Guide to Online Casino Banking

If you have tried playing at an online casino in the past, you may have run into some challenges making deposits and withdrawals. This can be one of the most frustrating things a player can encounter when gambling online – all you want to know is that you can make a deposit quickly and via a method that you are comfortable with, and when you make a withdrawal request, it is as pain-free as possible.

The success of the online casino world has been tied to payment processing. Without an ample amount of ways to make payments, the industry may have shriveled up a long time ago. Despite some significant hurdles along the way, players from all over the world can find multiple options for their banking needs. We are going to take a look at everything you need to know about payment processing on this page.

The History of Payment Processing

Online gambling was one of the first industries that gave users a chance to make a payment directly from their computers. Back in the 1990s, the Internet was very new for a lot of people, and as a result, most people will be still confused as to how to pay for something online. The casino industry made the path to depositing funds as easy as possible, and credit card companies were only too thrilled to accept the fees associated with gambling transactions.

However, as soon as the industry started taking payments, problems emerged. The most noticeable issue that seemed to be facing the space was that player’s credit cards that had been stolen or compromised were being used to fund casino transactions, and without the proper verification measures in place, scammers were able to quickly empty a player balance. Players turned to the credit card companies for a solution, which typically involved a “chargeback” which was a reversal of the transaction.

These chargebacks were happening at a much higher rate for gambling sites than anywhere else, which caused major stress for the credit card companies and banks. This caused two shifts in the processing space. First, the credit card companies started charging significantly higher fees to operators in the gambling space, and also a whole new subset of processing companies like PayPal emerged.

Over the years, depositing and withdrawing funds would continue to be a struggle for players and operators alike. As fees started increasing and more processing companies stopped taking gambling clients, operators were forced to work with second-tier firms, which were not nearly as trustworthy. Many operators saw their balances simply disappear as many of these companies which were based offshore would close up shop in the middle of the night. This had a ripple effect, causing player withdrawals to be delayed or in some cases not ever completed. While the industry has continued to work tirelessly to find alternative solutions, the credit card companies at the root of most payments countered with their own measures.

The U.S. Government uses Payments Against the Industry

With all the drama regarding payment processing around the world, there is no country where it was a challenging as it was in the United States. In the early 2000s, online gambling in America was growing by leaps and bounds, but with no regulations, the revenues and profits were funneling offshore to countries like Costa Rica and Antigua. By the mid-2000s, online poker had become mainstream in the country, with sites taking up the majority of the available space on traditional media outlets.

As all of this gaming was happening against the wishes of the U.S. Government (even though it wasn’t clear if the Wire Act covered all forms of gambling), by 2006 it had had enough and decided to do something about it. Rather than making online gambling illegal (at some point they would want to reap the tax revenues from this lucrative industry), the government would pass the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, which would re-define the industry forever. UIGEA made it illegal for U.S. banks to process online gambling transactions, effectively choking the stream of funds moving to and from these online casinos and poker sites.

The immediate results of this law being passed were felt across the industry, with many of the publicly-traded gaming companies and software suppliers pulling out of the American market. However, the law did backfire a bit as there was still nothing stopping an operator who could find alternate means for deposits and withdrawals taking action from American players. Companies were still able to thrive in a country where players had an appetite for gambling, only driving the business further underground.

As companies continued to flourish in this new climate, alternative payment methods were still being introduced, many of which coming with great success. From an operator perspective, the cost of payment processing was increasing, so there was a demand for finding lower-cost options. The introduction of cryptocurrencies was of particular interest to the gaming world, and it didn’t take long for operators to start adding Bitcoin as a new way for players to get their deposits and withdrawals processed quickly and securely.

Different Types of Payment Processing for Casinos

Today, there are dozens of different payment methods for those wanting to make a deposit or a withdrawal at an online casino. Many of these companies are focused on a local market, working with banks in that country to ensure quick, safe transactions. Other processors can handle payments from a more global audience, so depending on where you live you may find deposit and withdrawal options that don’t exist for residents of other countries.

We have dedicated a few pages to some of the more popular payment processing options for online casino players. Here, you can find out more about each in detail before you choose which method is best for you.

Credit Card Casino Sites

In the beginning, as with all Internet sites that accepted payments for products and services, the industry was reliant on credit cards. This was a very new concept for people – sending their personal banking information across a wire to another company to pay for something was a daunting concept back in the late 1990s.

The gambling industry was one of the first to embrace online payments, with many casinos taking credit cards on their sites right out of the gate. However, the use of credit cards has not come without controversy over the years. Scammers who stole cards were able to make deposits at casino sites that didn’t have the mechanisms set up to confirm identities. This caused a major blowback from consumers, and credit card companies had no choice but to refund those who claimed they had been taken advantage of. This led to major increases in processing charges, and yet to this day credit cards continue to be one of the most popular forms of funding online casino accounts.

Visa Casino Sites

VISA is one of the most recognizable brands not just in the payment industry, but overall. The credit card company is a major sponsor of events around the globe and is the most used payment provider. While it has become much harder in some countries to use VISA for paying for online casinos, it continues to be a popular method in regulated countries.

This page gives you the history of using VISA for online casinos and some of the drawbacks of trying to use the card. This includes issues with how a transaction is coded as well as limits placed on withdrawals.

MasterCard Casino Sites

While not nearly as large as VISA, MasterCard has also had a major impact on the online casino world. IN some countries, MasterCard is more widely used than VISA, so online casinos have had to search for providers that are processing transactions.

MasterCard has had a more conservative approach to accepting online casino deposits than its competition, but that hasn’t stopped players from using the card wherever possible. We look at the best sites for using your MasterCard on this page.

Discover Card Casino Sites

Discover Card has a niche group of users compared to their larger competitors, but the users of this credit card are fiercely loyal. The online casino industry doesn’t have an affinity for any payment method over another, so finding a casino that accepts Discover Card shouldn’t be too difficult.

This page outlines why Discover Card users are loyal to the brand, including why coding transactions is so important to these users. We also look at what makes a great casino site for players who want to use the card for deposits and withdrawals.

PayPal Casino Sites

Many of you may not realize this, but PayPal at one point was managing the lion’s share of online gambling transactions in the U.S. After eBay bought the company, it shut down its online gambling arm, which crippled the industry for a period of time.

These days, you will find more sites accepting PayPal than ever before. While its use is limited to countries that are regulated, the fact that the processor is now being used for so many other payments means that it is a top choice for players. We look at creating a PayPal account and which sites offer the best bonuses for players who choose this method.

Cryptocurrency and Casinos

Originally, we thought we could lump cryptocurrency into one page, as the digital banking method was still considered a fringe option. However, with the emergence of many coins in both prominence and value, we decided to dedicate an entire section of our site to it!

We have started our cryptocurrency journey with an overview of some of the top coins being accepted at online casinos, but if you are looking for a full overview of crypto and how it came to be so popular, you can check out our Cryptocurrency section here.

Bitcoin Casino Sites

The first cryptocurrency and by far the largest still today, Bitcoin is what redefined the future of the payment component of the online casino industry. Our page about Bitcoin casinos outlines which sites accept the currency (as well as which deal exclusively in Bitcoin). This includes any Bitcoin-specific offers that are compelling for players.

Ethereum Casino Sites

Many new blockchains and cryptocurrencies were spawned from the original Bitcoin, and one of the largest is Ether, coming from the Ethereum blockchain. These days, more people are flocking to this currency, and many online casino operators are now accepting Ether alongside Bitcoin and other payment methods.

We look at the history of Ether, how it differs from Bitcoin, and how best to open an account and use Ether for your online casino deposits and withdrawals.

LiteCoin Casino Sites

LiteCoin is a currency developed by a former Google employee that has grown in popularity in the last few years. Today, it stands along with Bitcoin and Ether as one of the most recognizable cryptocurrencies on the market.

The number of casinos that accept LiteCoin has been steadily increasing over the last 2 to 3 years, and that means more options for players. We review the best sites for Litecoin including which have the fastest turnaround time for withdrawal requests.

Bitcoin Cash Casino Sites

Bitcoin Cash is the result of a split from the original Bitcoin blockchain. It was built with the concept of being much faster than the original coin and is gaining traction as a viable currency since its release only a couple of years ago.

While there are far fewer casino sites that accept Bitcoin Cash (BCH), that number is going to grow as a result of the backing of one of the gaming industry’s former giants. This page outlines who that major backer is and what impact that it could have on the future of Bitcoin Cash and online casinos.

Why is it So Hard to Withdraw Money?

When players send money to an online casino, there is an inherent risk in play. First, of course, the money is being used to gamble, which means there is a chance it will be lost at the tables. Some players do end up on the winning side of the ledger, which means a withdrawal is necessary. This is where players get extremely frustrated with the process, as it can often drag on for weeks.

So, why do these sites make it so hard to withdraw your funds? Well, there are a few reasons for that, but let’s start with the obvious – they don’t want you to take your money from the casino. Once your balance is emptied by a withdrawal, that is a loss on the books for the operator. If the casino can entice you to cancel your request during the waiting period, there is a chance it could make you head back to the tables and lose some of it back. We aren’t saying that all operators are like this, but there are indeed some who are aggressively marketing to players who have made a withdrawal request.

Next, a site could be trying to prevent fraudulent behavior by making it difficult to make a withdrawal. Those of you who have been playing at online casinos in the past will know what we mean. The verification process, however archaic, is beneficial to both sides. Many players are encouraged to send copies of multiple forms of identification to have a withdrawal processed, which adds a layer of safety and security to the transaction.

Finally, one of the more common reasons it takes so long to get paid by a casino is that the payment methods have limits. For example, players who use credit cards for deposits often cannot have more than the deposit amount sent back to the card, which means splitting up a withdrawal between multiple methods. Some companies rely on checks and bank wires for processing withdrawals, which can take more than a few days to process and be delivered. Overall, we look for methods that are the most trustworthy but also the most expedient when we are reviewing casinos. You can check out our Review section for a full list of sites we have recommended to our readers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is using my credit card at a casino safe?

These days, it seems like every week we are hearing about another data breach around the world. While the casino industry has fallen victim to attacks in the past, the majority of your banking data does not reside on the casino’s servers but the payment processor you are using. This is why it is important to choose your payment method wisely, but we believe that the safety of your transactions is very strong.

How do I buy Bitcoin?

Bitcoin, along with other cryptocurrencies, is purchased and held in a digital crypto wallet. We have included a detailed page in our Cryptocurrency section to these wallets, including how to open one and manage your balances. Once you are done reading the page, you will be well versed in everything you need to know to buy Bitcoin and use it at one of our recommended sites.

  • Link to Crypto wallets page

Why am I being charged fees for banking?

Payment processing for online casino transactions is not cheap. For the most part, sites are paying into double-digit fees, and this cost can be a major drain on company finances. While most operators eat the cost, some will charge a one-time fee for each withdrawal you make. As a result, you want to find sites with the highest maximum withdrawal limits, as well as those that waive the fees for making both deposit and withdrawal requests.

What are the best bonuses for using PayPal?

The bulk of online casino sites offer the same bonuses to players regardless of what method they choose to send money. However, in the case of PayPal you need to be diligent in reading the Terms and Conditions of promotions before paying. We have come across some sites that restrict the offers that can be used by PayPal players. This tends to be geography-based in nature, so before you make a deposit only to find that you don’t qualify for a bonus that you do a little digging.

Can I make a deposit on my mobile device?

Absolutely! These days, most people do more from their phones and tablets than from their PCs, and this includes everything to do with online gambling. The site you choose will more than likely have a mobile cashier that gives you the same payment options as heading to the desktop version. In fact, some sites have extended exclusive offers to those players who use their mobile device for deposits, so you want to be on the hunt for this chance to enhance your offer and increase your balance.