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The first choice any gambler makes after deciding to play online is choosing a casino site. The second is choosing a deposit method.
Licensed online casino operators in the US have worked agreements with many mainstream payment solution providers. This includes credit card companies, e-wallets and even cash-based services.
Legal gambling sites only work with trusted payment providers, so choosing a deposit method comes down to finding what works best for each gambler’s personal needs. This page aims to help players do that by providing a complete list and breakdown of the major deposit methods accepted by legal US casinos.
How to Deposit to an Online Casino Account
Funding an online casino account begins with signing up for an account and completing the necessary identity verification process. State regulations require operators to collect the name, address, phone number, e-mail address and last four digits of each customer’s social security number to verify each customer’s age and identity.
From there, players have a multitude of deposit options that have all been approved by the local gaming commission. All deposit methods accepted by licensed casinos are safe, but each has its own unique selling points that make some more useful than others depending on each gambler’s needs.
Casino banking methods can generally be organized into the following categories. Below, we will discuss each method in more detail.
Easiest Deposit Methods to Get Started Quickly
These are the best deposit methods for new casino players who want to get started as quickly and easily as possible. These methods do not require gamblers to register an account or leave the house – most people have these options ready to go right now without any extra work.
- Credit card / debit card
- ACH / eCheck
- Electronic bill pay
E-wallets require an initial setup but are convenient for frequent gamblers. Once an e-wallet account is established, players can use it to store money, make deposits and receive withdrawals.
An advantage of e-wallets is they make it easy to keep one’s gambling bankroll segregated from one’s rent and grocery money. It is a simple thing to make a withdrawal to an e-wallet and then either transfer those funds to a different casino or to cash them out as desired. This makes it easy to avoid mixing gambling funds with other funds and to track total wins/losses.
Cash-Based Deposit Methods
These deposit methods are designed to turn physical cash into playable funds online. Gamblers who have actual cash in hand and want to gamble online with that should consider one of the following options. These methods are also ideal for privacy-minded gamblers who are not comfortable sharing their banking details with online casinos.
- Cash at the Cage
These remaining deposit options do not neatly fit into any of the above categories but still offer certain advantages. We will discuss each of these in more detail shortly.
- Wire transfer
- Play+ Reloadable Debit Card
Casino Deposit Methods Explained
Licensed casinos in the US tend to share a pretty common set of deposit options. There are little variations from one gambling site to the next, but the methods described below are the most common.
Credit Cards and Debit Cards
This is the go-to method for hassle-free deposits. Visa and Mastercard are accepted pretty much across the board, and there is word that Discover is slowly coming around to the realities of legal, regulated gambling.
Debit and credit card deposits work just like making a purchase at any other website. The player inputs his or her card number and security code, chooses a deposit amount and confirms the deposit. The casino account will be credited instantly.
Play+ Reloadable Debit Card
The Play+ reloadable debit card is one of the more flexible deposit methods available to gamblers. It is part e-wallet, part debit card that facilitates instant online deposits in addition to providing players with a physical debit card that can be used to make purchases and ATM withdrawals.
Players can choose Play+ from the deposit menu and then sign up for an online account. Funds can be uploaded online via credit card or bank transfer and then forwarded to the player’s casino account for instant funding. Meanwhile, a physical Play+ card is mailed to the player’s registered address.
ACH / eCheck
ACH and eCheck deposits are convenient in the same way credit card deposits are: most players already have what they need to make a deposit today. All an ACH deposit needs is a bank account and a little money to spend.
Players can select this method, then input their bank account number, routing number and amount to deposit. The funds will be credited to the gambling account instantly but may take a few days to be deducted from the checking account.
Electronic Bill Pay
The electronic bill pay method works similarly to an ACH/eCheck in that it transfers money from the player’s bank account to the player’s casino account. The difference is that bill pay uses a player’s existing “Bill Pay” feature to authorize the deposit.
Gamblers can get started with this option by logging in, selecting “bill pay” or “online banking transfer” and typing in an amount to deposit. From there, the player selects his or her bank from the list of available banks and then approves the deposit by entering his or her online banking username and password.
PayPal is the most popular e-wallet in the United States by a wide margin. For those unfamiliar with it, PayPal acts as an online wallet in which customers can safely store funds, make payments and receive money transfers. It is used by millions of customers to make purchases and by most online merchants to accept payments.
Gamblers can sign up for an account for free at PayPal.com and then upload funds via bank transfer. Players can also receive withdrawals back to their PayPal accounts for near-instant access to their winnings.
Skrill is an international e-wallet that is now operational in the US with a focus on regulated online gaming. Customers can sign up for an account at Skrill.com and then fund their accounts via credit card or bank transfer.
Cash and privacy-oriented gamblers can use PayNearMe to deposit with actual, physical cash. Selecting PayNearMe from within the casino’s cashier area will generate a payslip that can be taken to the nearest 7-Eleven and paid with cash. PayNearMe deposits are credited immediately.
At no point does PayNearMe require personal banking information.
Cash at the Cage
Each licensed gambling site in the US has at least one partnership in place with a land-based casino and can accept in-person cash deposits at that location. Players can log in and select “cash at the cage” to see the nearest location for in-person deposits.
Moving a little lower down the list in terms of convenience is the wire transfer. An increasing number of casinos are starting to phase out wire transfers, but some licensed gambling sites do still accept bank wires.
One of the other big advantages licensed casinos offer over their illegal offshore competition is a significantly improved withdrawal experience. Where once gamblers had to wait weeks to receive their money (if they received it at all), gamblers in states with legal online casinos can have their money in hand within a few business days.
Most withdrawals from licensed gaming sites are processed anywhere from instantly to 2-3 business days depending on the withdrawal method. Most casinos offer any or all of the following withdrawal methods:
- Transfer to the credit or debit card that was used to deposit
- PayPal and Skrill
- Electronic bank transfer
- Play+ prepaid card (funds can then be withdrawn via bank transfer, ATM withdrawal or spent anywhere Discover is accepted)
- Cash at the casino cage
- Paper check via mail
- Wire transfer
Identity verification is required prior to issuing a withdrawal to any player for the first time. Players should be prepared to supply personal information and a copy/image of a government-issued ID when making a first withdrawal. This is required by state law or gaming regulations in every state with legal online gambling.
Online Gambling Regulations Regarding Deposit Methods
In every state that has legalized online gambling to date, state law addresses deposit methods by stating which options are acceptable and giving regulators the power to approve additional deposit methods on a case-by-case basis.
For instance, New Jersey online gaming regulations found at NJAC § 13:69O-1.3(d) state players may fund their accounts via:
- A patron’s deposit account
- Credit or debit card
- Cash, gaming chips, or slot tokens at a cashiering location approved by the NJDGE
- Reloadable prepaid card
- Cash complimentaries, promotional credits and bonuses
- Adjustments made by the casino site with documentation provided to the player
- ACH transfer
- Transactions at sports wagering kiosks
- Any other means approved by the Division
Online casinos are also required to verify the identity of every customer prior to accepting wagers and to confirm that information prior to issuing a withdrawal. For example, Pennsylvania regulations require operators to collect the following information from each player:
- Legal name
- Date of birth
- Either the full social security number or last four digits, or the equivalent for a foreign player such as a passport or taxpayer identification number
- Physical address
- E-mail address
- Phone number
These regulations also require operators to verify that information by crosschecking it against government and private databases as well as examining a copy of a government-issued ID.
Other states have similar regulations in place regarding deposit methods and identity verification.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding making deposits and receiving payouts.
Do I need to be a resident to deposit?
No. The online gaming laws passed in every state so far allow players to register and make deposits from anywhere in the US. However, players must be physically located within state lines to place real money wagers and claim deposit bonuses.
Which deposit methods are the easiest?
Credit cards, debit cards and electronic bank transfers are the easiest options for most players because these methods only require a card or a bank account.
Why was my credit card or debit card deposit rejected?
Certain banks automatically decline transactions related to online gambling even in states with legal online casinos. The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) targeting offshore gambling operations prompted many banks to enact blanket policies blocking deposits to all gaming sites.
Players who have problems depositing with a credit card can use an electronic bank transfer, e-wallet or Play+ card to get around this issue.
What are “Know Your Customer” checks?
Know Your Customer (a.k.a. KYC) checks are the process by which online casinos verify the age and identity of customers as required by state law.
Casinos perform KYC checks by referencing player-provided information (such as name, address and last four SSN digits) against government and private databases. A KYC check may also involve the casino requesting that the player upload an image of a government-issued ID.
Is it safe to play online for real money?
Yes, provided players stick with licensed casino sites in states with legal online gambling. Licensed online casinos are subject to strict regulations regarding fair play, technical security standards, the management of finances and more.
Additionally, state regulatory agencies continually monitor the conduct of online gaming operators. The Gaming Control Board in Pennsylvania, Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey and so on are vested with significant regulatory power to ensure safe, fair and responsible gaming.
These agencies also conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with all gaming regulations and continued financial suitability.
These safeguards all go out the window for players who choose to gamble online with unlicensed offshore casinos. For this reason and others, we strongly recommend players stay far away from unregulated gambling sites.