Once you have chosen an online casino that you like, the next step when playing for real money is to fund your account. On this page we will explore the many different options that are available to you to make a deposit to online casinos. We also share some great hints and tips to ensure your time online is as safe as possible.
In the following sections we will explore the differences between a credit card and a debit card and how your method of funding your casino account can have an impact on your pocket. We will also take a look at online security and give you a few pointers on how you can do your bit to keep your personal details safe from prying eyes.
Online Casino Payment Methods
Choosing one of our recommended casinos is of course a good start to ensuring your online gaming experience is fun and enjoyable. The best casinos not only offer rich selection of games and many bonus opportunities, but they also allow a large variety of payment methods to suit their customers’ needs. In this section we will have a look at some of those methods.
Contrary to what most people believe, Visa, MasterCard and similar are not technically types of credit card, but rather payment processing networks. These networks process the debit and credit card transactions, verify them with your card issuer, and then accept or decline them based on your available funds on behalf of the merchant. The merchant will pay a processing fee for this facility, which is how the networks make their money.
Every time you use your credit card or debit card, either online or physically, your payment system (for example Visa) connects to your bank’s credit card department. So when you deposit at an online casino, for example, and use your credit card at the till, Visa will be the one that checks with your issuer whether or not there is enough money in your account to fund your deposit.
Credit and Debit Cards: What Is the Difference?
When you use your debit card, the money is deducted from your bank account that is tied to that account. With a credit card you are using money that is not yours and you will have to pay this back in the future.
When using a credit card for playing at an online casino you should be aware that your card issuer will class this payment as a cash advance. This is a huge difference to paying for purchases on your credit card, where as long as you pay the balance off in full before the due date there are no charges.
When you use a credit card at an online casino, from the moment you make a deposit you will be charged interest. There is also a high likelihood of your credit card processor imposing a ‘handling fee’ which will be a percentage of the amount of your casino deposit.
There are no such charges when using a debit card. An alternative to facing these charges is by funding an e-wallet service such as Paypal with your credit card and then using Paypal to fund your casino account. We know this sounds complicated but as you will see later on this page, funding a PayPal account is very easy.
Credit Card Deposits at Online Casinos
Did you know that in 2010 there was over 55,600,000 credit cards in circulation in the UK and if you placed these cards on top of each other the height of these cards would be over 26.09 miles tall, which is 50 times bigger than the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa in Dubai) and in 2010 alone us Brits spent £27,500,000,000 on debit and credit cards which is enough to buy over 135 Boeing 747’s!
So it’s fair to say that since the first credit card was introduced in the UK by Barclaycard in 1966 we have become very dependant on our flexible friends. As mentioned in the previous section, we recommend you use a debit card rather than a credit card to top up your account.
The three most common types of credit card payment processors in the UK are Visa, Mastercard and American Express (or Amex as they are more commonly called in central Europe).
Using Debit Cards at Online Casinos
The fact that debit cards were used to make 7.7 billion purchases with a value of £337 billion in 2018 alone is a clear sign that they have become UK’s payment method of choice. Consumers love the flexibility of being able to purchase online and the added security of not carrying large amounts of cash around. Since the global credit crisis many of us love being in control of our money but without the danger of overspending.
Debit cards are the ideal partner for casinos online, as they allow you to play with real money without attracting charges. As the money comes straight out of your account, you are only able to play with the money you have available. In the UK the main debit card processors are Mastercard debit, Visa debit, Maestro and Visa Electron.
Using E-wallets at Online Casinos
It is estimated that over 1 million people in the UK do not have access to a bank account and so do not own a credit or debit card. It is also true that many people do not wish to use a credit or debit card online. Although both banks and online casinos have invested heavily to ensure all transactions are safe and secure, a lot of people prefer to use e-wallets or prepaid cards.
If you have never heard of the term E-Wallet, it is as its name suggests an account that can hold money. Much like a real wallet you can add money to it and also take money out. This method of paying for things is becoming more and more popular, perhaps because you do not need to share financial information with the online casino or in fact, any retailer you buy goods or services from.
One of the most popular e-wallet services is PayPal, which is owned by the auction site Ebay. In 2013 alone PayPal had transactions valued at £114 billion, involving 193 countries and 26 currencies. They are a true giant in the world of e-commerce with over 70 million accounts created. See our list of PayPal casinos.
PayPal may be the biggest E-wallet type provider but they certainly are not the only ones! Skrill is a provider who are becoming very popular, it is accepted at over 156,000 online businesses globally including many online casinos. Skrill also offers a Mastercard prepaid card which for £10 a year gives you all the facilities of a Mastercard but without any credit checks.
Paysafe has replaced UKash and it is a prepaid card that lets you pay safely online. Prepaid means that you purchase it from any of the 450,000 sales outlets available. You will find a 16-digit PIN on your paysafecard. Online payments are made by entering this PIN. At no point do you have to enter any personal information or your bank or credit card details.
Fraud Prevention Measures – Things to Be Wary of
All our online casinos that accept real money take security and player protection very seriously and have invested millions in fraud prevention technology. However there are some golden rules that you can follow to minimise the potential risks. These rules should be standard practice, not just for online gaming.
‘PHISHING’ – Increasingly, more and more people in the UK are receiving e-mails that direct them to websites where they are asked to provide or confirm confidential personal or financial information. Whilst these e-mails may appear to come from a legitimate site, unfortunately they only have one purpose and that is to steal your personal information and use it to access your accounts, the results of this can be disastrous. This is known as Phishing.
Never reply or click on a link in an e-mail that warns you that your account may be shut down unless you confirm your personal information. Instead contact the company, in a way that you are sure is genuine such as an authenticated telephone number, don’t use the number that is on the email – use the internet to obtain the number, look up the company in a telephone directory or call a directory enquiry service.
‘VISHING’ – If you watch ‘Watchdog’ which is the consumer rights programme that is on BBC One, you will see more and more cases of what is called Vishing. This involves a fraudster making phone calls to a victim, posing as your bank, fraud investigation team from your credit card company or even the police.
The call is made to try and obtain personal financial information, which often includes credit/debit card details (including PIN), your bank account details and other personal information such as full name, date of birth, mother’s maiden name and/or address. This information is then used to gain access to your finances.
A fraudster who is armed with this information could change your details with your bank, apply for new credit card or financial service or buy items online among other things.
Simple Things to Remember:
• Be cautious of any unsolicited phone calls.
• It takes both parties to terminate a call, many people have thought they have ended a call, replaced the receiver and then picked it up to dial without realising the fraudster is still on the line. The fraudster may then have an accomplice who pretends to be the person you are attempting to call (such as bank). Use a different phone if you can, such as your mobile to check.
• If you are unsure of what information you should supply then most financial organisations will list on their website what types of information they may request, however none will ask for your PIN (personal identification number).
• Never reveal your personal financial information.
• If you feel at all suspicious then do not be afraid to terminate the call and check. If it is a legitimate caller, they will not mind you checking. Fraudsters are masters at pressuring people and use a variety of tricks to try and convince you they are genuine.
Casinos Need to Verify Your Identity!
Some casinos (likely all at some point in your journey) will require you to verify your identity, which is more common when trying to make a withdrawal from your casino account. These steps are there to protect both you and the casino and although they are quite unpopular with customers it is better than being the victim of fraud!
In the past criminal gangs have used online gambling sites to make a deposit using a stolen credit/debit card or using card details obtained by Phishing or Vishing. The gang then changes the withdrawal option (for example to a bank account) then withdraws the money.
As a result of this, most online casinos will only allow a withdrawal to the same payment method that was used to fund the player account. Again this sometimes causes customer dissatisfaction but it is done to protect you.
Some operators (like 888 for example – read our review here) allow you to verify your identity in advance which allows for quicker processing of any withdrawal requests. Although the process may be different for different casinos the documents they need are usually the same, which is photographed or scanned copies of one or more of the following documents:
Documents Needed to Verify Who You Are to an Online Casino
• ID with a photograph: The usual accepted form of identification is your password or driving licence. If you are a foreign national living in the UK, you will also be able to use your National ID card.
• Credit/Debit Card: This should be the one that you use to fund the account and the casino operator will want to see clear pictures of both the front and the back.
• Proof of address: This will need to be a recent utility bill such as a mobile phone bill, water bill, electricity etc. Some companies insist on it being within the last 3 months, others state 6 months. It needs to show your full name and address. If you are sending a credit card statement then ensure your full credit card number is not shown for your own protection.
Casino Disputes – How to Reduce the Chances?
When you sign up with an online casino you are agreeing to their terms and conditions, so we strongly recommend that you read them before registering as this can stop disputes at a later time. Also remember that promotions or special offers (including welcome and loyalty bonuses) may have additional terms and conditions which supersede the original terms and conditions.
If you have checked the terms and still feel you have a grievance then you should contact customer support at the casino. All reputable casinos and especially any that we recommend will want to solve your issues. The casinos have a wide range of ways to contact them, email, live chat and telephone are just a few of the ways you can get help.
Our review pages contain very detailed information on the individual casinos’ support options so when choosing a casino it is always beneficial to check your preferred support option is available.
If you are still not experiencing any joy with your dispute then you should contact the regulatory body with whom the casino is licensed. All casinos that accept UK players have to be regulated by the gambling commission. You can visit the gambling commission site for consumers by clicking here.
I have an old casino account that I have not used for a long time, I have a new credit card that is not registered to that account, can I open a new account to take advantage of the new offer they have?
Although the system may allow you to open a new account, having multiple accounts will breech the terms and conditions. We strongly recommend that you do not do this.
One scenario I always think of is, how would you feel if you won the progressive jackpot of many millions of pounds, you tell your family and friends only to find that your win is invalid due to multiple accounts? Always play it safe, after all there are lots of other casino operators you can try out, check our reviews if you need help finding one.
Can I play online casino games for real money with my Maestro card?
We cover the payment methods accepted in our reviews page, you will find the in-depth reviews very helpful as we also cover processing time for deposits and withdrawals as well.
You mention about verifying my identification, do I have to send the original documents in as I’m not sure I want to do that.
No, although the process may be slightly different for each casino, here are the instructions on how to verify with 888 Casino. For a different casino you can check with customer support or locate the information on the website.
- Ensure that all the images are legible and clear
- Go to ‘Cashier’ on the website
- Select ‘Verify ID’
- Click ‘Browse’ to select the files you wish to send
- Once completed, click ‘Upload’ to finalise the procedure
In which situations would I have to verify my identification? Is it only if I win?
No, the casino may request you to prove your identity any time, they may have a legal obligation to ask for this information. However it is more likely when:
- Submitting a deposit
- Requesting a withdrawal request
- Raising your deposit limit
- Raising your withdrawal limit
- If you access your account from a different country to normal
- Any activity on your account that is suspicious
I have signed up for an account but I can’t remember my user name/password!
It is very easy to solve this, go to the casino main page, and where you log in you will see ‘forgot password’. Click on this and follow the on screen prompts. If you have any difficulties you can always contact customer support via live chat and they will be happy to help you access your account.