international credit cards through the eNETS Credit system.
There have been other gambling deposit methods that have been discontinued. You may still see reference to some of those services on older websites. We have made every effort to verify that this information is accurate and up to date. However, as mentioned above we strongly recommend that you carefully review the Cashier page on each online gambling site you join.
Because your individual circumstances are unique it is impossible to recommend a single best deposit method. Not every casino offers the same options. Worse, some of those options may involve your providing significant financial information to the casino via fax, phone, or email. These are insecure methods and you should be wary of using them.
On the other hand, don't expect to remain completely anonymous. Even with the digital currencies you will have to verify who you are at some point in the chain. The digital currency exchanges, for example, must still comply with local banking laws in order to withdraw and deposit funds to your bank accounts.
Before committing your funds to an online casino you should check for reviews of its banking practices. Pay close attention to player disputes but don't assume the casinos are always the bad guys. You will come across situations where players attempted to make deposits in violation of the terms and conditions set down by the casinos. By and large you are required to use your own financial resources to fund your online gambling accounts. Using someone else's banking or credit card information is considered fraud in many if not all jurisdictions.
Instead of attempting to get around the casino rules, either choose the most convenient and legal methods available to you or find another gambling site that offers more options. If you are not confident in your ability to make deposits at one casino you may be able to learn the ropes at another casino and return to your first choice later when you have more experience and familiarity in navigating the various casino deposit methods.