Guide to Online Casino Banking
There are over a dozen different ways to deposit at your favourite online casino - most of them are convenient, reliable and safe.
As banking is a key element for online gamblers, here we cover everything from payment methods and fees, to how online casinos protect your money against fraud.
Ultimately, this guide should help you gain a better understanding of what payment method is best suited to your needs when playing at an online gambling site.
Online Casino Payment Methods
There are a diverse number of online casino payment options available to you when it comes to making a deposit.
Whether you prefer your everyday debit card or an e-wallet - below we’ve listed some of the most commonly used payment methods available at most online casino sites.
Visa: Visa is an extremely popular choice for many players, as it is accepted at virtually every online casino. Widely regarded as a very safe and secure way to pay, the cost of processing a payment will generally be free of charge, with the minimum deposit usually low.
Mastercard: When it comes to prepaid cards and debit cards, Mastercard is up there with Visa. Whether depositing or withdrawing money, you will find that this payment method is accepted at the vast majority of top casino sites.
Then there’s Mastercard SecureCode. This gives you an extra layer of security and fraud protection, with your own personal code. Crucially, it’s another means of authorization, submitted directly to Mastercard during your transaction. Your deposit can be as low as a £5, but always check as it can differ depending on the site.
Maestro: Maestro is actually owned by Mastercard and is a popular debit card option. You often won’t be charged for using this debit card at the majority of online casinos. You can just link your debit card to your casino account and you’re pretty much good to go.
Bank Transfer: Often called a wire transfer, people have been using bank transfers for decades on-end. The thing to remember with depositing this way is that it can take days before it goes into your online casino account, so you won't be able to play straight away.
PayPal: Even if you had never heard of e-wallets until today, you’ve probably heard of PayPal. PayPal is a world leader when it comes to online wallets, so you could say that it's ready-made for casino customers.
You can add money from however many bank accounts or cards that you wish, meaning it is all pooled together in one virtual e-wallet. Once you’ve loaded it up, you can then transfer the funds to your online casino account instantly.
Skrill: Skrill, originally Moneybookers, is a great e-wallet option for funding your online casino account. This is because cash outs tend to be fast, there are no fees, and the minimum deposit is on the low side. Please note that depending on which method of banking you are using, there may be a small fee for withdrawals.
Skrill 1-tap: When choosing your deposit option at your chosen online casino site, simply choose Skrill 1-Tap from the list, enter the amount of money you would like to deposit and complete the transfer. This ultra-fast banking option does make depositing into your online casino account super convenient.
NETeller: This is another very popular e-wallet on our list. Much like with PayPal, you can consolidate funds from different accounts to one place, meaning your money can be moved around safely, and within a matter of minutes. Initially created with online casino players in mind, NETeller’s security is highly rated.
Instadebit: Another e-wallet, you simply need to open an account, add your banking information, and select the amount you would like to deposit into your online casino account. Be aware that the time it takes to process the deposit will differ slightly from site to site.
Apple Pay: With so many options these days, Apple Pay is still a great method of depositing cash into your online account, even though it might not have been around for as long as the others. If you have Apple Pay, with just a few clicks you can get money into your online casino account. This is a safe option when depositing into your chosen gambling site, as you don’t have to expose your card details.
There’s usually an option to scan your card on your iPad or iPhone, but make sure that your card issuer allows Apple Pay. Thereafter you should be able to make a fast deposit by simply selecting Apple Pay, the amount you would like to deposit and confirm the transaction.
Ecopayz: Another e-wallet, in a matter of seconds you can transfer your money from your Ecopayz account into your casino account.
Entropay: This is an interesting one. Entropay is a prepaid virtual card, which acts as both a debit card and an e-wallet. As such, you have the security and safety of both. You can use this one on any website that displays the Entropay logo.
Trustly: Originally named Instabank, this is an online payment option with no waiting times, and no fees to boot.
Paysafecard: No bank account, e-wallet or debit card is needed to have a Paysafecard. It is essentially a prepaid voucher you can use for e-transfers.
Multiple Payment Methods
Some players like to use multiple payment methods to fund their online casino account. Just make sure you set a primary (default) method first. You will then be able to register many other payment options (they must be in your name though).
As per anti-money laundering laws, casino sites will limit your withdrawals to one payment method - this being the same used to initially deposit. So, if you deposit £100 by Mastercard and win £200, you will need to withdraw at least £100 back to the same card.
Although you can use multiple payment methods, to help prevent fraud you will need to bear this in mind.
First and foremost, check that the online casino doesn’t stipulate any hefty deposit fees. The good news is that the vast majority of gambling sites don’t charge you to fund your account, albeit, check this nonetheless.
There shouldn't be any need to verify your account before being able to make a deposit, but you will need to do this when it comes to withdrawing. Much the same as any online shopping experience you might have had, depositing money into your online casino account is a fairly simple process.
To start you will need to register or login, by entering your username and password to access your existing account. After checking which payment options which are available to you - you’ll need to choose your payment/depositing method (this might be Visa, Mastercard etc, commonly used payment methods are listed above).
Your best bet is going to be to stick with a reliable and safe payment method like an e-wallet or a debit card. Whatever most suits you.
Next, you will be asked how much you would like to deposit. Most online casinos will stipulate a £10 minimum, although some do go down to just £5.
If you are still a little wary about putting your card details into the online casino site, a safer option for you might be to stick with an e-wallet or prepaid service, as with these you do not need to enter your primary details.
It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with any transaction limitations relevant to your withdrawals and deposits.
Being aware of such limitations is an important part of transferring back and forth from your online casino account. Doing this will help you to maintain your bankroll more efficiently.
You will find that almost all online casinos have both a minimum and a maximum amount on any transaction you want to make.
Transaction limits vary, mainly depending on your payment of choice. As noted above, the minimum deposit is usually between £5 and £10, with a maximum deposit of anywhere between £1,000 and £10,000. If you need to deposit more than this, you might need to consider a bank account transfer - as these come with higher limits.
Depending on the casino, you will find that there are also withdrawal limits on any cash out requests, often stipulated on a weekly or monthly basis.
If you happen to be a ‘high roller’, you might need to be extra vigilant with the casino site you sign up with. This is to ensure that you are not restricted by the amounts you wish to wager.
It’s also worth considering that these withdrawal and deposit limitations can sometimes be expanded or reduced by simply contacting the online casino’s customer support team.
As a measure of fraud prevention, the Gambling Commission stipulates within its codes of practice that before you can withdraw you must verify your account.
In other words, you need to prove who you are and where you come from. This stops anyone else being able to get their hands on your funds and ensures the operator complies with anti-money laundering regulations.
Sometimes the online casino will perform a soft credit check, meaning they can verify your account automatically. This is usually the case if you have initially registered and deposited using a bank card which is registered to your home address.
More often than not, you will be requested to provide either a scanned passport or ID card, or something which proves your name and address, such as your driving licence.
When it comes to your place of residency - if the casino in question needs further authentication, you might be asked to provide utility bills, bank statements, or official documentation.
When using cash vouchers or perhaps a foreign bank account not registered to your UK home address there might be additional identity checks done, and more information required.
If you want to try and avoid any potential waiting times, you can of course just verify your account whilst initially signing up. This should make the withdrawal process run much more smoothly!
Transaction Times Explained
We always recommend that you make yourself aware of the online casino’s transaction times, so you know how long it will take for you to access your money when you need it most.
It pretty much goes without saying that transaction times will vary depending on the online casino of choice, and also can be very dependent on the payment type you’re using.
You should take into consideration that if you decide to deposit via bank transfer, it can take as long as 5 working days for you to be able to use it in your casino account.
Withdrawals will also be slower as not only do they take longer to process, but there is also a verification process to be followed.
Typically speaking, for a debit card, you are looking at around 1-3 working days start to finish. With e-wallets - such as PayPal and NETeller, the waiting time is either in the hours or in rarer cases, can take up to one working day.
Should you decide to make an express bank transfer, the transaction time is usually the next working day, however - you will be charged a fee for doing so.
Have a feeling that your withdrawal is taking a little too long? We recommend contacting the online casino’s customer support team. They will generally be happy to check it out for you and will then get back to you after an investigation on the matter.
Casino Site Transaction Protocol
Always check the online casino’s licences and security before depositing any of your hard-earned cash. More specifically, you need to make sure that the site in question is focused on player and payment protection.
Each and every UK online casino has to follow the guidelines set out by the Gambling Commission - meaning that in order to protect you, they have to secure all online transactions by using an SSL encryption (Secure Socket Layer).
This security protocol applies cryptographic methods in order to secure information. SSL enables two separate devices to perform securely over the web. These days it’s often referred to as TLS (Transport Layer Security).
Nevertheless, a great way to make sure your payment is is to take a look at the web address bar. You will see that the ‘HTTP’ entry phrase becomes ‘HTTPS’. The ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’ - and as you probably guessed, this is a sure sign that you are fully protected when making online casino transactions.
Online casinos are also required by law to regularly assess procedures and policies, as well as perform frequent risk assessments. All law-abiding UK-based casinos will need to have anti-money laundering, as well as fraud prevention, procedures in place to protect its players.
Staff will be regularly retrained on such assessments and will have to keep on top of customer due diligence for 5 years minimum. Any suspicious activity will be fully reported. An example of suspicious activity could be terrorist financing, money laundering or fraud.
If you find an online casino that conforms to the PCI DSS (or, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) then you are in luck, as this is next-level protection.
PCI DSS was first introduced in 2006 by Mastercard, American Express, Visa, Discover and JCB. All of these companies will adhere to that extra level of security when processing or storing your payment information.
What is Player Fund Segregation?
The Gambling Commission has inserted terms within its codes of practice for all online casinos to segregate their operational funds (or business account), from player funds/deposits. With that said, it is still optional for each online casino to choose the level of player fund protection.
Put simply, your deposits and winnings are separated from any of the casino's funds and will be held securely in a segregated account. However, this does greatly depend on the level of protection offered by the company - more on that below.
Some online casinos segregate funds on a daily basis. Despite the payment process sometimes taking days - the risk involved will be taken on by the online casino itself.
It is very important to note, however, that in the event of an online casino collapsing, whether or not your funds are returned back to you will depend entirely on the level of protection the casino offers.
These are the 3 categories of protection, explained briefly:
- Basic: Unfortunately, if your casino falls into this category, your cash will be considered as part of the casino’s funds, meaning you have no extra protection if it becomes insolvent.
- Medium: There is no guarantee here, but at least with medium protection, the online casino has taken steps to protect your funds in the worst-case scenario.
- High: On this level, your funds have been fully protected, separated, and will be controlled by a third party. Meaning, if your online casino goes bust, an independent trustee will have to return all funds to you.
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, you might have more peace of mind choosing an online casino that offers medium or high player fund protection, in case of bankruptcy. With that in mind, we only ever recommend online casinos that fall within the ‘high’ category.
Welcome Deposit Bonuses
Although you might find that the welcome package on offer is a big draw for you, please be aware that your entitlement to such a welcome bonus can also depend greatly on your payment method of choice.
E-wallets like NETeller and Skrill usually don’t qualify for bonus deposits. Whilst e-wallets are great when it comes to making deposits, you often can’t claim a welcome bonus this way.
Verifying your identity with such e-wallets makes it more difficult for the online casino to perform a risk assessment and thus - this is in order to prevent bonus abuse and fraud.
Because of the difficulties in verification, a large number of online casinos have actually eliminated electronic wallets in terms of promotional bonuses. Let’s suppose that you still want to use your chosen e-wallet as a payment method, but you also want to claim your bonus.
In this scenario, you can claim it with one of their other accepted payment methods, switching back to your e-wallet once you’ve received your bonus. It’s always a good idea to check the reviews that we compile on leading online casinos, as well as any terms or conditions - in relation to promotional or welcome bonuses.
Before you decide to commit to an online casino, it is very important to check that the casino you are interested in signing up with is licenced with the Gambling Commission. This is for your protection, as the casino must meet specific standards in order to operate legally.
Research the site’s terms and conditions, take note of that particular casino's player fund protection level, and of course any fees involved - (withdrawal fees particularly) as they can vary from casino to casino.
Ultimately, you are in control of your cash, so be very mindful about which online casino you trust it with. Hopefully going forward, you now have a better understanding of online casino banking, which will enable you to make better decisions when choosing the right banking option for you.