While choosing a sportsbook online, one of the things you will need to consider is whether that site offers deposit and withdrawal methods you are comfortable with. If you have never wagered on sports online in the past however, it is possible that you have not actually thought through how you want to deposit and withdraw your money.
In fact, you may not be all that familiar with all of the options that are available to you at various sportsbooks. In this article, I will introduce you to popular banking methods which you will find on many sports betting sites in 2018.
Also, be sure to check out our constantly updated link to The Best Sportsbook Payouts 2018.
Credit or Debit Card
First up is a method that you are probably used to using for the majority of your purchases, and that is your credit or debit card. The same piece of plastic you use to buy your groceries can also be used to fund your sportsbook account.
One important thing to know about using your credit or debit card as a banking method is that quite a few sites accept it as a deposit method, but not as a withdrawal method.
If that is the case, you will need to have a different plan for withdrawing your money. You might want to think about that in advance so that it does not catch you off guard later.
Your credit or debit card is a familiar payment method, and you already know how it works.
This payment method is accepted by a large number of betting sites.
In some cases, your credit card provider may offer purchase protection (to keep you safe from scams), but this is something that double check, as exceptions are often made for gambling.
Paying with your credit or debit card is fast and easy, and funds usually transfer instantly.
Betting sites often will place a lower maximum cap on deposits made using a credit or debit card than those using other methods.
Some credit or debit card providers have been known to block payments for betting sites.
Not all punters feel comfortable submitting their credit or debit card information online.
Best For: Convenience
Worst For: Privacy and Large Transfers
Next up on our list of payment methods for online sportsbooks is cryptocurrencies. Even a few years back, cryptocurrencies were not all that commonly accepted, but nowadays they are swiftly becoming one of the most popular options for depositing and withdrawing on sports betting sites, to the point where the majority of sites seem to be offering them.
There are dozens upon dozens of cryptocurrencies out there, and people are busy inventing new cryptocurrencies on a continuous basis. Right now, the most common ones you will find listed on sportsbook banking pages include:
This was the first cryptocurrency invented, and it remains the most famous and widely used amongst them. Bitcoin rose to new heights last year both literally and figuratively. Its value against other currencies soared, and as a result, public interest in it (as well as other cryptocurrencies) blossomed.
Since then, bitcoin has come back to earth, but interest in cryptocurrencies certainly hasn’t waned. Many people continue to enjoy the convenience of bitcoin, and love to use it for sports betting and casino gambling.
The second most popular cryptocurrency is probably Ethereum. Explaining what Ethereum is seems hard to do without getting quite arcane, but suffice to say that it is a cryptocurrency and a decentralized app development platform. While more sports betting sites still offer bitcoin than Ethereum, those offering both are quickly catching up.
Litecoin is much easier to compare to bitcoin since it is more or less the same, with the key difference being the transaction cost, which is quite a bit less. This is a welcome improvement, since bitcoin transfers have become somewhat unwieldy. As an example, I once received a payment in bitcoin from a user who paid almost as much in transaction fees just to send me the coins as he paid me in the first place.
Along with the popular cryptocurrencies above, there are numerous other virtual currencies which you might encounter as payment methods for sports betting sites. Some of these include Monero, Dash, Dogecoin, Zcash, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Cash, Bytecoin and TRON, just to name a few.
Cryptocurrencies are excellent for privacy. This is one of the reasons why they were created. If you want to protect your banking and credit card information, keeping some virtual funds in a cryptocurrency wallet and using that to pay instead is a great way to do it. Just be aware that most sites will still ask you to verify your identity before you withdraw.
Lower minimums and higher maximums for cryptocurrency transfers are common sports betting sites.
While transfer speeds can vary quite a bit, on the whole, most cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals should process pretty quickly (often within minutes).
If you do not have any cryptocurrency funds right now, you will probably feel overwhelmed when you look into what you have to do to get started. Nonetheless, it is not as daunting as it looks. It just takes some time and research.
Cryptocurrencies are wildly unpredictable. Calling them “volatile” actually redefines the word “volatile” from what it usually means. For this reason, they are a gamble even to hold onto.
Taxes as relate to cryptocurrencies are incredibly complicated, and will confuse even a lot of tax experts.
Fees for cryptocurrency transfers can vary a lot, and may sometimes be very high.
Best For: Privacy, speed, flexibility.
Worst For: Convenience, predictability.
Another well-established method which you can use to fund your sportsbook account online is a wire transfer. This is an option which the vast majority of sites have offered for a long time and still offer today.
While the phrase “wire” in the name is no longer a literal reference to telegraphing, how a wire transfer works is the same in principle. If you “wire” your money to a sportsbook to deposit, you provide your bank account information and an amount, and you pay in advance. You then wait a brief time as the payment is processed. For transfers within the same country, this may take only hours. For those across international borders, you can expect to wait a few days.
Note: The term “wire transfer” is sometimes used loosely. Technically, it should refer to a transfer which is sent through Fedwire, SWIFT, or a similar processing network. Sometimes however, someone might use the term to refer to a “bank transfer,” which is different. A bank transfer goes directly from one bank to another without using a processing network.
Wire transfers are a reliable, secure time-tested method for sending or receiving money. Many sites allow them for both deposits and withdrawals.
You may be able to deposit or withdraw larger amounts of money using a wire transfer than you could through other means such as a credit card.
You might have to wait several days after sending your money before it shows up in your sportsbook account. Likewise, it may take a few days after submitting a withdrawal request for the money to arrive in your bank account.
Wire transfers are not cheap. On average, a domestic transfer will run you $25-30, and an international transfer may cost you even more.
It does not happen all that often, but now and again a wire transfer may get lost.
Best For: Reliability, large transfers.
Worst For: Convenience, cost-savings.
You probably do not use checks too often, but paying by check is another option worth considering. To do this, you will probably need to get a certified cashier’s check, which means taking a trip to the bank.
Quite a few sites will not only let you deposit money this way, but will also offer you the option of accepting a check for a withdrawal. That means that you will wait for the site to send you a check in the mail, and you will then take it to the bank and deposit it in your account or cash it as needed.
This is another possible option for sending or receiving larger deposits or withdrawals.
Checks have been around for ages and are a familiar way to send and receive money. You may be used to using them.
If you screw up and send the wrong amount or change your mind, you can put a stop payment on your check deposit if it has not yet finished processing. Contrast this with a wire transfer, where you pay in advance and cannot cancel your payment.
Sometimes you need to do some advance planning with cashier’s checks, at least for large amounts. The bank may want you to let them know beforehand if you are going to walk in and request a cashier’s check for a significant amount.
Withdrawing by requesting a check can be rather slow. You could be waiting a week or longer for your money.
One must wait for a check to clear. This can add to the processing time before the money can be used with peace of mind.
Fees can vary considerably. I have seen some sites which charge no fees at all for processing checks and others that charge more than $50 per check.
Best For: Large transfers, familiarity.
Worst For: Convenience, cost, speed.
A money order is a bit like a wire transfer. To pay with a money order, you need to pick one up and fill it out with the amount you want to send and the recipient’s name and address. You then pay on the spot, and the money order is sent through the mail. There is no way to cancel it once it is initiated. Money orders can be used for depositing or withdrawing.
Money orders are a secure, reliable way to send money or receive it. They even come with tracking numbers, so if a money order gets lost, you can follow up on what happened to it.
This is a method you can use to pay with cash indirectly (you can use cash to fund the money order).
Lots of sportsbooks are willing to let you transfer larger amounts using money orders.
Fees for money orders can be on the high side.
A money order can take time to process, whether you are using it to deposit or withdraw. Expect to wait a week or more for the money to appear in your account.
Best For: Security, reliability, large transfers.
Worst For: Speed, cost-savings.
Person to Person
As with the term “wire transfer,” this one may be used loosely, but it generally refers to sending money directly from one bank account to another. That means you are not using an e-wallet (see below).
Person to Person is a simple, convenient method for depositing or withdrawing money.
No third parties are involved, and this is a secure, reliable option.
Usually Person to Person transfers are reasonably fast. They may take a few minutes domestically or a few hours internationally.
Fees may range anywhere from $0 to more than $100. Obviously at the lower end, this may be a cost-effective way to transfer money. At the higher end, though, the fees are exorbitant.
Best For: Convenience, ease, speed, reliability.
Worst For: Cost-savings.
E-Wallets, Prepaid Cards, Etc.
Finally, there are many third party payment transfer services which you can use nowadays online, most of which take the form of e-wallets or prepaid cards. Below, I will introduce you to some of the most popular ones.
Please note that not every sportsbook accepts every service below. Most take a handful, and the selection can vary quite a lot from one betting site to the next. Some betting sites may accept none of these options. Also note that there are a lot of money transfer services online nowadays, and this is not a full list.
Neteller is among the best known money transfer services online. With services available in 15 different languages, it serves millions of customers around the globe.
The roots of Neteller are actually in the gambling world, which fueled much of the platform’s early growth. Indeed, 85% of gambling companies on the planet were relying on it by 2000.
Today, Neteller continues to process transfers for sports betting sites and online casinos, though it does restrict such transfers in countries which have laws against gambling on the internet. Currently, the parent company of Neteller is Paysafe Group.
- Globally trusted brand with millions of customers.
- Authorized by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Note that this is a status which passports to all member nations of the European Union.
- Two-step authentication available.
- Instant payments.
- Fees on Neteller are not the lowest, but VIP customers can pay lower fees on many services and enjoy features like limit increases, next day payouts, free money transfers, and more.
Alongside Neteller, the most popular and reputable transfer service online for gambling is probably Skrill. For many years, Skrill was known as Moneybookers (sometimes it is still called by this name). It is owned by the same parent company as Neteller, Paysafe Group.
- Trusted by millions.
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS Level 1) level encryption.
- Authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
- Two-factor authentication is offered.
- Referral program is available to earn extra money.
- Instant transfers.
- Like Neteller, Skrill has strong ties to the gaming community online.
- Want lower fees and 24/7 support? Skrill offers a VIP program similar to that operated by Neteller. To qualify, you simply need to have a certain minimum transaction value within each quarter of the year.
This is another online payment provider you will find listed on many sports betting websites. It is owned by the company PSI-Pay Ltd., and dates back to 2000, when it was originally known as EcoCard.
- Authorized by the FCA.
- EcoPayz boasts quite a few accreditations, including Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, membership in the Prepaid International Forum (PIF), registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and Data Security Standards (DSS) compliance.
- Prepaid card and ATM withdrawals available.
- Instant transfers.
- Many services carry low fees or are fee-free at higher account tiers.
- Monthly offers and promotions offer you a chance to win rewards.
Most of the services which I have shared here are e-wallets, but paysafecard is not. It is a prepaid card service which is owned by the same parent company as Skrill and Neteller, Paysafe Group.
To use paysafecard, you simply walk into a local store which offers the cards for sale, and buy one using a payment method of your choice (even cash). You then use the PIN which you receive to make deposits at your online sportsbook.
Note that this method is generally offered for deposits, not withdrawals. But there are some gaming companies which can process withdrawals to paysafecards as well using nothing more than an email address associated with the card account.
- Owned and operated by the same trusted parent company which runs Skrill and Neteller.
- A solid way to protect your banking information. Unlike with an e-wallet, you do not have to put that information online at all. This makes it one of the best privacy options for those who are worried about data breaches.
- An easy, convenient, and flexible payment method.
Sofort is a popular payment system online, but you can only use it if you are located in one of the 13 countries in Europe where the service is available (the primary ones being Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium). Throughout those countries, 20 million customers rely on it for transfers.
- Sofort has a strong reputation in Europe. It is owned by a company called Adyen, which traces its origins back to 2006. Adyen employs a staff of hundreds, and processed €108 in 2017 alone. Large companies such as Etsy, Uber and Spotify process payments using Sofort.
- A simplified solution for fast, easy, secure, convenient online payments.
Perfect Money is a name you will see pretty often while you are looking into payment providers. Unlike those I have listed above however, this one’s reputation seems a bit more vague. While it has been in existence since 2007, there is literally no information anywhere on the service’s ownership. Perfect Money is promoted as both an e-wallet and a cryptocurrency.
- You may use Perfect Money for regular fiat currencies, but also for cryptocurrencies.
- Earn interest at a rate of 4%.
Pros of E-Wallets and Prepaid Card Services:
With an e-wallet, your banking information is only stored on one server, and is shielded from all other sites where you bet or shop. Many e-wallets are broadly accepted by a wide range of e-tailers, so you have a one-stop solution for your online payment needs. You also can usually transfer money from user to user.
With a prepaid card, you do not need to put your banking information online at all.
E-wallets and prepaid cards are both incredibly easy to use. You can usually send money with just a few clicks.
Transfers through these services tend to be very fast. Oftentimes they are instantaneous.
Quite often, betting sites will not charge you a fee to use these services.
The e-wallet may be quite flexible in terms of how you deposit and withdraw between your online account and your bank account and/or credit or debit card.
Cons of E-Wallets and Prepaid Card Services:
Even though the sportsbook may not charge you a fee, you will usually pay a fee to the e-wallet service you use. While fees are generally low, they can add up over time.
Some services have questionable backgrounds, and it can be hard to locate solid information on them.
Even reputable e-wallets tend to rack up customer complaints involving processing times, limits, identity verification, and so on.
Again, there are more e-wallets and prepaid cards out there than those discussed above, but this at least gives you an introduction to what is available.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Payment Method for Betting Online
You are now familiar with a range of payment methods you can choose for sports betting on the web. If you are still having a difficult time deciding how to deposit and withdraw, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you pick the right method:
- How much can you afford to pay in transfer fees?
- In conjunction with the question above, how often will you be making deposits or withdrawals?
- What do you think your average transfer size is likely to be? What about the minimum? How about the maximum?
- Are you comfortable exposing your banking information or credit or debit card number to the sites you bet on, or would you prefer that information to be confidential?
- How fast do you need your transfers to be? Do you want them to be instant, or do you plan far enough ahead that you don’t mind waiting a few days (or longer)?
- Is it important for you to be able to pay with cash and keep your banking information completely to yourself (i.e. would a prepaid card serve you better than an e-wallet)?
- Do you want to use a method you are already familiar with, or are you okay with learning something new?
Once you answer those questions, you should be able to skim over the methods above again and identify which ones are most likely to fit your needs.
In 2018, there are quite a few deposit and withdrawal methods which are available at sportsbooks online. You can see that each method has different pros and cons, so picking the best one is a matter of finding one with advantages befitting your requirements and not too many drawbacks.
Hopefully you will be happy with the first online sportsbook payment method you try, but you may end up needing to try out several before you find one you are completely satisfied with. Once you do however, you can count on deposits and withdrawals being simple, fast, reliable and affordable.
Some of our other great articles