If you’re an American who enjoys playing at online casinos, you’ve probably noticed that making real money deposits has become more difficult in the last few years. Many of the methods that were available to USA players are no longer usable in the United States, while other methods have seemingly become less reliable in recent times.
The good news is that USA casino deposits can still be made safely and securely. However, you might have to work a little harder than players from many other countries, and you might have to attempt a couple different methods before you find something that works. If you’re at all unsure of the current state of real money USA casino deposits, read on to learn exactly how things stack up at the moment.
Issues with USA Casino Deposits
The issues currently facing USA at real money online casinos stem from the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, better known as UIGEA. Most of the reporting after the passage of UIGEA made it seem as though the legislation made it illegal to play at online gambling sites, but this was actually not the case; in fact, in most states, there are still no laws preventing Americans from playing at online casinos, online poker rooms, or other Internet gambling sites.
Instead, UIGEA attempted to stop the flow of money to and from real money online casinos and USA players. It did this by making it illegal for gambling sites to accept payments from the United States, and requiring banks and other financial institutions to identify and block all payments to and from online gambling sites.
While the legislation has been challenged in the World Trade Organization, and many online gambling sites continue to accept American players for real money online casino play to this day, UIGEA did eventually prove effective in getting most banks to stop processing online gambling payments. This has made it more difficult for American players to fund their online gambling accounts – though plenty of ways exist that work around these restrictions.
USA Real Money Casino Deposit Options
In the years since UIGEA, the landscape has changed drastically for USA players looking to make real money casino deposits. Several deposit options have become difficult or impossible to use, while others have continued to be serviceable for Americans. The following rundown should give you a good idea of which methods are reliable, and which you shouldn’t bother with.
USA Credit Card Casino Deposits
Depositing into an online casino from the USA using a credit card has become unreliable, but not impossible – and since there’s no risk in trying to use a credit card to make a deposit (the worst that can happen is having your deposit declined), it’s usually a good place to start. Since they are fast and secure, a credit card is often the ideal way to make a deposit into an online casino account.
The level of success you have making credit card deposits from the USA will vary depending on the type of card you use. The highest success rates are seen with Visa cards, especially Visa prepaid cards. Conversely, MasterCard-branded cards tend to have lower acceptance rates. However, either brand is worth trying, as Visa and MasterCard both allow individual banks to control the usage of their cards; if your issuing bank has made an oversight (either accidentally or purposely), or has chosen to allow payments to certain sites, your card just may work.
Americans using Discover or American Express are unlikely to see their cards accepted at online casinos. These two companies have much more centralized control over cards that carry their branding; thus, they’ve set company-wide policies (at least in the United States) that prevent their use at online casinos.
USA Check and eCheck Casino Deposits
While they’re far from the ideal method for funding an online casino account, checks and eChecks are often acceptable for making deposits at online casinos from the USA.
Of course, to allow such transactions, online casinos have had to come up with some creative methods of avoiding UIGEA laws. Generally, you will not be sending your checks (or eChecks) directly to the online casino; instead, there will be intermediaries that accept the checks on behalf of the online casino.
If you attempt to make a deposit using a check, you’ll usually be given an address to send your check to, as well as other instructions for additional information you’ll need to provide. The biggest downside to using a check is the time it takes to send and clear the check; it can be several weeks before your money will hit your online casino account. While eChecks are faster (often clearing in a matter of days, since “sending” the check is done electronically), they are less commonly offered as an option to American players.
USA Wire Transfer Deposits
USA players can often transfer money directly from their bank accounts to their online gambling accounts. To be more accurate, the money is usually transferred indirectly; again, this was a step taken by many online casinos to help avoid UIGEA regulations, but has little impact on the player’s end.
Depending on the exact method of wire transfer or bank transfer offered by your online casino, it may be as simple as providing your banking information in the cashier section of the online casino software. In other cases, you may have to go to your bank and provide the casino’s banking information so that they can make the wire transfer.
USA Money Transfer Casino Deposits
Similar to a bank transfer, American players may make a money transfer to an online casino account by using a company such as Western Union or MoneyGram. If your bank has shown itself to be unwilling to make transfers to online casinos, you may have better success working through one of these companies; in fact, these transfers have a high rate of success, making them a fairly good way to make real money online casino deposits from the United States, if not a particularly convenient way of doing so.
USA eWallet Casino Deposits
Unfortunately, most eWallet websites no longer allow Americans to utilize their services. While sites like NETeller were once the main way for USA players to move money around the Internet when gambling, most have now stopped taking American customers in order to comply with UIGEA regulations. Payment processing companies such as PayPal, which do still take customers from the USA, place restrictions on their American customers that prevent them from using the service to make online gambling payments.