Before you get your feet wet with an online casino, you’ll need to know how to fund your player account. All the free deals you’ll be offered will give you a great opportunity to check out the different games on offer at the casinos you fancy trying out, but for some serious fun you’ll need to make real money transfers, and to a rookie player it can all seem a bit intimidating.
The main reason for this is because of all the different badges and logos you’ll see on the sites themselves. Have a look at the payment options on sites like All Slots or Lucky Nugget and the option seem to be endless, but don’t worry: They all fall into just a few categories, so there’s nothing to be concerned about.
Your main option, which is by far and away the most popular, is the good old-fashioned credit card:
All sites almost without exception take Visa these days, and it’s the most popular choice being the biggest player in the market. You do, however, have other choices: Sites like All Jackpots, for example, will let you use Diners Club instead, and most sites also take Mastercard as well.
In fact, if there’s one thing casinos hate doing it’s turning down money, so if you think your credit card won‘t be accepted just because it’s not listed, you’re probably wrong anyway. Sites that belong to large casino groups like Platinum Play have access to extremely good customer services facilities and you can chat live with their agents to discuss anything that may need ironing out.
On top of credit cards, you can also usually deposit with a debit card, too. Again, casinos have to keep their options open if they want your cash, so they’ll invariably take whatever card you offer. Advertised options tend to be restricted to Visa cards, so if you’ve got one then you should be OK – though most other commonly accepted Aussie debit cards will usually be accepted.
You don’t, however, have to use a debit or credit card at all. Whilst these methods carry negligible levels of risk these days in terms of identity fraud, some players don’t like using their cards on the web and there are ways round it:
Chief among these is the pre-paid card:
These took off when travellers wanted to go abroad without worrying about thieves stealing their card and getting access to their current account, and they work by letting you transfer money from your bank into a separate account, which works with your card. No-one can spend more than the amount you’ve loaded up onto the card, which makes it very safe.
When you look at a site that has dozens of payment options, most of them will be different brands of pre-paid card – so don’t panic when you see logos from brands like Eco, Paysafecard, Poli, EZIpay and the multitude of other companies that have got in on this lucrative business: They all offer the same facility.
Your next option is good old PayPal. Not all casinos offer this for some strange reason, but sign up at the multi-award winning Swedish site Mr Green and it’s there for you to use, and other Australian casinos are following suit all the time.
You may assume that if you don’t have a bank account at all that you’ll never be invited to the party, so to speak. Wrong: Thousands of players enjoy an online flutter every week using UKash.
UKash vouchers can be bought at your local convenience store for a small surcharge, and you then peel off a code on the voucher, input it onto the site and hey presto! You’ve got a casino account to play with. When you win, you’ll have to get the casino to send you a cheque – which they all do, though it usually takes around 14 days.
Last but not least, though, is the king of casino payment systems: The e-wallet.
These are provided by Skrill (formerly known as Moneybookers) and Neteller. They work on a similar principle to pre-paid cards, but with a few advantages:
Firstly, they work very well with mobile devices; secondly, they remember your personal details and can therefore fill in registration forms automatically at any site.
Best of all, though, your winnings can be transferred to an e-wallet in less than 24 hours, making it by far and away the quickest method of getting hold of your cash. Sites like Casino-Mate, Gaming Club and Ruby Fortune are notoriously fast when it comes to sending funds back with e-wallets, often taking less than a few hours.
Whilst credit cards are still the most popular way to fund a casino account don’t ignore the other options: They’ve got far too much going for them.