American online casino gamblers have only a few payment options left. Still, even though it sounds bad compared to the non-US online gambling market (which includes twenty-some ways to deposit and withdraw money), there are some fast and reliable options available.
Ever since the events of the UIGEA and Black Friday, which permanently changed the course of how players wish to receive their winnings as a result of federal seizures and prevention of withdrawals, players have sought the most secure and reliable means of getting their hands on their winnings. So, what are the most convenient and efficient options for U.S. deposits and withdrawals? Let's review them.
The fastest (and most convenient) way of depositing to and withdrawing from online casinos has always been using credit card. Until the UIGEA ("Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act"), that is.
Using a credit card is still the most popular way of funding your online casino account within the U.S., but 30-40% of the time (depending on the card and the casino), credit card deposits are declined. Furthermore, most customers are unable to withdraw the money to their cards - such luxury treatment is generally reserved for specific customers only.
Excluding the failure rate of pre-paid deposits, card deposit fees are a big issue at certain online casinos. It's not unheard of to pay a 4-6% deposit fee just for making a deposit (outrageous!) - deposit $100 and you'll only have $94-96 on your player account before playing a single hand or round. Luckily, not all U.S. casinos charge such fees.
You can use prepaid cards for both sending money to and withdrawing money from online casinos. Certain pre-paid / gift card brands - such as Vanilla Visa - never work, but there are some that work well. It's a hit or a miss so you have to do your research. Pre-paid cards are available at just about any gas station, convenience store, etc.
Additionally, certain online casinos offer a debit card (obviously not a pre-paid card but it makes sense to write about this here) that allow you to withdraw your funds to the card. There are usually a fair share of fees involved, sure, but getting money straight to your card is fairly convenient.
By money transfers, I mean services like Moneygram and Western Union. Especially Moneygram is available at most United States internet casinos. It usually costs to use (especially when it comes to cashouts) but it's ra relatively fast way of transferring money to and from an online casino. (Deposits take around 15 minutes; cashouts take 3-5 business days.)
Wire transfer is still available at some U.S. online casinos albeit to a lesser degree. I expect this method to be unavailable at just about every casino in near future as online casinos put increasing amounts of effort into digital currencies. Bank wire transfers are too complicated when compared to the likes of Bitcoin.
The amount of Bitcoin casinos has increased as the digital currency has gotten more popular (logically). There was a significant wave of newborn Bitcoin online casinos a few years back - still, I would argue that the best thing for Bitcoin gambling happened within the past year as the biggest internet casinos (such as Bovada, BetOnline and Slots.lv) have not only started accepting Bitcoins but pushing them as their most preferred method.
Due to its volatility, using Bitcoin is always a risk to a much higher degree than any non-digital currency. Furthermore, when using bitcoins, you have to make sure nobody else has access to your wallet (there's no preventing Bitcoin transactions afterwards). And while increasing amounts of online stores accept Bitcoin as a payment method, it's still a fairly rare option at most websites (the amount of Bitcoin-accepting websites is limited).
The benefits of using Bitcoin for online gambling payments are low fees (true in the most cases) and increased speed. Since both deposits and withdrawals can cost quite a bit and withdrawals generally take at least a week to arrive when using other payment options, Bitcoin makes more sense now than ever.
Online wallets, such as Paypal, may only be available in a select few U.S. online casinos within states that have legalized online gambling (or some forms of online gambling).
Author: Steve Mitchell