When it comes to sports betting online, there is nothing more important than getting paid.
It is not easy to pick winners, and so when you do pick winners, and then you go to take a profit out of your account and suddenly you find that withdrawing money out of your account is a pain in the you-know-what—well, it really puts a damper on the whole experience of winning.
Unfortunately, pains the in the you-know-what are all too common when it comes to online sports betting payment processors. Especially if you are a U.S.-based sports bettor, payment processors must comply with a rat’s nest of banking and money transfer rules.
Getting money out isn’t the only challenge, either. Depositing money can be frustrating, too, with certain payment processors. That’s one reason why CasinoReview.org has always used “ease of deposit/withdrawal” as one of our main criteria for reviewing online casinos and sportsbooks.
That’s also the reason why we are now offering this new section on reviews of online sports betting and casino payment processors: because we know you need to know, before you deposit, which online betting processors are easy to deal with, and which are, uhm, not so much.
Reviews of Online Betting Payment Processors Are Hard to Write
It’s quite difficult to write reviews of online betting payment processors simply because the banking and money transfer rules of each country can be extremely confusing, not to mention that these rules frequently change.
These rules are particularly unclear and “fluid” when it comes to U.S.-based bettors.
We saw this fluidity recently with online poker payment processors for FullTiltPoker.com, PokerStars.com, and AbsolutePoker.com. One would assume that due to the size and influence of these sites—millions of people use these sites—the Feds would leave them alone.
Instead of being left alone, these sites are, at the time of this writing, facing 50+ charges including bank fraud and money laundering in U.S. federal court.
Each of these sites engaged in a popular form of payment processing whereby deposits from U.S. bank accounts would be designated on the player’s bank statement as if these moneys were used to purchase magazine subscriptions, pet food, or some other innocuous item.
This form of payment processing worked brilliantly…until it didn’t.
This court case, among others, has thrown into limbo the most popular forms of depositing money into online casinos and sportsbooks, using a credit card or checking account.
Even though these sites are facing these charges, this same technique of online sportsbooks and casinos charging your credit card or bank account under some kind of different name is still happening industry-wide.
So you can see then that writing reviews of online betting payment processors is not an easy task. The situation is literally changing from month to month. We therefore strive to update our reviews as needed based on the changing payment processing environment.
Depositing and Withdrawing Money to Online Casinos via Credit Card
The most widely accepted and probably overall the easiest form of online betting payment processing is the good old-fashioned credit card.
Most sports betting sites accept Visa and MasterCard.
If you are looking for a low cost, low friction Internet betting payment processor option, depositing and withdrawing via credit card can be a great choice. Credit card companies are quite eager to keep their customers happy so you usually get decent cooperation from them.
Also, you may be able to get perks such as frequent flyer miles for using your credit card.
We would caution you, if using your credit card, to make sure you are betting with a reputable site that has the right security measures in place to protect your identity and your money.
Third Party Payment Processors Such as Neteller, PayPal, and MoneyBookers
The second major option for online betting deposits and withdrawals is to use a third party “e-money” or “e-wallet” service that processes “e-payments” out of a special account held with whatever service you choose.
Third party payment processors that follow this model include:
By giving bettors another layer of protection against the prying eyes of governments and/or unscrupulous betting websites, these third party processing companies offer bettors a way to be more anonymous in when transferring money.
However, the trouble comes when these third party payment processors get “too big,” and start to encounter the same scrutiny that the major banks are under. You can see how this has happened to PayPal, which has largely exited the online gambling industry.
We would also note that the choice of a third party online betting payment processor can be quite local in nature. That is to say, certain payment processors cater to certain countries. You’ll want to keep those geographical concerns in mind as you choose an e-wallet service.
Payment Processors Only as Good as the Sites They Work With
Ultimately, you must realize that whenever you are depositing money into and withdrawing money out of an online sportsbook or casino, it’s up to the online sportsbook or casino itself to make sure that depositing and withdrawing is easy and honest.
Payment processors process payments, and obviously that’s important. But it is the actual online sportsbook or casino that must agree to disburse your winnings through the payment processor, and in order for this to happen smoothly, the online sportsbook or casino must cooperate.
As you already know if you’ve engaged in online sports betting, some sportsbooks are more cooperative than others when it comes to withdrawing money. With some sites, they seem to think they’re doing you a favor by “allowing” you to withdraw your winnings.
In this sense, choosing a payment processor goes hand-in-hand with choosing an online sportsbook or casino: you should choose the best combination of the two.