Betting using Credit/Debit Cards

Among the fastest and easiest ways to transfer funds into an online gaming account is by using a credit or debit card. Many sites are able to process deposits immediately so that wagering can begin within minutes of registration. Also, all of the various safeguards that apply to retail purchases via credit/debit card apply equally to online deposits, including limited liability should any fraudulent use occur.

The primary difference between credit and debit cards, of course, is the way in which funds are made available. Credit cards permit access to funds based upon the cardholder’s credit rating and pre-approved spending limit; debit cards provide PIN-based, direct cash access to the cardholder’s bank account, so that funds availability is limited to the amount currently on deposit. Otherwise, the two types of cards function almost identically.

By far, the most widely accepted credit cards at gaming web sites are Visa and Mastercard. The former is a trusted payment method at some 2,531 venues, while the latter is affiliated with 2,421 sites—the vast majority of which offer service in English. Minimum deposit requirements start as low as £5 and no additional processing fees are required. For withdrawals, however, transfers may take from three to five business days.

Almost all major U.K.-facing gaming web sites welcome both Visa and MasterCard credit cards for deposits. They include Ladbrokes, William Hill, 888 Casino, bet365 Casino, Party Casino, EuroGrand, Victor Chandler and BetFred, to name just a few of the larger ones. For U.S. players, the options are much more limited—only a little over 600 online gaming operators allow either card to be used.

The two most widely accepted debit cards for online gaming are also associated with Visa and Mastercard. Visa Electron can be used at 1,166 gaming sites worldwide, while the debit version of Mastercard known formerly as “Switch” and now as “Maestro” can be used at some 1,228 sites.

The debit card that goes by the name “Solo” is a fully electronic sister card to Maestro, established in 1997. It is accepted at 864 gaming venues on the Internet, including bet365, Betfair, William Hill, Paddy Power and even the National Lottery UK, among others. Similarly, the international debit card referred to as Visa Debit or Visa Delta is welcome at 789 sites.

Another credit card that has partnered with Mastercard to allow convenient deposits and withdrawals at gaming sites is Diner’s Club. As a retail card, it is welcome anywhere the Mastercard logo appears, but among poker, casino, bingo, sportsbooks and other gaming sites, the number of affiliated venues is somewhat smaller—about 448 at latest count.

Among online casino accepting Diners Club are Victor Chandler, 888 Casino, William Hill, EuroGrand, Casino on Net and Roxy Palace. Also included are Casino Tropez, Europa Casino, Prestige Casino, JackpotCity Casino and Nostalgia Casino.

Since 1996, the Irish-owned debit card called “Laser” has become a leading financial instrument in its home country. Among gaming operations online, it is accepted at 265 sites, from Paddy Power to William Hill, Ladbrokes, bet365, BetVictor, SkyBet and many more.

One of the world’s foremost credit card brands, American Express, is somewhat less utilised for online gaming transactions. Amex is accepted at some 202 sites, which include Cherry Red, Rome Casino, Silver Oak Casino, myBet Casino, Sloto’ Cash Casino, 7Red, Box24 Casino, Win A Day Casino and 7 Sultans Casino. One reason for the rather low penetration of the Amex brand in this industry is the relatively high commissions charged to the merchants.

One other credit card provider that has been pursuing a path of global expansion, including affiliations with online gaming sites, is Japan Credit Bureau, perhaps better known as JCB. Current, there are 98 JCB sites within the online gaming industry. Cherry Red, Rushmore, InstaForex, Casino Titan and Virgin Gaming all welcome the JCB card.