After registering with an online casino, players have two choices: They can play for fun through the site’s practice mode, or they can play for real money. There is no doubt that the latter option is the most sought after of the two, simply because of the fun, challenge and – obviously – the rewards. To play for real money, however, players need to deposit money into their online casino accounts.
Good online casinos will offer their customers several ways to fund their accounts. Not all methods of payment suit all players and a reputable site will provide a range of methods for customers to pick and choose from, based on their gambling lifestyles, their geographical location and the legislation governing how they may or may not pay. For example, Neteller was the most popular choice of payment for North American-based players until the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006. Almost overnight, US players were not allowed to pay for their gambling fun through Neteller and this remains true today.
There are many different kinds of payment options, although the most common include credit and debit cards, wire transfers, Moneybookers, Click2Pay, EntroPay, NETeller and EcoCard.
Paying for one’s internet gambling fun by credit or debit card is probably one of the simplest ways to go about things, although in recent years it has not been the method of choice by many players in the US. For one, many players are concerned about privacy and security issues surrounding credit card transactions over the internet. In addition, US gamblers are finding it more and more difficult to have their transactions authorized by their banks due to the UIGEA. Depositing funds using a credit or debit card in other parts of the world is still widely acceptable, however.
Another form of payment that is fast becoming the most popular of all is via the internet in the form of an ewallet. Click2Pay, Moneybookers and NETeller are just a few examples of this type of payment method. Simply put, players make deposits into a virtual electronic wallet on the internet and from there, can fund their online gambling accounts. Their ewallet accounts can also be used to make withdrawals. The main advantages of paying by ewallet include discretion, privacy and security. Entropay is another example of a virtual payment method and is accepted almost anywhere that the Visa card is found. As with many of these types of services, the player’s personal and financial details are not disclosed to the online merchant. It must be reiterated that some of these types of virtual payment methods, such as EcoCard and NETeller, may not be used by US players to pay for their online gambling.
Another way to fund one’s online casino account is by wire transfer. A standard wire transfer takes a few days to clear, while an instant wire transfer is authorized by the player’s bank and allows for instant account funding. Once the player makes an instant wire transfer, he or she is required to contact the online casino to provide the transaction details before being able to play at the site.
So how does one actually go about making a deposit at an online casino? Once a player is ready to play for real money, the next step is to go to the site’s banking or cashier section and choose a method of payment to fund the account. Once the transaction is completed and the funds transfer has been authorized, the online casino account will show how much money has been credited to the account. In many cases, players can choose which currency they wish to play in, such as US Dollars, Euros or British Pounds. Players can now get down to some serious gambling fun at the online casino site. Their account will display the amount of money used, as well as any winnings that will be credited to their account. Players should check how funds could eventually be withdrawn, before making their first deposit.
Many online casinos wish to encourage players to use one particular deposit method over another and they will reward their customers through something called an alternative deposit method bonus. Essentially, this is a gift of a certain percentage in credits (usually 10-20%) to the player’s account simply by using EcoCard, Click2Pay or Moneybookers, for example.