Depositing at Online Casinos using MasterCard
If your credit card has the MasterCard logo – you are in luck – this is one of the most widely accepted deposit methods at online casinos. This includes the booming offshore casino industry that caters to US players, as well as those worldwide. Since non-US casino deposits are very straightforward (no restrictions in place), this guide focuses on the needs of US players.
Below you will find out about the current legal situation with making casino deposits, then see a practical overview of how to make your first deposit using MasterCard. At the end of this guide are some suggestions on the alternative options should your MasterCard deposit get declined.
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Is My MasterCard Casino Deposit Legal?
There are domestic (US) restrictions on financial transactions with gambling sites – however there is no Federal law which makes it illegal for an individual to deposit and play. The (often misquoted) UIGEA act of 2006 made targeted banks and the financial clearing system. This made them legally responsible for blocking gambling transactions. The act did not even mention individual players.
Practically speaking this caused the casino industry to relocate offshore. There are countries in Central and South America, and the Caribbean, where online gambling is fully licensed. This means you will be making MasterCard deposits as international purchases. While US banks will still try and stop transactions, the casinos are becoming better and better and getting these processed.
The main effect of the banking restrictions is on withdrawals, which do not go through the credit card financial systems.
4 Steps to Making a Successful MasterCard Casino Deposit
Getting your money on board an online casino with MasterCard is easy. The following steps will see you enjoying the games fast. These steps are; pre-deposit checks, registration, depositing and verification.
I recommend you spend a few minutes checking out each casino before you make your deposit. This is easy to do, and will ensure that you spot any potential rogue outfits early. Make sure your casino has a license, and that their ‘Random Number Generator’ (RNG) has been externally certified. Next, check for any major payment delays or issues online. For a list of reputable casinos with track records of trouble-free payments – see our Casino Sites section.
Having found your ideal casino you will first need to register an account. Step 4 (verification) will involve sending Ids, so it pays to make sure that the information you provide during registration is accurate.
Next find the cashier (there is usually a brightly colored and large button directing you there!), choose MasterCard and follow the prompts. You will need to put the long number from the front of the card, security number from the signature strip on the back, expiration date, and the amount to deposit and any bonus code at this stage. When you are done simply click the ‘Deposit’ or ‘Submit’ button.
The casino will now process your transaction through the payment gateways. Within 1 to 2 minutes you will find out whether your deposit has been accepted or declined. If you do get declined, I strongly advise you to get in touch with the support team at your casino and chat about the alternatives. It may be that the same MasterCard works if you try again later (with different payment gateways in use).
The 4th and final step is verification. Some players see filling in a form and sending copies of Id as intrusive. My view is that this protects you as the card holder, and should be welcomed. You’ll usually need to fill in a form with your details, and send Id along with a picture of your card. Once completed you will be able to use that card for future deposits without repeating this step.
Casino Withdrawals using MasterCard
Withdrawals are not possible with MasterCard whether you are US based or anywhere else in the world.
For US players, the alternatives are somewhat limited – the same banking rules which cover deposits restrict the flow of money the other way too. Paper checks are the most common withdrawal option. This does take a while (processing, delivery then the time to clear into your account), though US banks do accept the checks.
Alternatives include money transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Some casinos may be able to organize wire transfer withdrawals, though the cost of this is usually too high for smaller amounts.
If Your MasterCard gets declined – What are the Alternatives?
Sometimes that card just won’t get money through. If this happens to you then pick up the phone and speak with the support team at your casino. You’ll find there are often several quick and easy alternatives for getting your money through.
Prepaid Visa cards are a popular choice – though these do involve a trip to the gas station of convenience store to pick one up. You should find out from your casino which brands are working before you head out. Western Union or MoneyGram also involve a visit – this time to their local branch office. Here you will be wiring cash to an individual who collects it on behalf of the casino.
If you are a little more technical, then Bitcoin is becoming a common method to deposit at online casinos with.
History of MasterCard
This card was originally known as Master Charge – the Interbank Card. It was introduced in 1966, as a joint venture between several banks including the First Interstate Bank and United California Bank. The card got an initial boost over in Europe in 1968, when an alliance was set with the EuroCard.
It was not until 1979 that the brand was changed to MasterCard. This company changed from being a cooperative (owned by 25,000 financial providers worldwide at its peak) to a publicly traded company at an IPO in 2006.