For sports bettors from the United States, it has been a tumultuous past ten years in the online betting world. Despite these issues, the US betting market is still going strong as of 2014, and there are plenty of quick and easy ways that bettors can get their cash online.
In years past, online gamblers located in the United States had a bevy of deposit options at their disposal. E-wallets, such as Neteller and Skrill were essentially online wallets that could easily be funded by credit card or bank account. Withdrawals from Neteller to your bank account were free of charge and things could not be any easier in regards to depositing online. Sure, credit cards were still being rejected at a few gambling sites, but before 2006, things were mostly smooth sailing for offshore gambling sites and online bettors.
2006 was a key year for online gambling of all forms in the United States. President Bush signed the Safe Port Act into law, a bill that was amended in the final hours to include the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. This bill did not criminalize the act of gambling online for individuals across the United States, but instead went after the offshore gambling sites and their payment processors.
Moneybookers (Skrill) left the US market almost instantly as did many large gambling sites, including Pinnacle Sports and Party Poker. After being charged criminally by the US government, Neteller froze customers’ balances only to return them a year later. A few years later, the US government then seized another popular online wallet, eWalletXpress. After this 2010 seizure, the e-wallet market for US gamblers had dried up.
Without available e-wallets, bettors began to use more traditional methods to deposit online. After the initial shock of the lack of e-wallets, the market has adjusted impressively over the past few years. Established US sportsbooks are still offering a long list of deposit and withdrawal options to players, including credit and debit card deposits, person-to-person transfers and traditional paper checks.
Today’s US online sports betting market is thriving in a big way. Deposit bonuses are still in the hundreds and even thousands of dollars and bettors have a long list of reputable bookmakers at their disposal. Our full deposit guide below will give bettors detailed instructions on each method of depositing. The table directly below shows the current deposit methods accepted at the major US sportsbooks.
A Note About Legality
While online gambling from an individual perspective is not illegal federally, banks and other institutions, such as credit card companies may flag transactions that may be related to online gambling. While this may not be an issue for most bettors, it is imperative to not mention online gambling when speaking to your bank or credit card company, especially in regards to deposited checks and incoming bank wires.
Currently Accepted Deposit Options for US Sports Bettors
Due to the UIGEA’s banking restrictions on online gambling, many deposit options that were choices years ago for US players are no longer available.
Credit & Debit Cards
Both VISA and MasterCard are both accepted at a wide variety of sportsbooks. VISA is considerably more popular, but about half the sportsbooks servicing US bettors take MasterCard. It is the most popular deposit option in the US market, because of its convenience and instant transactions.
Bank wire is a widely used method for withdrawals, but few sportsbooks allow it as a deposit method. A deposit via bank wire usually takes just 1-2 business days and the large deposit limits offered by many sportsbooks make it favorite of high limit bettors.
Western Union and MoneyGram
Both of these person-to-person transfer methods have been around for decades, and have increasingly been used to deposit into online sportsbooks since the banking regulations of the UIGEA. Both offer fairly decent deposit limits, but come with higher fees for withdrawals.
This is the go-to withdrawal method for the vast majority of US players. It is cost effective, as well. Many sites offer one free check a month for payouts. Fewer sites offer it as a deposit method, but it is one that is worth taking advantage due to its low cost and high deposit limits.
Similar to check, money orders are relatively cheap to process and offer larger deposit limits than other options. They are not available as a payout method.
Unbeknownst to some bettors, most sportsbooks will allow players to transfers funds in-between sportsbooks. This is usually free and is available at about half the books in the US market, and is a quick way to move money around from book to book.
The above banking options for American bettors are the only ones still accepted by USA bookmakers. However, less than a decade ago we were spoiled for choice with all the above options and more available.
These are no longer available for US players. Industry leaders Neteller and Skrill stopped accepting US customers shortly after the UIGEA was passed in late 2006. These electronic wallets were essentially online bank accounts that were tied to personal checking accounts of players. Both options were widely used by players, and the companies were the top payment processors during their half-decade run in the US market.
This was another method that was quite popular before the Federal crackdown on online gambling. E-checks were processed directly from a player’s bank account through an ACH transaction. These were quite common until the “Black Friday” seizures of the internet’s top poker rooms, Full Tilt and PokerStars. Today, they are basically nonexistent in the US online sports betting market.
Many sites have “sister” sportsbooks, which operate under a different name but have the same odds, service staff, and deposits and withdrawal options. There is no need to worry using these books. Funds deposited into these sites are under control by the same ownership group and are safe and secure.
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