Deposit and Withdrawal Guide
As we discussed in our offshore history article, online betting in the United States has had an up and down history over the past decade. Deposit and withdrawal options have also changed a lot over that time frame.
Each deposit and withdrawal option has its unique advantages and disadvantages. We’ll take players through each option available in the US market and also profile those that left (or were forced out of) the US online gambling industry.
Best Betting Sites for Deposits 2017
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First, let’s look at the options that are no longer available in the US market:
The online e-wallet and payment processor is still the leader in online gambling payments across the world, but was once even larger. Their owners were indicted in 2007 and Neteller was forced out of the US market following the passage of the UIGEA.
Another e-wallet, MoneyBookers was established in 2001 but rebranded themselves as Skrill in 2011. The company is second only to Neteller in processing online gambling transactions and operates in over 200 countries. US players have been essentially banned since 2008, and the company accepts no new accounts from the United States.
The e-commerce giant is available for just about every nation, but Americans cannot use the service for transferring online betting payments. In regulated markets, such as the United Kingdom, players can use the service to deposit and withdraw to and from online sportsbook accounts.
Unlike Neteller and Skrill, from its beginning, PayPal has strictly banned payments relating to online gambling in the United States.
Many countries also have domestic payment processors that accept online gambling transactions. For example, Instadebit is connected to the Canadian banking system and available exclusively to residents of Canada. The regulated online gambling climate in Europe offers players other options.
No Electronic Wallets for US Bettors
While these were once used in large numbers by US citizens in online gambling markets, the UIGEA and government interference have made this an unwise decision for operators.
Even if an e-wallet today began facilitating online gambling transactions for US players, there instantly would be a target on its back. The potential convenience would not be worth the risk of having funds seized by the government.
Despite the lack of many international options, depositing into online sportsbook from the US is still relatively straightforward. Funding accounts can be done instantly through more traditional methods, and there are multiple options for the recreational bettor or the high-limit professional.
Below, we’ve listed the top options for funding and withdrawing from online sportsbooks. Each link will give players step-by-step deposit instructions for each method, including any additional fees and the availability of withdrawals.
- Credit Cards, Debit Cards, and Gift Cards
- Person-to-Person Transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram)
- Checks/Money Orders
- E-wallets and E-checks
- Bank Wires
- Inter-sportsbook Transfer
- Bitcoin (crypto-currency)
Before You Can Withdraw
Online sportsbooks require personal information at sign-up and will usually ask bettors for more documents before they can withdraw. This is standard procedure for the vast majority of online gambling sites and is known as the known-your-customer (KYC) process. It is done to protect both players and operators from fraud.
Sites may ask for copies of the front and back of the Credit Card you used to deposit, along with a photo ID of some kind. This can be a passport or a driver’s license. Some may ask for a utility bill or bank statement. Scanning the documents is the simplest way to do this, but a digital camera can also work.
While this information is sensitive, it’s purely for identity verification purposes. There’s little risk of your information being shared with a third party if you stick with trusted online operators. This is yet another reason to avoid sportsbooks that have a poor reputation in the industry. Not only do you have to worry about being paid on time, but your personal information may also be at risk.
Once your documents are verified, the sportsbook will almost never ask you to send more documents or go through the process again. After this protocol is complete, withdrawal requests should be processed in a timely matter.
What If I Don’t Receive My Payout?
Once you have requested a withdrawal and received a confirmation email that it is being processed, generally all that is left to do is wait. The sportsbook will give an estimated timeframe for each method and may or may not notify you when they send the payment.
For person-to-person transfers, the shop will give players a corresponding number to pick up the transfer amount, but in the case of bank wires or paper checks, there is usually no notification that the payment has been sent.
If you don’t receive your payment in the allotted timeframe that was quoted by the sportsbook, it doesn’t hurt to give them another few days or week for them to make good on the withdrawal. Just like any business, these sites have delays, especially during busy times of the year such as the NFL season or March Madness.
If the payout request still lingers, contact customer support via email, live chat or phone. Inquire about your withdrawal request and ask how long they think it will be until it is processed. It’s best to be cordial with customer service representations, as these guys are your first path to management.
Regardless of your method, it shouldn’t take a sportsbook, even in the much maligned US-facing industry, longer than two months to make good on any payout request.
Person-to-person transfers should be processed within days while checks and bank wires may take several weeks. Bitcoin, a crypto-currency, shouldn’t take more than a few days.
Once You Receive Your Withdrawal
If you receive a bank wire, you won’t need to do anything to receive your withdrawal request. It will simply appear on your bank statement once the wire goes through. The same applies to person-to-person transfers. However, neither of these are the most popular choice for withdrawals.
Paper check is the cheapest and most widely used option, but it can also be slightly riskier. Banks can’t knowingly accept checks issued by online gambling sites. If possible, deposit the check through an ATM to avoid potential questions about its origin. Many checks are from foreign accounts and look different than domestic checks.
A bank teller may ask you a few questions when you deposit a check. Obviously, don’t mention it’s related to online gambling.
A bank will never steal your funds for depositing a check from an online gambling site, but may be forced to close your account if they suspect that you’re receiving funds from online gambling sites due to federal regulations.
It’s Actually a Painless Process
The above stuff seems like a lot to worry about, but most of it is precautionary. We’ve deposited and withdrawn from offshore sites for over a decade with only minor issues. The story is the same for most online bettors based in the United States. We’re just in the business of keeping players informed about potential obstacles along the road.