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Depositing Funds to Your Online Casino & Poker Room Account - The Best Options
Ways To Deposit
When I first wanted to start playing in online casinos and poker rooms, I thought it would be as easy as 123 to start playing - surely all you need to do is to download the software enter your credit card details and away you go?
Well yes kind of, but you may already have seen there are a multitude of different payment and deposit methods available ranging from credit and debit cards right the way through to the good old snail mail check!
There are a range of options but it is vitally important that you choose the right one otherwise your casino and poker play may not be as rewarding as you first think.
Historically credit cards have always been the first thing people think of when looking to deposit money - and why not - these days most of the major banks offer internet fraud protection and depositing via credit card is pretty instantaneous - so what is the problem - well there could be a few.
1, A lot of US credit card issuers now will not allow you to use their cards for gambling transactions, this is also now starting to hit the rest of the world with other big issuers.
2, Mastercard now prohibit winnings from being re deposited back onto cards bearing their logo.
3, Some banks both in the US and UK who do allow their credit cards to be used to deposit money, account for these transactions slightly differently and as a result charge interest differently usually with no interest free period and certainly in the UK with interest rates in excess of 21% AER.
4, There may also be limits with some online casinos and online poker rooms on the amount of money you can deposit and have re deposited back onto your card so if you win big you may not get it all back!
Now becoming more standardised around the world but used heavily in the UK and Europe, don't tend to suffer the same restrictions as credit cards and of course because the money is coming directly out of your bank account - unless you have an overdraft facility you are not exposed to the excessive interest rates associated with credit cards.
Still used a lot to make payments for bills etc, one of the biggest issues with bank transfers is the time - funds are not moved immediately so you often have to wait before you can use your gaming account for anything upto five days - during which lets be honest the banks will be earning some interest off your money, and at the same time the banks will charge you for the privilege of transferring your money this way.
Online Payment Services
I guess Paypal may well have started this trend off but now there are a whole host of online payment services to choose from (Paypal incidentally not being one of them as when they were took over by Ebay they stopped allowing Paypal to be used for casino transactions)
The best known ones are Neteller, Moneybookers, Western Union & Stormpay but there are others such as Citadel.
All pretty much offer a similar service in that you open an account with them - for free and you can then deposit money into them using either a credit or debit card or by wire transfer etc, once you have deposited money into them you can then use this account to deposit and withdraw funds from your online casino or poker room account - in most cases immediately.
All have a range of different services attached to them and, obviously they have to make there money somewhere, a range of different charges - as an example I deposited Ł25 into my Neteller account from my UK credit card and was charged a 98p handling fee by Neteller - which was taken directly off the credit card - approx 4% charge which is quite a lot especially if you are depositing large amounts into the account.
However one of the main advantages of using services such as this is that you can accept money and deposit money in different currencies - all converted at the payment services conversion rates and you can use one account to fund a range of different casino and poker accounts - and of course one account to receive all of your winnings!
One final word of caution on this though - when using your credit card to deposit funds into your payment service account just check with your card issuer that they do not treat these deposits in the same way as they would treat a deposit to a casino and sting you with high rates of interest on the transaction.
Snail Mail Methods
Need I say anything - if you really don't want to use any of the above or you are scared about leaving your details on the internet then you can always send a good old cheque (check!) and wait for it to clear - some (not all) online casinos and poker rooms accept this method.
There are a myriad of different ways for you to enjoy your online gaming and deposit and withdraw money safely, if you do struggle to use your credit card then one piece of advice which the banks would kill me for saying is to balance transfer the money off your credit card into your bank account then use your debit card to deposit the funds (thus avoiding the hefty interest charges) - be careful though for balance transfer fees but this is a whole different article!
Andy Denton runs a number of websites including one specifically on poker strategy and poker site reviews - http://www.haveaflutter.com/ and also has extensive experience of working in the financial services industry.
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