Casino Deposit / Banking Options

If you’re reviewing casinos to join, one thing you’ll notice is that they have few banking options to choose from. Each casino might have 3-5 deposit options. The availability of each option isn’t consistent from one site to the next, either.

And this isn’t just a problem for offshore casinos, like Bovada or Loco Panda. These issues plague casinos in legal markets, too. In fact, if you’ve ever played in a New Jersey or Delaware casino, chances are good that you’ve experienced the defeating message that your credit card transaction has been declined.

But don’t wave your white flag just yet.

Take the time to educate yourself first. Learn what banking options exist, the pros and cons of each, and how to use them. Your chances of successfully making a deposit will increase 10-fold.

This page serves as a hub for the best US accepted deposit methods. Each option is listed below with links to more in-depth pages and recommended casinos. You’re sure to find a combination that works for you.

American Express Casinos

Deposit Options for Online US Casinos

The following are the most common deposit options accepted by online US casinos.

Visa Casinos – This is the best option for Americans. It is the most available, easiest and fastest to use. And you don’t have to just use credit or debit cards – prepaid and gift cards work, too.

MasterCard Casinos – This is similar to Visa, except that the acceptance rate is a bit lower. You’ll want to read our guide to find the highest accepting casinos, and what options you have if you’re ever turned down.

Amex (American Express) Casinos – Amex shares similar benefits to Visa and MasterCard, but has the downside of not being available at most casinos. Find out what casinos will work, and what alternatives you have for using your Amex card.

Western Union Casinos – This is a money transfer solution. Western Union is a good option if you don’t have a credit or debit card (cash only), or if you prefer to perform your gambling transactions without your bank knowing about it. These can often be used for withdrawals, too.

Prepaid Casinos – Prepaid (and gift) cards are a good option because you get the benefits of a credit card (speed, efficiency, high acceptance rate) and money transfer (privacy). Better yet, you can buy them using the options listed above.

A General Overview of Casino Banking (3rd Party Processing in the USA)

I thought it would be helpful to understand how casino banking works. It might give you some insight as to why (and how) delays, no pays and scams happen.

So, casino banking revolves around 3rd party processors.

A 3rd party processor is a company that serves as the middle man between a business and a bank. They make the deposits and withdrawals for you, using their own corporate bank accounts.

This is where the deception happens. Often these corporate banks have no idea that the 3rd party is making transactions on behalf of (offshore) gambling operators. If they did, chances are good that they wouldn’t process the transactions, because in doing so they’re breaking the law (specifically the UIGEA).

To compound the problem, often times 3rd party processors don’t have to comply by BSA/AML guidelines.

The combination (unknown / unaware banks and a lack of guidelines) creates a potentially lethal cocktail. The only thing that is keeping your money safe is their own morality and cash flow, or lack thereof. That’s why so many players have gotten screwed in the last decade.

Another problem this creates are delayed payments. Often times a processor will have a problem completing transactions, either because their bank caught wind or the authorities swooped in to stop them. So, either the processor will have to find another bank, or the casino operator will have to find a new processor. Either way, that results in a 4-6+ week wait for you.

A good example of 3rd party processing gone wrong is with the poker sites indicted on Black Friday. These sites created fake shell companies so that 3rd party processors and banks would complete their transactions. But the government classifies this as money laundering, a serious offence in the US of A. And you and I have to pay the price for it, which is usually not receiving our money for months on end, if we’re lucky to get it at all.

Legal US Casinos: They Face Hurdles, Too

Even legal poker sites, such as those in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, face problems with processing payments.

For example, in New Jersey (as of 12/2013) Wells Fargo, Bank of America and American Express has not processed credit card transactions. So many people using their Visa or MasterCard were turned down.

The bright side (if you can call it that) is that e-wallets have started to re-enter the US market, following a short hiatus due to the UIGEA in 2006. So players can now use Skrill to fund their accounts.

Other options exist too, including bank transfers (which, funnily enough, includes Bank of America) and PayNearMe, which is a money transfer solution similar to Western Union.

I expect more options to surface, and overall banking to improve, as online poker in the United States continues to progress.