To deposit fast into an online poker site you will need to choose a site with a sophisticated processing system that can handle credit card deposits. I suggest to head over to Betonline.com, which has a 65-80 percent approval rating on deposits made from US credit cards, or IgnitionPoker.eu (previously known as Bovada) which has a 75% approval rate. If you don’t have a credit card, or a debit card with a credit card symbol, then the next fastest way to deposit would be a cash transfer option. If you have neither a credit card nor checking account, it’s still possible to deposit via cash transfer but it’s not exactly what we’d call “instant”. It’s more a pain in the butt, but it works.
Deposit Cash from the US
To deposit cash at an online poker site, you’ll need to contact that site and get their details for shipping via MoneyGram or Western Union, that is if your credit card did not work. Once you have these details you’ll head to your local supermarket or Wal-Mart, fill out a form and submit payment. The receipt provided will have either a money transfer number or a money control number which you then provide back to the online poker site, and they’ll credit your account in under an hour or two. While this method is not fast, it does have several advantages which you can read about on our MoneyGram page.
Why is it so Difficult to Deposit on Online Poker Sites?
Well, as we mentioned in our intro, Ignition Poker offers fast deposit via Visa as well as Betonline.com, and they both accept MasterCard but with a less success rate. With the two mentioned options being the exception, until PayPal returns to the US market, depositing will be difficult because of the many blocks that banks put on credit cards for transactions at poker sites or any site pertaining to gaming; legal in the state or not.
The reason extra steps are involved is because online poker is considered somewhat of a gray area in the US. To the best of our knowledge, and keep in mind we are not attorneys nor are we qualified to give legal advice, there are no federal laws which prohibit online poker anymore. In fact, poker sites are now legally operated by U.S. companies in three states (Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey) with many in the process to becoming legalized as I write this. It is more or less an unregulated gray area because there are offshore sites that disobeyed US law for many years and service all US states, and casinos in the US that want to open a poker site under “fair circumstances”. A – you had your turn now it’s ours – type of thing.
Basically, the casinos don’t want outside -superior- competition. Because other forms of gambling (specifically sports betting) are illegal in many US states, credit card companies in fear of the law go to great lengths to block all transactions related to online gambling from offshore companies. This is not the only reason they block the transactions though. MasterCard and Visa have been burned several times by the fact gambling debts are not enforceable under common law (see our credit card page), and therefore, are at risk when allowing players to deposit via this method.
In order to get past blocks that credit cards have put on gambling related transactions, most US poker sites rely on third party processors and/or ewallets in some cases. With an ewallet you can fund your ewallet account with a checking account or credit card. From there you can deposit these funds into a poker site, and when you win you can also cash back out to the same ewallet in some instances. Any funds you have stored in this ewallet can be used to deposit at another US friendly poker website or casino, or can be cashed out to your bank account via electronic funds transfers. They aren’t in use and as popular as they once were.
Legal Poker Will Speed-Up Deposit Times
There is currently a movement, which you can read about on our page on US poker laws, to license and regulate state poker sites in the US. As this happens (it’s happened in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada thus far) more fast options for depositing to US poker sites will be available. Even with state licensed poker/casino sites being 100% legal, they are still having problems and the banks are in a tough position. It’s difficult for the bank to associate what the nature of the transactions are.
In the meantime, if you’re looking to deposit fast we recommend IgnitionPoker.eu (Visa and MasterCard) or Betonline.com (Visa, MasterCard, Amex, and Discover) to get started. Also, consider opening an account on a prepaid card so that next time around you’ll be able to quickly deposit at your choice of a trusted and reputable US friendly offshore poker site.
Author: Savanah Lavinder
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