eWallets and Paypal At Online Casinos
While UK & European punters can use Paypal at Ladbrokes, USA Residents may find that eWallets do not accept them due to the rather grey legal situation regards online gambling in the USA. Neteller, Click2Pay and Payspark have all stopped accepting US players. However USA players could use a casino that accepts Ecocard which seems to work, or they can look at other “Prepaid” options as detailed on the Prepaid Services page.
Most seasoned players sign up to an “eBanking” service, commonly referred to as an “eWallet”. While not all support gambling activities, there are a number of recognised eBank services that do. The most popular one is Neteller which is almost exclusively used for gambling (not available to residents of the USA, Canada or Turkey). Behind this, both Click2Pay and FirePay are widely supported, though note Firepay has stopped taking US depositors since the law was changed in the USA in October 2006. Lesser use made of services such as Moneybookers, Central Coin, NetPay, Citadel, Payspark and UseMyBank. In the past, both Paypal and PrepaidATM were also services used at gambling sites, but these two services have since either stopped, or ramped down, use for online casinos. There is only one casino left that accepts Paypal, (Ladbrokes) essentially because it is primarily a sportsbook with an integrated banking system that allows crossover into it’s casino. However Ladbrokes do not allow USA players, which may also be a factor.
My preference is Neteller. Neteller is popular and supported by most online casinos. The process is very fast and simple and widely supported with integrated connections built into the casinos. In fact, only Wagerworks casinos (Virgin, Paddy Power) appear not to support eWallets at this time. There are also a few Microgaming casinos (Casino Action group) who do “instant cashouts”, to Neteller only.
Neteller itself is a free service that you can sign up to at www.neteller.com. Although not immediately essential, you can “accredit” your account by providing ID to Neteller, which increases your limits and expands the options. I would advise doing this. Neteller used to have an ATM card but as of May 2007, this has been withdrawn due to restrictions placed on Neteller by Cirrus/Maestro. Neteller also allows you to deposit into it using a credit card (instant) or via Bank Wire or Internet Banking (0-3 days). Additionally, with an accredited account, you can also bank wire funds back to your bank account.
Neteller is by far the most widely used eWallet in gambling circles and while not perfect, is a very popular way of working funds. Deposits from Neteller to casinos are instant, as are withdrawals from casinos to Neteller, although the time between making a casino cashout and it hitting your Neteller account depends on how often the casino processes winnings – normally once a day. As mentioned elsewhere, there are a few Microgaming casinos who have automated Neteller withdrawals, so they truly are “instant”. This is part of the equation if you want to get cash in your pocket within the hour 😉
One footnote concerning Neteller and other eWallets. When you deposit and withdraw into your eWallet account, any currency conversion rates are subject to the rate applied by the eWallet. Thus, I would suggest that you open casino accounts in the same currency as your eWallet account to avoid subjecting yourself to these. Many players prefer to play in US dollars, irrespective of where they live. In these instances it may be advantageous to create an eWallet account in US dollars also.
Finally I would probably recommend against using Firepay. The reason being is they allow punters credit and this can backfire horribly. I’ve read stories about Federal prosecutors hounding Firepay users for getting into the hole and not being able to pay up so I’d recommend using accounts (ie: Neteller) where you have to fund your account in advance.
Although Paypal stopped online gambling transactions a while back so, in theory, there should be no online casinos that accept Paypal. For UK and European punters however, there is. Due to a loophole that allows UK bookmakers to accept bets online from punters using Paypal, you can fund a Ladbrokes account with Paypal and transfer it to the Ladbrokes casino within their banking software.