Betting using PayPal

Published: 29/09/2011

Internet-based casinos, bingo clubs, poker rooms and bookmakers offer lots of methods for making financial transactions. Some are limited to a single currency. Others may be used for deposits but not for withdrawals. More than a few, such as major credit cards, are subject to pre-authorization or an approval process. That's why more and more users of online gaming services are turning to virtual banking options such as PayPal.

Founded in 1998 and based in San Jose, California, PayPal is a free payment method that allows money to be transferred via the Internet, both to and from some 190 countries and regions worldwide. The company is currently owned by eBay, the renowned online auction and shopping website. Part of PayPal's appeal is that it allows any individual or business that has an email address to easily, quickly and securely send and receive payments online.

When it comes to gaming, PayPal is currently accepted by 202 online venues, including 181 that use English as their primary language. Among them are most of the major Internet-based casinos, such as 888 Casino, BetFred Casino, EuroGrand, 32Red and Party Casino, to name just a few of the top brands.

For bingo players, Bet365 Bingo and William Hill Bingo head the list, much like Bet365 Poker and William Hill Poker are among the leading choices for card players. Race and Sports Books that accept PayPal include SkyBet Sports, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Victor Chandler, Paddy Power and other big names among U.K. and Irish bookmakers.

One of the attractions of using PayPal is 100% guaranteed protection against unauthorized payments from the user's account. It builds upon the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards, while employing some of the world's most advanced proprietary fraud prevention systems. This results in a truly safe, global, real-time payment method.

There is one major drawback, however. With the exception of skill gaming sites, PayPal does not allow payments from U.S. accounts to gaming sites. European customers, on the other hand, are freely permitted to use PayPal for gambling transactions.

It is probably easiest to think of PayPal as a "digital wallet." It can be connected to a variety of financial transaction options, such as bank accounts and credit cards. When making a deposit at an online casino or sportsbook, funding can be initiated without the need to enter specific credit card or billing information. PayPal completes the deposit process without sharing details with the web site.

Among the primary means of transacting with PayPal are bank accounts and credit/debit cards. In the case of the former, money comes directly out of the bank account that has been linked to the PayPal account. There are no fees associated with deposits made this way, and funds are typically available instantaneously. Going in the opposite direction, although transfers can take 2-3 business days, funds residing in PayPal can be transferred back to the bank account without incurring any charges.

For use with debit or credit cards, the system works much the same way, and credit card holders may keep collecting any reward points that accrue to their cards. Some charges do apply, however, with card usage, typically on the order of 2.9% of the total amount transferred plus $0.30 USD per transaction to cover the merchant fees associated with the card service.

PayPal has recently introduced some new innovations, including a MoneyPak funding option for U.S.-based accounts, a PayPal Extras MasterCard with a points programme, and a Bill Me Later option. Users should note that when transactions are cross-border or involving foreign currency exchange, extra fees may be charged.

For example, when withdrawing funds from an offshore casino, a 0.5% International Personal Payments Fee may apply. Also, a fixed fee may also apply to currency of the payment, such as 0.20 for each transaction in U.K. Pounds Sterling or 0.35 for Euros.

Published on: 29/09/2011

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