The options for getting your money safely into an online casino depends on one key factor – your location. As you will see below, casino fans based in the US have a different range of options to those worldwide. You’ll find many ways to get your money on board, and once you know what works this process is very straightforward. This page gives you an overview of the main casino deposit options, starting with a safety overview and current US restrictions – before going through the most popular payment methods one-by-one.
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Casino Deposits – Safety
Before you get that credit card out or make a money transfer, I recommend you take a moment to check the reputation of your online casino. Here at CasinoGamblingStrategy we take safety very seriously – only featuring licensed, tested and reputable casinos. See our Casino Sites section for a full list.
Particularly when it comes to the offshore US casinos, a solid track record of quick cash outs and good service is essential. Many brands have 5+ years of history.
US Casino Deposit Options – The Legal Situation
When you deposit at a US online casino, you will be moving money internationally. These casinos are based offshore – in countries which allow and license gambling site operators.
The reason for the industry being offshore is laws which prevent US banks transacting with gambling sites. The act in question is known as the UIGEA and was passed back in 2006. While these business-to-business transactions are prohibited – there is no Federal Law which criminalizes individuals for depositing at real money online casinos.
Popular Casino Deposit Options
Visa Card: More online casinos accept Visa than any other credit card type. As the casinos are in different countries, your Visa will need to be authorized for international use. Some banks restrict this by default as a security option. As long as you can make these payments, you will find Visa cards have a high success rate as well as a wide coverage of online casinos.
MasterCard: The second most common deposit option, with many casinos accepting this card alongside of Visa. Once again you will be using your card to make an international ‘purchase’. MasterCard do not support withdrawals (either for US or non-US users).
AMEX: American Express was the original credit card and can still be used as a casino deposit option. The number of casinos offering this method is smaller than for Visa or MasterCard – though where you do find it you will find that AMEX is a reliable deposit method.
PayPal: If you are outside of the US, then PayPal is one of the easiest deposit methods available. What I like about this is that you can keep the casino and your credit card or bank statement separated for both security and privacy purposes. Only reputable licensed brands are able to offer this option – so it has become a trust factor all of its own.
Bitcoin: A few years ago there were some casinos which only accepted Bitcoin – the games were run in mBTC (micro Bitcoins). Now many mainstream casinos are also accepting this virtual currency. Your BTC deposit will be converted into dollars at the time you make it. You will need to set up a Bitcoin wallet and get this funded from your bank. Once this is done Bitcoin becomes a fast and very reliable deposit option.
Pre-Paid Cards: There are cards you can buy from your local gas station or 7/11 type store which can be used for casino deposits. Most of these will use the Visa network and branding. This is a reliable deposit option – and a good backup in case your own card gets declined. You should speak to the cashier staff at your casino to find out which brands work before you head out to buy one. Along the same lines you can also buy money orders or gift cards that will work with some casinos.
Money Transfer Services: Services like Western Union and MoneyGram do not directly support casino deposits. Instead the casinos use individuals that you wire money to. Your deposit is then matched up to your account. This has turned into a reliable deposit method, though it does come with the downside of having to visit your local branch office.
Other eWallets: Outside of the US there are many eWallet systems which are similar to PayPal (though often cheaper). These include Skrill (formerly MoneyBookers), Neteller, Eco Card and more. As with PayPal there are advantages from a privacy viewpoint, as well as the security of having a buffer between your bank and the casinos.
Wire Transfers: International wires will take a few days to get through the banking system. These are ideal for larger deposits. Their use from the US is often (though not always) restricted, though outside the US they are a popular option. Wires are more commonly used for withdrawals. Some countries have localized systems based on wires, for example SoFort for Germany.
Getting Your Money Back Out – Withdrawal Options
For players inside the US it is important to check your options for getting money out of an online casino before you make the initial deposit.
There are two reasons for this. First the ways of withdrawing are restricted to wires, money transfers and paper checks at most casinos. Second, some casinos have withdrawal fees and minimum withdrawal amounts. These can be on the high side for players with small bankrolls – meaning you might have some difficulty getting your money back out.
The main way to get your money out will be a paper check. These are sometimes sent by mail, though many casinos will use a courier. US banks usually accept these checks with no issues, though you might need to wait a number of days before you can access the money from your account.
Outside of the US the main restriction to note is that of MasterCard, which will not allow withdrawals. If you used this then the casino will offer you an alternative, the most common is a bank transfer directly to your account.
Verification Forms and Casino Deposits
Often a casino will ask you to fill in a verification form to prove that you are the owner of the credit card being used. While this is an inconvenience, you should keep in mind that it does protect you from unauthorized use of your card. You will need Id and sometimes a scan or picture of the physical card. Keep this in mind when you create your account – double checking that you have date of birth and address information correct.
Casino Deposits and Bonuses
You’ll find that the way you deposit and your bonuses interact in several different ways.
First of all, some casinos offer special bonuses for using certain deposit methods. eWallets like Skrill are common candidates for this. Even after you have been playing for a while, you can find bonuses or other incentives like free spins to deposit with certain methods. Conversely, I have seen casinos which restrict bonuses for some deposit methods.
If you want to take full advantage of a larger first deposit bonus, you’ll need to check the maximum deposit amount for each method. For example a $1000 bonus is out of reach for a $500 max way of depositing.
Finally, reputable offshore casinos have built a lot of experience and expertise in processing deposits. If you are unsure of the best method, or need to clarify any of the details – then I recommend you call them up. After all, without payment processing these casinos would be out of business!