***Updated: November 6, 2018***
The casino business is very simple: the house has the advantage in every game that they offer and over time they’ll always win more than they lose. All they need to do to guarantee their revenues is to make sure that people can easily deposit funds into their cashier and then go off and play. So the first order of business for every operator online is to establish a reliable financial transaction process. This is why you’ll find so many deposit options listed in their cashier – they want to make things as easy as possible for you.
It’s only natural for first-time internet gamblers in the United States to be hesitant about depositing at a website so we created this official Guide to Online Casino Deposits to answer all of the questions that people may have. Most of the questions center around the legality of it all, so let’s put those worries to rest right from the beginning.
Confusion started in 2006 when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in the middle of the night, as it was tacked on to the SAFE Port Act, which obviously had nothing to do with wagering on the internet. Once enacted, the UIGEA restricted banks and other institutions from processing financial transactions between gamblers and online casinos, thereby making it extremely hard for players to get money into their accounts.
The industry basically ground to a halt overnight as credit card companies like VISA, MasterCard, and AmericanExpress stopped knowingly processing transactions to betting websites. What was once the easiest way to move money was now shut down and the millions of players who used to deposit at casinos with VISA were left twisting in the wind. This was the most popular credit card because it had the highest acceptance rate by far and the transactions were usually immediately approved with no issues whatsoever.
Shortly thereafter, all of the major eWallets like FirePay, NuCharge, and NETeller closed their doors to American players and most of them totally ceased to conduct business and were never heard from again. Sadly, many of them never processed the final transactions and ran off with the money.
However, U.S. gambling laws state absolutely nothing about the legality of someone depositing funds into a website to bet or the entity that is accepting the wager: the legislation only discusses the processors who facilitate the transactions. Therefore, it is 100% legal for anyone living in the United States to deposit and play at an online casino, and ironically, it always has been. There has just been an overload of misinformation and confusion on the subject.
Best Deposit Methods for U.S. Players
There are numerous deposit options available to U.S. players today and most casinos will offer as many as they can because as we mentioned, successfully handling financial transactions is the only thing that keeps them in business. For this reason, rest assured that operators are always working their hardest to make it as easy as possible for people to deposit and play their favorite casino games for real money…of course, the UIGEA has made things slightly more complicated.
As you will see in our guides for each individual deposit method, key factors include: convenience, ease of use, speed of transaction, degree of privacy, security, and fees. Beyond these categories, some other things to look at when evaluating them are the daily and weekly limits, if they come with specific bonuses, and if they can also be used as a withdrawal method. All of these were taken into consideration when we compiled our list of the best deposit options for Americans today.
Now it probably won’t come as any great surprise that cashing out your winnings from an operator can be a little more difficult than depositing. This obviously isn’t the greatest situation for players, however it’s just the way things currently are for residents of the USA who bet online, (thanks again, UIGEA).
That said, any casino that is reviewed on this website is 100% trustworthy and will have an A+ rating for paying their winning players. Just because it takes them a little while to pay you doesn’t mean that you’re not going to receive your funds – it just means that you have to be patient. Well, unless you’re using the world’s greatest payment option, that is…
Cryptocurrency: The Safest Deposit Method
All of the annoying effects of the UIGEA are immediately wiped out if you know how to buy cryptocurrency online and use it to fund your gambling account. It takes all the other financial institutions out of the equation like banks and credit card companies, and allows you to be more in control of the transaction, making it the safest method available today.
Most players find that the true strength of depositing with crypto is that the transaction is 100% private and only you and the operator know about it. This means no husbands or wives, no bank managers, and no Uncle Sam. What you send and what you receive is only known by you.
Fastest Casino Deposit Methods
Again we have to praise the virtues of cryptocurrency because any transactions are usually received by the casino in under an hour. This was absolutely unheard of a few years ago and it’s revolutionized the entire gaming industry. In the old days the quickest way to get money in was by credit card but even then the actual transaction wouldn’t technically go through for a week or two and the House would basically “front” you the amount until it was cleared.
Think that’s bad? Before crypto came onto the scene many players had to settle for funding their gambling accounts with a money order that could take days to get to the operator instead of minutes. This made it impossible for sports bettors to shop around to find a juicy line at a sportsbook and get money in quickly to wager on it. Thankfully, it’s no longer necessary to get in your car, drive to a Western Union outlet, fill out all the forms, and then pay their enormous fees, just to transfer a few bucks to a website.
Deposit Method Fees
You’re going to start to see a trend here since cryptocurrencies have the lowest fees of any deposit method that’s out there today. Most eWallets will charge you anywhere between 2% and 5% for the transaction but if you deposit at an online casino with Bitcoin the fees are much less, with some block chain wallets only charging pennies on the dollar.
Depositing with crypto is even more beneficial these days because unfortunately there’s a new policy that’s becoming more common in the industry that involves online casinos passing credit card fees along to their players. They’re simply tired of footing the entire bill. These fees can get expensive if you use a card like American Express since they sometimes charge more than 6% of the total transaction amount, with their competitors usually charging around 3%.
It doesn’t stop there because using credit cards can get even more expensive thanks to the conversion fees that might be passed on to you. Many readers are probably now thinking, “But I’m depositing in USD and my balance at the casino is in USD, so how is there possibly a conversion fee?” This is a great question.
This happens because most operators will bill your card at an equivalent of USD but the transaction itself will actually be in another currency. Therefore, your bank and/or card company charges you to convert the transaction (which will of course be in USD) to whatever currency the operator feels like using (Euros are popular these days) and therefore the whole thing is treated as an international purchase. Unfortunately this is standard practice and you never see it happening behind the scenes.
Now do you understand why Bitcoin is so much better?
Internet casinos have been operating for many years and that is a long enough time for businesses to build reputations and for players to check into complaints. Depositing money now with an operator in the U.S. is as safe as dealing with any other normal online merchant. The industry as a whole is much more regulated, with websites having valid licenses that are administered through official government bodies and jurisdictions.
Rest assured that no matter which method you use to deposit, your funds are always 100% safe and secure thanks to the security that every operator has these days. They now use the same encryption software as banks so when you fund your casino account it’s literally the same as depositing into your online bank account. Yup – we’re truly living in a Golden Age of Technology.