U.S. Banking Options at Online Casinos

Anyone who has enjoyed the ever growing variety of online casinos knows that, from a banking perspective, many of them are not friendly to U.S. players. Some do not cater to U.S. residents at all, and the ones that do, have relatively limited deposit and withdrawal options for U.S. players when compared to players from other countries.

The reasons for this are multifold, but mainly have to do with U.S. governmental regulations put on place by the U.S. Patriot Act of 2001 pertaining to tracking sources of funds and where the money is moving. This is more research and tracking than most online casinos are equipped for.

In order to fill this gap, several eWallet services have arisen. These companies identify the players and maintain pertinent records, both for U.S. players and for the U.S. Government. This is a growth industry, and new players will be turning up as the online casino industry continues to grow, and the existing services will certainly broaden the services that they offer a more competition comes into the market.

Other more conventional services will still fund your accounts and will arrange payment of your winnings. Here are a few of your options when it comes to funding and cashing out your online accounts:

 

 

Many online casinos accept Visa and MasterCard charge cards for easy funding of your casino account. Fewer also accept Diners Club cards, and fewer still accept American Express products. The upside of funding your account with credit cards is ease of use. The downside, however, is that for many banks and financial institutions the use of a credit card to fund a play account raises a red flag, and the bank will decline to transfer funds. This may slow the funding of your account, or, in limited cases, the bank may not allow the transfer at all, even after you call them to approve it. The reason for this is because the way the Patriot Act regulations are written is vague, so different financial institutions interpret the regulations differently. Because most Internet casinos are hosted in smaller countries, there is some question about their status as cooperative, sanctioned or non-cooperative under the act.

In order to ease credit card funds transfers, try to get a card with a smaller bank or financial institution, such as a local credit union or a small-town bank. The big national banks are the touchiest about these transfers, and they are the most likely to put up obstacles to your success.


     
 

 

Instant Checks, also known as eChecks, use Automated Clearing House (ACH) technology to transfer funds directly to or from your bank savings or checking account. Unlike Wires, ACH transfers do not cost anything at the financial institution end of the transaction, so, unless the casino charges a small service fee, which they may, the transaction is free. After an ACH transaction is initiated, it typically takes about three days for the funds to appear at the destination. The progress of the ACH transfer is as follows: Day 1 – the transfer is initiated, Day 2 – the transaction is at the virtual “clearing house”, Day 3 – the funds appear at the destination. The funds are delivered in “batches” several times per day, and the ordering of the batches are arbitrary, so there is no rushing the ACH transfer.

     
 

 

This is a generic term for a more modern version of a Western Union type of transfer where the money is sent to an agent and you go to the office to claim it. The cool part about Rapid Transfer, however, is that you also have the option of having your notifications sent via email to your personal email address or even to your Internet phone. Once you receive your verification number, you can claim your money at the local office for the Rapid Transfer company that you are using. For details about where the local office is, check the Rapid Transfer company’s website.


     
 

 

The old stand-by for financial transfers, Western Union is a sort of privately owned prototype for the Wire Transfer. Not as versatile as a true Fed Wire, the recipient must claim the funds at a local Western Union station, but, with well over 300,000 offices world-wide, there is usually one in the neighborhood. The upside is that the Western Union transfer is economical when compared to some of the more expensive options, the funds are traceable, and the transfer is quick. The down side is that you have to claim the funds at a Western Union station.


     
 

 

This is a form of sending funds between banks or between banks and receivers that are set up to receive and send them. Wire Transfers are also often referred to as Fed Wires, because of the transfer system that they use. Many casinos offer wire transfers to your bank account for redemptions of winnings. The good part about Wire Transfers is that they are fast and reliable – every cent is readily traceable once it is sent. Normally Wire Transfers appear in the bank account one day following the day it is sent, depending on the time that the item is entered at the sending side.

The downside of Wire Transfers is that they can be restrictively expensive. The sending institution usually charges a fee, and, if they are an offshore casino, the fee is not regulated, though they are usually kind to their clients. The receiving bank will also charge a fee, and, in the United States, that fee may be as high as $35 per transaction. This means that, if the casino charges a $35 fee to wire your funds, you will be paying $70 per transfer – not too bad if you are having $50,000 of winnings sent to your bank, but it is significant if your winnings are closer to $500.


     
 

 

This is a great eWallet that offers payment services to a variety of international online merchants. eWalletXpress has been embraced by the casino industry, and they work well with a large number of casinos. Establishing an eWalletXpress account is a good way to manage your gambling funds because, once you have this account set up, it makes getting money to and from individual casino accounts very easy. In order to register with eWalletXpress you will need to have your credit card or checkbook handy with all the numbers. Once you enter the info, eWalletXpress will run a verification on all your information – this can be fairly time consuming, as they will have access to the funds in your account, and they need to be certain that you are the authorized user of that account. This step is for both your protection and for theirs, and it is why they are such a good company to deal with. After the verification is complete, they will send you a verification via email. After that, you are ready to go in search of your casino. Get started with eWalletXpress at eWalletXpress.com.