***Updated: November 11, 2018.***
The money order is the creation of three British postal workers, who in 1792 wanted to give English sailors a way to transmit money to their wives and sweethearts in the far-flung reaches of the United Kingdom. As a result, Stow & Co. became a private enterprise that afforded this convenience to the “blue jackets” and the “red coats” for a 3% commission on the transaction.
For more than four decades the company enjoyed raging success and in 1838 the money-order business was taken over as an official transaction of the British post office. The fee structure was switched to a flat 12 cents for transfers of £10 or less and 36 cents for larger money orders up to a maximum of £25, which was the largest paper currency in circulation in England at the time.
During the American Civil War of the 1860s the United States Congress began considering a money order system to be a safer alternative to sending cash through the mail. Today, American post offices are the main purveyor of money orders, in addition to banks, Western Union, and select retail stores. The maximum amount that can be sent via postal money order is usually $1,000 domestically and $700 internationally, but the limits are being increased all the time to stay in line with inflation and the cost of goods. The customer fee hovers around 1% of the value of the money order but you might find it slightly higher at certain places depending on the demand of the area and their competition.
Deposit with Money Order
Since the beginning of the internet gambling craze in the late 1990s, USA online casinos have been accepting money orders as a deposit method because back then options were quite limited. The ability to easily execute financial transactions just hadn’t caught up to the ease of placing real money wagers at websites. Therefore, everyone had to take what they could get and if you couldn’t deposit and gamble with your VISA, 9 times out of 10 you’d have to get into your car and drive to a Western Union outlet or someplace similar and fill out a money order.
Also, Americans were already quite used to moving funds around this way between family and friends, so asking people to send a money order wasn’t a big deal. For many players this option was actually their first choice since it functions in the exact same way as a paper check from a personal bank account, except that the amount is prepaid, thus providing excellent protection against fraud for both the player and the operator.
Once you verify that you can use a money order to deposit you can purchase it at any number of locations, in any amount you want, which will be stamped on two portions of the watermarked document. One portion is retained by the purchaser as evidence of the payment and the other is passed on to the online casino to fund the bankroll.
The operator will give you the name and address to send it to and then the money should be available for play in the account in a few hours, but in extremely rare cases it can days to go through if there’s an issue. The first time you transfer money to a casino via Wester Union it feels very strange: sending money to a name you’ve never heard of a in a country you might not have ever even visited. The country that operators usually use to send funds to is the Philippines, and most often it’s a place called Quezon City which is just outside of Manila.
This makes it one of the slowest deposit methods available to players today, second only to Check by Mail, which is only as fast as the post office wants to deliver it.
USA Online Casino Money Order Deposits
To confirm, whenever you are looking at a list of deposit methods at a USA online casino and see “Money Order” listed, they are talking specifically about Western Union or one of their competitors. Websites can’t actually say “Western Union” on their pages because it is a trademarked name and you need permission from their company to use it. And since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) makes it illegal for companies to process financial transactions between players and betting websites, there’s zero chance that they would ever permit their name to be used for American customers. They have to stick to something generic.
The main strength of using a money order to deposit is obvious: you don’t need a credit card or a bank account to complete the transaction. Therefore, there’s no financial information given to the operator and no personal data divulged beyond a physical mailing address, which will come as very good news to those in the United States who value their privacy. Also, bankrolls are limited to the amount on the money order so it isn’t possible to top up your account with additional funds during a losing streak, which of course might actually be seen as a “con” by some players.
With money orders there will not be any spur of the moment gambling sessions after a few drinks or when sitting at home bored. It is the most deliberate deposit method, usually preferred by sports bettors at the start of the season and before big games they know are coming up. A lot of time must be allotted to buy it, fill out the forms, and send it off to the casino, which in a digital age will feel like “forever” to anyone under the age of 40. Thankfully, Western Union now has a digital option for transferring funds through their website that no longer requires visiting a physical outlet, as well as an app for your smartphone.
Occasionally money orders can be used to withdraw winnings from casinos but you need to be certain that they use a service that can be cashed locally, so it’s always good to contact their customer service team to ask them before depositing. This is a process that can consume the better part of 10 business days so you’d better not be in a rush to receive your funds. If you know beforehand that you’ll need to get the winnings in a hurry, you should make sure that you know how to buy cryptocurrency and deposit with it so you can also get the money back the same way. The fees are very low and the transfers only take minutes to complete once processed.