Using Western Union at Online Sportsbooks

western union logoWestern Union has been active in some form for the past 100 years. They are one of the most trusted money transfer services in the world as well as offering several other types of commercial services. One of these is their person-to-person money transfer service which can be used by sports betting fans to make deposits at online sportsbooks.

In fact, as far back as ten years ago sportsbooks have offered Western Union transfer as a deposit option, though it was rarely the choice for most players. Since the implementation of the UIGEA, bettors have had to rely on different forms of payment for funding their sports betting accounts. Western Union and Money Gram have emerged as popular choices in recent years.

Depositing with Western Union

Depositing via WU is a longer process than depositing via credit card but is still a relatively simple quick and painless process. The deposit method is available at pretty much every sportsbook servicing US players these days.

Once players are signed into their preferred sportsbook, they should look for a Western Union deposit option under the cashier. It may not be called Western Union, but instead called “Money Transfer” or “Rapid Transfer”, or some other similar name. Once players click this option they will be instructed to contact support, usually via phone. This can also be done via live chat if the sportsbook offers that option.

Once you get into contact with support, they will give you the name of person to send it to (a representative of the sportsbook) and the city of where the transfer is to be sent. WU transfers can be done online through or at thousands of locations across the United States.

After a player sends a transfer, they will receive a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN). This is essentially the same thing as a tracking number for a package. Once the funds are sent, players will give the MTCN to the sportsbook’s customer service staff. With most sportsbooks having 24 hour support teams, the transaction should not take much longer than a few hours to be credited to a bettor’s account. Although, this varies depending on the sportsbook.

One negative factor when sending Western Union transactions is the cost. A transfer of $2000 may cost players somewhere $20-$30 to send, depending on the amount. As the amount sent increases, so do the fees.

Luckily, most online sportsbooks will reimburse players who deposit over $300 or more via Western Union. The amount they paid in fees to deposit will simply be added to their account balance once the transaction clears. Of course, each sportsbook has their own requirements for reimbursement. It is best to check with support or read the fine print before depositing with Western Union. However, the vast majority of US-facing sportsbooks do offer reimbursement of fees if the transfer is for $300 or more.

Advantages of Using Western Union

One distinct advantage is the amount you can deposit per transaction. Most sites accept up to $2,000 per transfer, which is much higher than credit card or debit card deposit limits. Another reason is its 100 percent success rate if you enter the information correctly. Some credit cards may get declined, but using Western Union is a surefire way to fund your account without issue.

Western Union is also available at over thousands of locations across the United States and hundreds of thousands across the world. Sending money is simple and even faster when players send via the official WU site.

Withdrawals via Western Union

Western Union is almost always offered as a withdrawal method if it is available as a deposit method. Cashing out with WU is a bit of a double-edged sword – players can get their funds faster than any other method, but it also comes with hefty fees. While most sportsbooks offer one free withdrawal per month via check or perhaps bank wire, it is rare that players can use their free withdrawal for a Western Union transfer.

This is because of how expensive these transfers are to process. Western Union transfer fees range between $50-$200 per transaction depending on the amount sent. Generally, the maximum amount that can be sent is $2,000 per transaction, and this will normally come with a $200 fee.

While bettors will be paying a lot to get their funds via WU transfer, they will come much faster than other methods. Most sportsbooks process these withdrawals within 1-3 business days and some get the funds to players within 24 hours.

Western Union as a Withdrawal Option

Aside from credit cards, Western Union (and MoneyGram) is the most popular deposit option for US online sports bettors. Its 100 percent success rate for deposits is a big reason why. Although withdrawal fees can be quite high, for players in a rush to get their funds, this is by far the fastest way.