How do I deposit at an online casino?
Once a player has created an account at an online casino, the next step is to add funds, allowing them to place bets or wagers. This can be done through a variety of secure payment methods and most casinos accept a range of these methods, which include credit/debit cards, e-wallets, Bitcoin, direct bank transfers prepaid cards and more.
When faced with a range of available payment options, new players may feel a little out of their depth when it comes to choosing one. Are there hidden fees? How long will a transfer take? What kind of personal data do I need to provide?
Don’t panic! In this article, we will be talking you through all the kinds of payment methods available and address any key considerations for each type. With this knowledge, you can make the best decision for you and feel confident in your choice.
Depositing via credit or debit card
The most widely accepted payment method at online casinos is the credit/debit card. Most people will already have one of these for daily use anyway so it makes sense that this type would be both widely accepted and widely used.
As most already know, debit cards are connected to a current bank account i.e. money that the user owns. Credit accounts are essentially small, recurring loans from the bank that must be paid off within a certain period (usually monthly) and that incur interest if not paid on time.
Most if not all casinos will accept Visa, Visa Electron and Mastercard. A large proportion also accept Maestro. American Express is less popular. Visa and Mastercard offer prepaid and gift cards – generally, casinos will not make a distinction between these cards and credit/debit cards so the player is free to use these to make deposits. Transfers from credit and debit cards are usually instantaneous and carry no processing or transaction fees.
Depositing with prepaid cards
Prepaid cards function much like debit cards in that they grant the player access to their own funds. However, unlike a debit card, prepaid cards are not associated with bank accounts.
Buying and topping up a prepaid card can be a physical transaction at a shop or a virtual one, completed online. Some prepaid cards are 100% virtual, which means they do not supply the user with a physical card but with only card details, which can then be used in online transactions.
Prepaid cards are an excellent way to control spending, which can be an asset for those who want to ensure they gamble responsibly. They are also a good option for those who, for whatever reason, do not wish to use a bank account for this kind of transaction.
There are often fees associated with prepaid cards but these are applied at the point of sale or when topping up. Most casinos do not charge a fee on prepaid card deposits. EntroPay and Paysafecard are two popular choices in this category
Instant payment services
These payment methods act as a sort of middleman between the player’s bank account and the casino. Instead of inputting bank details directly at an online casino, the player instead creates an account with a service like ClickandBuy, iDebit or Click2Pay and supplies the casino with those account details instead.
This method will appeal to those who prefer an additional layer of security when it comes to moving money online. Transactions through these services are usually instant and online casinos do not charge a fee for depositing. It is free to set up an account with these instant payment services but some may however charge a transaction fee.
Depositing by bank transfer
Another way to deposit at an online casino is to transfer funds directly from a bank account, without using any other service. As most banks already offer their customers a range banking facilities, this is a great option for those who would prefer not to sign up to any additional services.
The most popular option in this category is the bank transfer. This can be done using a bank’s online banking service or by visiting a branch. A bank wire will normally take up to three days to clear but an instant transfer (done via online banking) will deliver the funds to your casino account immediately.
A dwindling number of casinos accept cheques in the post. These would need to be mailed to the casino’s stated address and postage alone can take days, followed by another few days for the cheque to clear. Some casinos will expressly state that they do not accept payment by cheque and this method has almost completely fallen out of favour with players as well.
Depositing via e-wallets
There are a number of ewallet services available and these work by providing a kind of virtual bank account that is tied to a username or email address instead of an account number. There are various providers, including the popular Neteller, Skrill, Ecopayz, Paypal and Web Money. Most casinos will not charge a fee for deposits made via ewallets.
Not all services are the same. Some debit your bank account directly while others will ask you to transfer funds to your ewallet before you can use them, kind of like a virtual prepaid card.
These services usually include additional security features such as two-factor authentication and dispute resolution features, which can be handy when using them to shop online. They are a great option for people who would like to use their ewallet account to pay for a variety things such as online shopping, bills and so on. Paypal in particular is accepted at most online retailers and a growing number of online casinos.
Depositing in Bitcoin
A popular choice for players who want a completely anonymous transaction, Bitcoin has gained ground with casinos in recent years. Many brands now accept deposits in Bitcoin and that number is expected to grow.
In order to use this method, players must first set up a Bitcoin wallet and purchase some Bitcoin. This can be done at one of the several Bitcoin exchanges available online. Bitcoin deposits are instant and there are no fees associated with these transactions.
Things to keep in mind
- Players should always find out what payment methods a casino accepts before creating an account. This will ensure that there are no issues when it comes to making a first deposit.
- And speaking of first deposits, it’s important to read the T&Cs for the welcome bonus (and any other bonus) – some casinos will not offer bonus perks for deposits made via specified payment methods. This information will always be found within the promotional material so be sure to read all the fine print before you deposit.
- Payment methods that involve a bank transfer can take several working days to clear so players should keep this in mind when choosing a payment method.
- Casinos can charge transaction fees, which can be based on the amount deposited and/or the payment method being used. This information can be found in the terms and conditions.
The cashing out process
Understand the cashing out process at online casinos so you can claim your winnings!
Congratulations! You’ve won some cash and now it’s time to cash out. The first step is to send a cash-out request to the casino via your account page. Remember, if you have an active bonus with wagering requirements that have not been met, you may be unable to withdraw.
If it is your first time cashing out at an online casino, you will have to undergo some security checks. You will most likely be asked to provide the following:
- A scan/fax of a bank card.
- A scan/fax of a bank statement.
- A scan/fax of your passport.
Receive your funds
Once all necessary documentation has been obtained, the casino will send your funds via the payment method with which you deposited.
After your first cash-out, you will not usually be required to complete all the casino’s security checks on future withdrawals.
Withdrawals will always be slower than depositing and can take several days. The speed of transactions will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The speed of your casino’s cashier.
- Your elected payment method.
- Your VIP status.
Some casinos offer a ‘reverse withdrawal’ option while the cashing-out process is ongoing, allowing you to continue playing with your ‘cashed-out’ funds for a set period. This is basically an attempt by the casino to win back some of your money and should be avoided if you ever want to see your winnings.
Several brands allow players to manually empty their casino balances into a cash account, effectively ‘flushing’ their balance (even if its value exceeds maximum cash-out limits.) We rate casino cashiers more favourably if they allow manual flushing, because this option gives players more control over their cash.
All of our casino reviews indicate whether a brand allows manual flushing. This information can be located under the ‘Cashier’ heading.