Betting using Western Union

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More than a century before the Internet was created, America’s Western Union Company was already offering its customers a remote payment capability over a network of communication lines referred to as “wires.” The company got its start in 1851 by providing telegraph services, which included the ability to “wire money” across the country and eventually overseas.

Western Union was also instrumental in providing immediate access to sports and horse racing results across long distances. Referred to as “The Wire,” bookmaking operations in the United States relied on telegraphed information until the Federal Wire Act of 1961 made wagering across state lines illegal.

Today, Western Union offers a global money transfer service, together with its international affiliates, Orlandi Valuta and Vigo. Western Union consumers can send and receive money, make payments and purchase money orders, through a network of some 300,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. Apart from providing an easy way for families and friends to send money and stay connected, it also offers a convenient method of funding accounts for online gaming.

According to one recent survey, there are currently 182 gaming web sites on the Internet that accept Western Union for financial transactions. Included among them are Ladbrokes Poker, Victor Chandler Casino, Betfair Sportsbook & Racebook and Expekt Bingo & Games, to name just a few.

Money transfers can be made through Western Union over the Internet by using credit cards, debit cards or through an Automated Clearing House (ACH), depending on the country of origin and the biller. To do so, a Western Union account must be first be established by registering at westernunion.com.

To initiate the transfer, log on to Western Union, designate a source of funds and provide the gaming site’s account information as supplied by the bookmaker or casino. There are three different options available to complete the transaction: the In Minutes Transfer will make the funds immediately available on the gaming site, while the Next Day and Three Day options will cause a delay. Fees apply to each transfer method.

The specific product offered by Western Union that is most applicable to online betting with cash is called “Quick Pay.” A Western Union Quick Pay transfer can be initiated by sending cash directly to the gaming web site from any Western Union storefront location. The Payment Services Agent locator on westernunion.com can be used to find a nearby location. In this case, no Western Union account is required, but transfer fees still apply.

Note that some sites deal only with Euros as the transacting currency. When using Quick Pay, the funds can be in any local currency, but FOREX fees will apply when converted to Euros. Most gaming sites credit funds to the player’s account within 24 hours of completing the Quick Pay transaction, although some can make funds available in just one to 18 hours. Refer to the web site’s cashier or banking section for specifics.

Party Casino serves as a good example of the cost of making deposits via Western Union. Although the web site does not charge a fee, if the amount being remitted is less than €200, the Western Union transfer is €16.50. Deposits exceeding €200, the transfer fee is be paid by Pay-Pro.

As always, be sure to check the fine print before initiating any financial transaction online. Most gaming sites that accept Western Union deposits do not provide withdrawals via the same method, so at least one other financial method must be selected for receiving cash payouts.