Casino Payment Methods

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In the early days of online gambling—the mid-1990s—methods of making and receiving payments via the Internet were severely limited. Major credit cards could be used to fund accounts and make wagers, but any winnings had to be taken as “reverse charges.” There were significant concerns among players regarding the security of such transactions and the trustworthiness of Internet merchants and casinos. Funds transfers in either direction were often subject to fees, commissions, and interest charges, too.

The only viable alternatives back then were direct bank transfers or else trusting the postal service to deliver money orders, bank drafts, and cheques—not a preferred option. Then, in 1996, two brothers in Canada, Andrew and Mark Rivkin, created a form of software they called “ECash,” which allowed secure and effective processing of online monetary transactions. InterCasino was their first client and soon their publically traded company, Cryptologic, ranked among the top five Internet application service providers in the world.

As the new millennium opened, the United States government decided to crack down on Internet gaming, resulting in the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. In a nutshell, it forbids American financial institutions from processing any transaction with an online gambling operator. Period. This effectively cut most U.S. online casinos and players off from the Internet, although some creative loopholes have since been discovered.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world went about perfecting transaction security and coming up with even safer, faster, easier ways to make and receive payments related to online casinos. Today, there are literally dozens of methods of handling casino payments online, both deposits and withdrawals. Following are some of the major ones.

MasterCard/Visa – These are still the favoured options of many, mainly due to their familiarity. They provide players with three payment options: credit, debit and prepaid cards. In addition to almost universal acceptance, they limit cardholder liability and offer ancillary benefits such rewards programs. Casinos using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology can be trusted for data security. Typically, there no fees charged to deposit or withdraw funds from a casino account with these instruments. Transactions are often instantaneous, too, although there may be limits imposed on the amounts transferred, the currency used, or the outstanding balance. Interest charges also may accrue to unpaid balances.

eWallet Xpress – Users must first open an account, which can be funded via check, money order, 900Pay, bank wire, or online bill payment. Thereafter, payments can be made into a casino account within seconds. Withdrawals are implemented just as easily. Some advantages are acceptance of U.S. players, high maximum transfer limits (up to $5,000), and no need to disclose credit card information to a third party.

Click2Pay – This is a rather new international payment mechanism. Safe and simple, it provides a number of innovative options, such as no need to fund an account in advance. Its “instant funding” capabilities allow services, goods, and casino payments to be made up front, and then Click2Pay transfers the required amount from the player’s credit card or bank account. Usernames, passwords and account numbers provide security for sensitive financial data. Withdrawals are made by cheques for free to addresses within 3~5 days.

NETeller – This money transfer service is like an online wallet for deposits, withdrawals, and funds transfers to any merchants that support NETeller Online Payments. With operations since 1999, its reliability is well established. Multi-currency transactions are a specialty, and the company offers its own ATM cards and rewards programs.

MoneyBookers – Anyone with an email address can use this service to send and receive payments online in real-time, securely and cost-effectively. Transfers are initiated via credit card or bank account. Money is collected via email. A 1% service charge applies to sending money, but receiving it is free of charge.

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