Deposit Options

Choosing the right banking methods to suit your personal gambling needs can seem to be a daunting task at first. Nevertheless, once you group the most popular banking options into several convenient categories, actually making the call stops being scary and starts being a matter of personal preference.

The biggest choice you’re going to make will be picking between an e-wallet service like PayPal, Neteller or Skrill, a credit card like Visa, MasterCard or Amex or a Western Union or MoneyGram money order. Below, you will find a short, no-nonsense description of each of those categories and how they fit into the legal framework of Europe and the United States.


E-wallet companies allow you to transfer money to and from online gambling sites without having to worry about transaction fees, acceptance rates, or processing times. They’re 100% safe, and they’re supported by a wide range of poker rooms, online casinos, bingo services, and sportsbooks. However, you should keep in mind that most e-wallets will require you to have a traditional bank account or credit card, as e-wallets generally require you to transfer the money to a bank before you’ll be able to make a purchase in any land-based shop.

One way to circumvent this issue is to choose an e-wallet company that offers prepaid cards. Those cards allow you to withdraw your money directly from your e-wallet account using any ATM, without having to send your money back to your bank account. In most cases prepaid cards become available as soon as you validate your account, which means that you shouldn’t have any problems with obtaining your own prepaid card even if you’re a recreational player.

The biggest downside of e-wallets is the fact that none of the services of this kind are supported by US-facing offshore poker sites due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which pretty much forced those companies to pull out of the American gambling market. The UIGEA explicitly prohibits processing any real money payments that involve unlicensed gambling sites and US residents. The only exception to this rule are the local sites that have been recently launched in states that legalized online gambling, such as Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are very convenient to use in most jurisdictions, as they provide you with a safe and relatively fast way to deposit to any online gambling site in the industry. Nevertheless, using a credit card to fund your poker or casino account requires you to provide your gambling operator with your credit card information, including your credit card number, the cvv code, expiration date and billing address. Fortunately, the risk of identity theft is pretty much negligible, as major networks do everything in their power to increase security involving personal information of their customers.

Another thing you should keep in mind when considering a credit card deposit is the fact that online gambling sites don’t support withdrawals using this method, which means that you’ll usually have to choose between cashing out via a check by courier and a traditional bank wire transfer. Both of these options tend to involve a lot of waiting and might get somewhat expensive, which means that you most likely won’t be able to afford frequent payouts due to transaction fees.

Please note that while most US-facing offshore sites tend to offer credit card payments as a default deposit method, this method isn’t 100% reliable. Many players have reported having their transactions blocked because of the gambling regulations – and while there are no legal consequences associated with trying to make a deposit to an unlicensed gambling site, failing to complete the transaction several times in a row can get frustrating. All things considered, Visa cards tend to have the highest acceptance rates, MasterCard is considerably worse, while American Express deposits are reportedly more likely to fail than to succeed.

Cash Transfer Services

Sending your money via a Western Union/MoneyGram money order prevents your bank from interfering with your deposit, which makes it a perfect choice for US-based gamblers who are getting tired with trying to find one of the Visa cards that actually work. Another benefit of using a cash transfer instead of relying on a credit card payment is the fact that many sites might allow you to request a withdrawal using this method in the future.

However, sending a money order involves more hassle than both of the aforementioned methods and usually requires you to cover a small transactional fee. Unfortunately, despite their relatively small size, those fees add up and have a significant negative impact on your long-term profitability.