There are many things that make online gambling fun but, in the end, what makes it the most exciting is the possibility of winning money. And, to win money, you usually have to put some of your own money on the line. Nothing new or unusual about that.
However, playing at an online casino can be somewhat trickier than going to your nearby venue and putting some money in a slot machine. To play on the internet, you have to fund your player’s account. Likewise, once you win, you need to take the money from the casino and send it somewhere where you can actually cash it out and use it.
These days, there are dozens of casino banking methods out there. In this blog, we’ll look into some of the most popular ones, trying to determine their positive and negative sides. Different players in different circumstances may prefer one option over another for a variety of reasons. In the end, finding one or two methods that work for you is a really important step for anyone looking to gamble online.
Good Old Plastic: Using Credit & Debit Cards
Different credit and debit cards are among the oldest and most widely accepted casino payment methods. Depositing with your credit card is often as simple as purchasing an item from eBay. You punch in a few numbers, figure out how much you want to deposit, and only a few seconds later, money will be ready for play.
When it comes to cashing out, things are even simpler. As long as you’re using the same card you used to deposit with, you’ll just need to request the cashout. Money will be sent your way and, as long as you’re playing with a reputable casino, you should have access to it in three to four days.
So, there are many reasons for using a credit or debit card, but there are also some downsides.
Data Safety Concerns
Whenever you leave your credit card number out there in the wild, there is a remote chance that information will get into wrong hands. Reputable online casinos do provide high levels of protection for their customer data, but no system is 100% impenetrable. So, if you don’t like the idea of leaving your bank card information with a number of gambling sites, this may not be your best option.
Credit and debit card transactions are recorded with your bank. This means that the bank and anyone who has access to your statements might see your transactions. While this isn’t something everyone’s concerned about, some people prefer to keep their online gambling habits private – and you’re full entitled to do so.
Banks and other financial institutions do have the obligation to keep your information secret but even the bank having access to them can create problems if you’re looking to get a loan or something along these lines.
So, while they’re fast and quite efficient way to move your online casino money around, credit and debit cards don’t really offer a high level of privacy protection. The information about all the transactions is always recorded and stored.
Electronic Wallets: Fast, Efficient, and Relatively Private
Electronic wallets (e-wallets) have grown to become the number one choice for many casino players. Some of the most popular e-wallet options out there include:
- Skrill (formerly Moneybookers)
In a nutshell, these internet wallets act as an intermediary between your card and the casino. This means you only need to leave your credit or debit card number once with the e-wallet; after that, you can deposit cash to e-wallet whenever you feel like it and don’t have to leave any information with the casino.
Furthermore, your privacy is much more protected when using an e-wallet. The money you transfer from your bank is moved to the e-wallet. From there, you’re the only one who knows what that money is used for next. If, like I do, you believe that how you spend your money is your business and your business alone, e-wallets are a great option.
But, there are still some cons to using them.
When you withdraw money from a casino to your e-wallet account, the process is usually faster than with a credit card. With many casinos, you might get money in your wallet the same day you requested it. However, that money still needs to find its way to your bank account or card.
This is where e-wallets can get a bit expensive. While fees for moving money online are usually very low, fees for withdrawing cash can be rather high in comparison. This can be a slight downside, especially if your withdrawing lower amounts because there is usually the minimum fee per transaction.
Although most online casinos accept many e-wallets, they aren’t their preferred method of payment. Sites like their customers to use credit cards because these are easier to verify and players can hardly bonus abuse when using cards.
With e-wallets, there have been many cases where players tried to abuse bonuses opening many new accounts and claiming welcome bonuses. For these reasons, many online casinos won’t give you any bonuses when you deposit with Skrill or NETELLER. This is more than minor inconvenience and something you really need to look into when choosing your banking method.
Of course, there are still sites that will give you a bonus when you deposit with an e-wallet but their number is constantly decreasing. This is especially true for many big name operators who seem steadfast in their intention to only give bonuses to players depositing with their banking cards.
Prepaid Vouchers: A Halfway Solution
Prepaid cards and vouchers such as Paysafecard or AstroPay have many upsides for online casino players. First and foremost, when you load up the voucher and use it to deposit with, there is no any trail of the transaction – it is pretty much as if you’d paid in cash. That’s a great way to protect your privacy.
Secondly, with prepaid cards, you can have a much better control over your spending. You can load the card with the amount you’re willing to lose and once that money is gone, so are you. These vouchers give you a chance to plan ahead and make it much harder to go on tilt and spend more than you intended.
But, they come with their own downsides as well.
No Withdrawal Possibility
Prepaid cards have been designed for people looking to pay for goods and services online, which means they can’t be used to receive money. So, if you’re going to deposit with a prepaid voucher, you need to keep in mind that you’ll need a different method to withdraw to.
This might be a bit tricky because, usually, a casino will only let you withdraw to a method you used to deposit with. So, you might need to have a secondary method that you can at least make the minimum deposit with. Alternatively, you can withdraw cash to your bank account, if this is a possibility.
Although prepaid vouchers are great for keeping track and staying in control of your deposits, they can also be slightly inconvenient when you do wish to deposit more and can’t. In order to redeposit, you’ll need to make another trip to the store to reload the card, get back home, and use the new voucher to deposit.
Bank to Bank: Straight from Your Account
Transferring funds to and from your bank account is by far the safest and most reliable method. With this option, you can send funds straight from and back to your bank account, without having to reveal any information that could be stolen and used to take your money.
However, not all casinos will let you deposit with your bank. In fact, only very few sites have an option to deposit via a bank account and it is only available in certain countries. So, once again, this is an okay withdrawal method but not really a deposit option.
Also, bank withdrawals are by far the slowest of the bunch. These can take up to seven days (if not more) and are subject to potential errors because you need to provide exact details of the account such as IBAN, SWIFT, your bank address, etc. Getting some of this info wrong can delay the payment, cause it to bounce, and then you might have to go through the whole withdrawal process again.
Finally, fees for bank transfers can be quite substantial, so they are really not an option for small players who just want to withdraw anything below at least a couple of hundred bucks.
Conclusion: Pick the Banking Method that Works for You
The idea of this blog was to compare different casino banking methods and emphasize some of the good and some of the bad sides of the most popular ones. Clearly, there isn’t the single method that’s just the best and you should use at all costs.
Your choice will depend on several factors – how important your privacy is to you, how concerned you are about sharing your credit card information, and what options are available to you in general. This blog should give you some guidelines to help you make the right choice.
In the end, always use the method you feel the most comfortable with and don’t compromise unless you don’t have another option. Of course, it can sometimes be worth it to use a credit card instead of an e-wallet to claim a good bonus but, in general, it is very important to feel safe and comfortable when gambling online. The choice of your payment method plays a big role in this.