Most gambling sites accept deposits from numerous e-Wallet services. Whilst free bets & promotions are often refused to e-wallet depositors, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. So if you’re still using bank transfers for gambling then I highly recommend that you move over to an e-wallet as soon as possible.
The Purpose of Gambling e-Wallets
- You don’t ever reveal your bank details to the Bookmaker. You only ever enter your e-wallet email address and password to make a deposit. This transaction almost always takes place from a secure landing page hosted by your chosen e-wallet (e.g. Skrill). Therefore your bank details aren’t stored by the third party gambling site.
- Your bank can’t track your gambling activity. Apart from the deposits to/from your e-wallet, the bank has no log of what gambling sites you’ve been using. There’s no evidence that any of the e-wallet transactions are even gambling related. This is particularly beneficial if you’re trying to obtain a mortgage — because gambling activity doesn’t usually work in your favour. E-wallets make your online activities ambiguous; your transactions could just as easily be online shopping.
- Your risk is limited to your e-Wallet balance. In theory your e-wallet could be compromised like any other online account. But even if someone does manage to illegally access your e-wallet, you don’t stand to lose any more than your current balance (which should be kept low). On the other hand, if an offender has access to your debit or credit card then there’s a chance that he will continue to repeatedly spend from your bank account .
- You won’t keep having your transactions blocked. One of the most frustrating things about online gambling is how often your Bank or Building Society will phone you up, or block your transactions following gambling activity. If you’ve had enough of that experience then sign up to an e-wallet and save yourself a lot of hassle going forward!
How Gambling e-Wallets Work
E-wallets are a digital accounts enabling gamblers to send and receive money transfers (i.e. deposits & withdrawals) to and from registered gambling merchants.
Setting up an e-wallet is simple and requires just a few personal details and verification steps. For example, you have to read back a small deposit reference code from your bank account to confirm that it belongs to you. If you’ve ever used eBay then you’ll be familiar with these steps from setting up a PayPal account.
Once you’ve set up an e-wallet you’ll need to fund it. You can do so by linking it to your bank account via a debit card transaction. Alternatively you can process a manual bank transfer. Thus the e-wallet serves as an interface to your bank account, and provides an extra layer of security and privacy. Funds can be sent between your bank account and e-wallet whenever necessary. Transaction fees and transaction limits usually apply.
E-wallets are also used for sending money to individuals (“peer-to-peer”). If, for example, your brother wanted to place some bets on the football this coming weekend but he’s already spent all his cash on beer, then you could lend him a tenner by transferring it directly to his e-wallet.
► Advantages of e-Wallets
- Easy to move money back and forth across different betting sites.
- It’s significantly faster to receive payouts than bank transfers (or cheques).
- It adds an additional layer of security/privacy.
- They’re not limited to gambling use. Many online services now support e-wallets.
- Deposits and withdrawals to betting sites are free, unlike other deposit methods.
► Disadvantages of e-Wallets
- You need to verify the e-wallet by linking it to your bank account. This process takes a few days.
- Transfer fees apply for peer-to-peer transactions and withdrawals (from e-wallet to bank).
- Total transaction limits apply. You’ll need to jump through more security steps to gain additional flexibility on your account.
- E-wallet deposits often make players ineligible for claiming Free Bets & Promotions. Always check individual terms & conditions at the Bookmaker/Casino.
Best Gambling e-Wallets
Gambling e-wallets were created specifically for online gambling. The following two options are the most popular, reputable e-wallets for gambling transactions. I personally wouldn’t consider any others.
Formerly known as “Moneybookers,” Skrill is a very popular choice for online gambling transactions. The e-wallet is trusted, cheap and fast.
Skrill has been in business for over 15 years and is accepted by hundreds of thousands of online vendors and gambling sites. Members can apply for a Skrill MasterCard so that they’re able to use their account for regular purchases and ATM withdrawals (just like a bank).
Skrill credit card deposits are charged a 1.9% fee. Withdrawal from Skrill to your bank account is typically charged a fee of €1.80, or €3.50 for a cheque. Transferring money between accounts (peer-to-peer) costs less than €0.50 for the sender, while the recipient has no fee. These fees are reduced significantly for Skrill VIP members who have qualified for perks as a result of continued loyalty i.e. regular transfers.
Overall, Skrill is a much cheaper alternative to other options, such as PayPal. It also beats Neteller — my 2nd favourite option (see next section).
Neteller is another excellent gambling e-wallet that’s been in business since 1999. It’s accepted by almost every betting site.
Neteller offers multiple funding methods, including country-specific options, that are free to use. Like Skrill, it also offers a MasterCard so that you can use your account for real-world purchases and ATM withdrawals.
All credit and debit card deposits into your Neteller account are charged a 3.9% fee; but some local deposit methods are free. Peer-to-peer transfers charge the recipient a 1.9% fee, with a minimum charge of $1. Withdrawals from your Neteller account (to bank) can be processed via a Neteller debit card or cheque for $2 per transaction. EFT withdrawals to your bank account are free.
As you can see, Neteller is more expensive than Skrill. But it’s easily the 2nd best option available. Realistically, the fees only become a significant factor if you plan to make a lot of gambling transactions.