If you have ever spent time at a live casino and done some gambling, you know that it’s rather easy to collect your winnings. All you have to do is take your chips or winning card to the cashier’s cage and make the quick exchange to receive your stack of cash.
However, managing your funds at a gambling site is quite a bit more complicated.
Gambling websites to have different rules when it comes to depositing, withdrawing and transferring real money between sites. Bettors in the United States also have a limited number of options compared to those in different countries when it comes to moving cash around.
What should you know about money management if you are interested in diving into the world of internet gambling? Let’s start with deposits.
Depositing into an online account is relatively simple compared to withdrawing or transferring. There are numerous ways to put funds into your account, and in most cases, the steps are typically as follows:
1. Log in
2. Find the “deposit” link
3. Choose your method of payment
4. Enter the amount you wish to deposit
5. Enter payment details (credit card info, billing address, etc.)
6. Start playing
Using a credit or debit card may be the most common way for folks to make deposits into online gambling accounts, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do so. Most sites will allow customers to add funds to their account via a wire or bank transfer, a prepaid card, money transferring service or E-wallet.
Making a deposit with a credit or debit card is common, quick and easy. All you have to do is whip your card out of your wallet, enter the info and start playing.
Just about every gambling site out there will accept credit or debit cards of some kind, though not all cards are accepted. In the United States, the most commonly-accepted cards are Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Diners Club International. AmEx and Diners Club are not as widely accepted as Visa, MasterCard or Discover, so be sure to make yourself aware of your site’s depositing rules.
One potential downside to using a card is that some real-money betting sites based in the United States have begun charging an additional fee on a deposit. Most international sites do not include these fees, but some American sites are known to issue fees starting around 3-4 percent for Visa and MasterCard. In order to avoid being surprised by these extra fees, make sure to read all the fine print before making a deposit at a given site.
To give you an example, Bovada.lv charges a 4.9% deposit fee for Visa deposits and a 6.9% fee for Mastercard deposits (they accept deposits by no other brands).
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 made gambling via the internet a bit more challenging for Americans, as well. This piece of legislation made it illegal for banks and other financial institutions to process payments to and from illegal gambling sites.
As a result, your credit or debit card deposit may not always go through. Legalized gambling operators are fair game, but you will likely not have much luck trying to make a deposit at an offshore operator if you reside in the US.
In just about all cases, making a deposit with a card is an instantaneous process. Once you have entered all relevant information, the cash should be visible in your account immediately.
Not everyone is completely comfortable with entering personal card information online, so perhaps a bank or wire transfer would be their preferred depositing option. Not all sites may be completely secure, but transferring funds with this method is essentially risk-free.
As is the case with depositing via card, doing so via a transfer is relatively painless. You just have to contact your bank and let them know how many dollars you wish to transfer over.
Bank and wire transfers are also not covered by the aforementioned Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. There is no restriction on where you are able to send your cash via your bank account, so it is possible to send money to any offshore betting account you may have.
However, the process is not instantaneous. A wire transfer may take from several days up to a week before completion.
The concept of an e-wallet is simple. It is an online account in which you can store real money in order to make purchases. You can link your e-wallet to a bank account or card, which makes it easy to transfer money to and from.
PayPal is perhaps the most well-known e-wallet on the planet. Other e-wallet services include Neteller, Skrill and Venmo.
Making a deposit using an e-wallet is as simple as doing so with a card. The results are instant and the money will be in your account right away. However, not all countries allow e-wallet transfers for gambling website accounts. For example, PayPal allows only those in the following nations to deposit online:
Neither Neteller nor Skrill accept American customers. PayPal only accepts customers from states in which internet gambling is legal, such as Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
Finally, we have two methods of payment that seem to be dying in popularity as we move forward. Some sites will still accept deposit payments from a money transfer service such as Western Union or MoneyGram, though those sites are dwindling in numbers. This is certainly an option if you’re playing from the United States and do not have a credit or debit card.
With a check, all you have to do is post it. Once it has cleared, the funds will appear in your account. This is a secure way of moving funds without having to risk any personal or banking information over the web. Paying via check is another option that takes more time than a simple credit card deposit, as well.
As mentioned in the open, withdrawing your money electronically tends to be more complicated than claiming your winnings at a casino.
Of course, there are also plenty of perks to doing so via the internet, as well. Different countries may have different rules when it comes to the withdrawal process. Some withdrawal methods are available regardless of where you are in the world, while others are limited to certain regions.
Like with a deposit, most sites allow you to withdraw cash from your account via a wire transfer. The process is essentially the same as if you are making a deposit. The funds may take a few days to move, but in the end it will go straight into your bank account for you to spend as you please.
One drawback to using the wire transfer is that lots of real money gambling sites have high minimums in order to use this service. That means that you must withdraw at least a certain amount to even be allowed to do so. For example, you may not be allowed to withdraw via wire transfer if you’re withdrawing less than $50 on some sites.
However, withdrawing with this method is likely the best option if you’re planning to take out a large sum of cash. The process is safe and secure, and you do not have to worry about carrying a huge wad of cash on you as you would if you cashed out at a casino. The money will be safely stored in your own bank account at your disposal.
So, let’s say you did some winning, but didn’t exactly strike it big. Or, you have a ton of cash in your internet gambling account but want to just take a small chunk out of it. If you are only taking out a small amount, then an ACH transfer is probably your best bet. ACH (Automated Clearing House) do not support big withdrawals, but they can accommodate you if you are just looking to collect a little bit of money.
These essentially work the same way as wire transfers. ACH will take the currency from your internet gambling account and send it straight into your own bank account within just a few days.
We covered e-Wallets earlier, but in some countries you may also use them in order to cash out. Services such as PayPal, Neteller and Skrill are particularly useful when you have the intention of withdrawing from one online casino and moving your money to another. People may do this in order to take advantage of deposit bonuses offered by various sites.
Of course, these e-Wallet options are not available to players in the United States for the reasons touched on in the previous section.
A cash transfer uses a service such as Western Union to take the money out of your account and put it directly into your hand. This will typically work with smaller transactions and transactions up to about $1,000. There are countless stations that offer these services, and they are rather easy to find. Your local Target or Wal-Mart likely offers a cash transfer service.
This does not apply to all real money betting sites, but some will force you to use the same method with your withdrawal as you did when you made your initial deposit.
If you wired cash directly from your bank account into your gambling account, you will likely have to use that same method in order to withdraw later.
As a result, be sure to read all the fine print on a site before ultimately deciding whether to make a deposit.
This may require a bit of advanced planning.
There is an exception if you deposit with a credit card, however. Most casinos are unable to process withdrawals back to credit cards, which means you will be able to use another method in order to withdraw if you deposited with a credit card.
In some cases, yes. As a measure of security and a means for protecting you and themselves against fraudulent activity, some casinos will require a bit of additional information from you before you are able to withdraw some cash.
For example, some casinos will require a user to provide a proof of identity prior to collecting cash. This may require providing a valid photographic ID card, credit cards, proof of address or bank statements. In most cases it’s as easy as scanning a photo of one or more of these documents before sending them along to the relevant party.
This may seem cumbersome, but you certainly wouldn’t want some third party coming along and stealing your cash right out from under you. The casinos are only trying to make things as secure as possible.
While making a withdrawal is certainly a lengthier process with an online gambling site than it is at a casino, it is still relatively simple if you know the proper steps to take. Betting online is easily a far more convenient and easy way to get in on the action, but being aware of restrictions and other limits prior to getting started is of paramount importance.
You don’t want to dive into the water before checking the water’s temperature first. Taking advantage of deposit and other bonuses requires knowing the dos-and-don’ts about depositing and withdrawing. It may seem complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s all rather simple.