While not a widely used deposit option until the last few years, MoneyGram has been available as a deposit method since the advent of offshore betting. As deposit options have become increasingly limited after the UIGEA, more traditional methods of transferring funds have been relied upon by bettors to get their money online.
MoneyGram has been around in some form for over 75 years. The company consists of two branches, which are the sale of paper products and global fund transfers. Similar to Western Union, MoneyGram International is one of the most trusted money transfer services in the world and has strong consumer confidence.
Depositing with MoneyGram
MoneyGram, along with Western Union have become the most popular deposit option for US bettors other than credit or debit card for depositing into online sportsbooks. Though the process for depositing via MoneyGram is not instant, it takes only a few hours and has a 100 percent success rate.
Nearly every US-facing sportsbook now offers either MoneyGram or Western Union as a deposit option, and many offer both methods. Once bettors are logged in to their sportsbook account, they should head to the cashier section and look for MoneyGram. As I mentioned in my Western Union article, the method may not be listed under the name MoneyGram, but instead may be called “Money Transfer” or “Person-to-Person Transfer.” Usually, the logo will be in red and white if it corresponds to MoneyGram, and black and yellow if it is Western Union.
Once players get to this page they will be prompted to contact customer support, usually via toll free number, or if the site offers it, live chat. Bettors will be given a name and city of where to send the MoneyGram transfer, which is normally a member of the sportsbook’s service staff. After this, the player will send the payment via MoneyGram.
A typical interface found at US sportsbooks when depositing with Monegram. Pictured is BetOnline
This can be done through MoneyGram.com or through thousands of locations across the United States, or around the world. Once the funds are sent, players will receive a Reference Number, which they will then give to the sportsbook’s support staff. This will allow the funds to be picked up at the appropriate location. While the money will be available in just 10 minutes after the transaction is sent. It normally takes online sportsbooks a few hours to pick up the funds and add them to your betting account.
Sending a MoneyGram transaction does come with a fee, which is based on the amount sent. This can range from $20 to $100 dollars. In a lot of cases, sportsbooks will reimburse or cover the fees of players who deposit via MoneyGram. However, there is usually a minimum amount players have to deposit to get these fees waived by the book. This amount is usually between $200 and $300, but it is always best to check your sportsbook’s rules before depositing. It would suck to miss out on getting your fees refunded because you failed to deposit the specified amount. Asking a member of support before depositing is a surefire way to getting the right answer.
Advantages of MoneyGram
While MoneyGram is not instant like a credit or debit card deposit, it is much faster than other traditional methods, including paper check and bank wire. Also, like Western Union, the maximum transfer via MoneyGram is generally higher than the amount that can be deposited by a credit card. This makes getting a large amount of money online a lot easier and faster than using other methods.
Withdrawals via MoneyGram
If a sportsbook accepts deposits using MoneyGram, they will almost certainly let players withdraw using it. Unlike paper checks or bank wires, MoneyGram transfers take several days instead of several weeks to process. Most sportsbooks process them within 72 hours, and some get the payouts out as quick as one business day.
Like Western Union, fees for MoneyGram withdrawals are more expensive than other withdrawal methods like paper check. Depending on the amount request, transaction fees can range between $20 to $60 per transaction.
Many sportsbooks will offer a free payout once a month for customers, but this usually excludes money transfers, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Since both these methods have high costs, they are rarely offered as a free method.
MoneyGram as a Withdrawal Option
MoneyGram is a clear option for US bettors looking for an alternative to credit card deposits. While the fees for depositing can be a little excessive, many sportsbooks will reimburse players for these transactions fees. This can make the method cheaper than credit card deposits in rare cases.