Depositing into an account with an online poker site in the USA is much easier than it once was. The passage of UIGEA in 2006 introduced rules about payment processing which made several financial institutions very nervous about handling online gambling transactions, and many of them withdrew their services from US facing poker sites.
With it being nearly a decade since the passage of UIGEA – during which time several states have passed legislation to regulate online gambling – financial institutions are more prepared to accept transactions involving online gambling sites. Online poker rooms have also become more flexible in what deposit options they will accept and the limits that they apply to each deposit method.
This article focuses on the most popular deposit options for poker websites. It is not guaranteed that all US poker sites will accept every deposit option listed on this page, and you are advised to check with the customer services department of your preferred site to ensure that your chosen method of funding your account is acceptable.
Credit and Debit Cards
Most US friendly poker sites are happy to accept Visa and MasterCard as deposit options. Players also like using them because of the convenience they offer and because there are no fees attached. In order to use MasterCard and Visa for depositing at poker sites, the cards must be good for international purchases. US only cards – particularly pre-paid debit cards – will be declined by default.
If credit and debit cards are so easy to use as a deposit option, then why would you need any other deposit solution? Well, some financial institutions are still nervous about processing gambling transactions and decline deposits for online poker sites. This is not a reflection on the integrity of your poker site, but rather that your credit card provider has his head up his backside.
Because some debit and credit card providers have issues with gambling transactions, most US friendly poker sites accept money transfers from companies such as MoneyGram and Western Union. Money transfers are a great option for depositing at online poker sites in the USA because you know the transaction will be accepted and credited to your account within a few hours.
To use MoneyGram or Western Union as a deposit option for an online poker site, you will often have to get in touch with your poker sites customer support. Customer support will give you the name of an individual to transfer the money too and a tracking number so that you can see when your deposit is credited to your account.
E-wallets have become one of the most popular deposit options for online poker sites due to a wider range of deposit limits being available. Whereas as most other deposit options have a minimum deposit limit of $50.00, players with limited bankrolls can deposit just $10.00 into their poker accounts using an e-wallet provider.
Possibly the most flexible e-wallet option right now is Bitcoin. Bitcoin deposits may take up to fifteen minutes to process, but the withdrawal times are lightning fast and there is no hanging around waiting for the poker site to process your withdrawal request or waiting for a check to arrive in the mail. Ideally, you should open up a Bitcoin e-wallet with a provider other than Coinbase, who are currently reluctant to process online gambling transactions.
Besides from Bitcoin, there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies and “altcoins”. Many are accepted by USA friendly poker sites for funding an online account – the most popular ones being Ethereum and Litecoin due to their lower processing costs and faster transaction times. If you use one of these deposit options, be aware some sites accept Ethereum or Litecoin deposits but do not have the facility in place to facilitate withdrawals in the same cryptocurrency. You may have to use an alternative withdrawal method.
What to Consider When Choosing a Deposit Option
Different deposit options each have their pros and cons. Visa and MasterCard users will love the convenience of depositing via a debit or credit card but may find that they have to find an alternate method to withdraw their winnings. E-wallet users also have a convenient service at their fingertips, but there are fees attached to using e-wallet services.
The fees are also high when using money transfers to deposit into USA friendly poker sites, but they have the “advantage” of being inconvenient. How is this an advantage? Well, if you were using other deposit options and you went on tilt, it would be very easy just to click a button and reload your poker balance with more than you could afford to lose.
With money transfers, you have to make phone calls, physically visit a money transfer provider and wait for your funds to be credited. So, although it is more expensive to use money transfers to fund an online poker account, it could be saving you money in the long run!