From paying in person to e-wallets and online bank transfers, U.S. sports bettors now have plenty of options for both depositing and withdrawing at legal online sportsbooks. In this article, we break down the most commonly offered payment methods, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages to help you choose the best one for you.
Best Legal Sportsbook Apps in Michigan
List of sportsbook deposit options
For starters, we’ll list the most commonly found deposit options at regulated U.S. sportsbooks:
- Play+ Prepaid Cards
- Cash at the casino cage
- (ACH) VIP preferred e-Check
- Visa/MasterCard credit and debit cards
- Online banking transfer
- Bank wire transfer
- Paper checks
Our pick for best deposit option
Already, patrons have access to about a dozen different banking methods (depending on the sportsbook operator). This is a very encouraging sign, as users can manage their funds more quickly, safely and easily than they would at any unlicensed offshore sportsbook. Here is our top pick in terms of ease-of-use, convenience and speed.
(ACH) VIP preferred e-Check
For any player with a checking account, ACH (also known as an Instant e-Check) is a natural option for a good reason. You will often find this payment method listed as VIP Preferred. This is an ACH service that boasts incredibly fast deposit and withdrawal times. However, depending on your bank’s policies, the funds might not be deducted from your account right away.
Additionally, ACH is one of the most widely available payment methods on legal sports betting sites. It also generally features a high transaction acceptance rate (over 85%) with solid limits.
Are there any disadvantages?
The main disadvantage to ACH banking is the fact that you need to have an online bank account with an institution accepted by the sportsbook of your choice. The biggest and most widely known banks (e.g. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, etc.) are usually included on the list, however, making it easy for the majority of customers to make a deposit.
Other sportsbook deposit options
Apart from ACH, there are a plethora of other deposit options at your disposal. Let’s break each one down into its most important characteristics.
Credit and debit cards
It’s hard to dispute the convenience of good old credit cards. Though generally limited to MasterCard and Visa, you will find credit card transactions offered by the majority of sportsbooks.
Who should use credit cards to deposit?
To put it simply, you should use a credit card if there are no better options available. Credit cards are generally very easy to use, as they don’t require using any third-party service. However, they do come with a list of potential drawbacks.
Disadvantages of using credit cards?
Unfortunately, for all the convenience they provide, credit cards have some issues.
First off, there is the matter of speed. In general, processing times take much longer when depositing via credit cards than through ACH. Credit cards also often come with lower limits to combat potential fraud.
Secondly, being that online betting in the U.S. is still in its infancy, it’s not uncommon for credit card companies to reject gambling deposits. However, this should become less of an issue as banks get more familiar with changing iGaming laws. In any case, users should contact customer support and try to rectify the issue should it happen.
Finally, banks often recognize deposits to gambling accounts as cash advances. This means that there is a possibility that the bank will charge you a fee. To see if this is the case, your best course of action will be to check your bank’s policies.
E-wallets allow users to store data from one or more bank accounts and move money around more freely. They essentially act as an intermediary between the recipient and the payer.
This means that you don’t have to enter any banking information when making your deposit, instead you’ll simply log into your e-wallet account.
E-wallets usually have short processing times and are very safe because all of your sensitive bank account data is stored away from the merchant you are buying from. In the case of legal online gambling sites, though, you don’t need to worry about your information falling into the wrong hands. All regulated sites are overseen by state gaming authorities and use the same type of encryption leveraged by online banks and large retailers.
There are a number of companies that operate as e-wallet service providers. Some have even come to be synonymous with the service. We will take a look at the three most prevalent providers: PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill.
PayPal is one of the most recognizable e-wallets in the U.S. and worldwide. Surprisingly, though, PayPal was initially not available among deposit options in many of the first states to legalize sports betting. In time, however, the situation improved significantly and PayPal is starting to become available soon after states launch their online sports betting industry.
PayPal is now readily available in most online casino and sportsbooks, with those lacking the method planning to add it as soon as they can. PayPal is well-known for its high acceptance rates and quick turnarounds on withdrawals. Finally, the service offers no-free transactions, something which can’t be said about other e-wallets.
Neteller and Skrill
Although available in the U.S., Neteller is much more popular overseas. It offers many of the same advantages as PayPal, but it boasts higher casino and sportsbook limits.
Finally, in terms of depositing funds, Skrill offers more or less the same quality of service as the other two e-wallets. It has made a name for itself precisely through online gaming sites. Like Neteller, Skrill charges its users a fee when they complete a transaction, which doesn’t make it ideal. However, Skrill offers high limits and fast transfers.
Who should use e-wallets?
If you are used to using e-wallets in your every-day online shopping, you might want to continue to use them for your betting accounts as well. Extremely fast processing times are also a huge plus. Nevertheless, we will go through some of the main disadvantages, which might potentially sway you towards another payment method.
Disadvantages of using e-wallets
Although they are quick and convenient to use, e-wallets do come with their own set of disadvantages:
- PayPal: It’s only a minor inconvenience, but operators usually require customers to use the same email for both PayPal and their sportsbook account.
- Neteller: One of the main disadvantages of Neteller is the fact that it imposes stricter limits on the amount of money that can be loaded onto your account. Additionally, Neteller comes with the highest transfer fees of the three. Neteller is also often excluded from deposit bonuses.
- Skrill: The main disadvantage of Skrill is its limited availability. Namely, compared to its competitors, fewer operators offer Skrill. Finally, like with Neteller, operators will commonly exclude Skrill from first-deposit welcome bonuses.
Prepaid cards are common in online casinos, and we are seeing them increasingly become available in online sportsbooks. High acceptance rates are their major advantage.
They are usually issued by Discover, and can be used just like a regular Discover Card, if you choose to do so. But you don’t need to wait to receive a physical card, users can simply sign up for a card and fully use the service even before they receive it. Operator-branded prepaid cards offer the added convenience of giving users the ability to withdraw their winnings from ATMs.
What kind of people should use this method?
In order to fund a prepaid card, you need to have a checking account or a credit/debit card. This means that you will first need to transfer money to the card, and then on to your sportsbook account. If you don’t mind the extra step for the benefit of a high transaction acceptance rate and a higher daily limit, then you might want to consider a prepaid card. Prepaid cards are also a great option for when other methods, like credit cards, get declined by a website.
What are the disadvantages of this type of method?
If you use a prepaid card issued by the operator, you should be aware that the card will be operator-specific. Additionally, although prepaid cards generally offer higher daily limits, monthly limits are often lower than with other payment methods. You can expect the daily limit to be around $2,000, while the monthly limit goes up to $10,000.
One of the advantages of online betting is the fact that you can do it whenever and wherever you are. Still, there are people who for one reason or another prefer face-to-face interaction.
What kind of people should use these methods?
This method is recommended for people who don’t have an online bank account or simply prefer in-person banking.
What are the disadvantages of this type of method?
There is an obvious disadvantage to this method. This is the fact that you will have to physically travel to a casino or sportsbook. If you happen to already be inside a casino then it can be very convenient.
PayNearMe is one way of circumventing some of the issues tied to in-person depositing. PayNearMe allows users to make a deposit at participating 7-Eleven, CVS or Family Dollar stores.
Customers only need to bring the provided PayNearMe barcode to the retail clerk and pay the amount they wish to deposit. In turn, they will receive a code which they will enter into their account to get the funds.
Cash at the casino cage
To use this method, you will need to travel to the partner casino of the online gaming site you would like to interact with.
That means, for example, if you wanted to make an in-person deposit at FOX Bet Sportsbook, you could head to the cashier’s cage at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City and hand the teller cash. Immediately afterwards, your deposit will appear in your online account.
Despite being instant and practically without limits, this can be the most inconvenient option for bettors. But if you happen to live close to a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, feel free to waltz up to the cashier’s cage. You will be able to instantly transfer money, whether you are using cash, check or plastic.
Using your online bank account to deposit
For a lot of customers, bank transfers are still the preferred option when it comes to depositing and withdrawing. This is because sportsbooks will directly interact with your bank, not a third party service, and closely follow and report any suspicious activity.
Who should use these methods to deposit?
We recommend this method for anyone who prefers not letting third-party services handle their information. This payment method is also good for less tech-savvy bettors.
Disadvantages to using these methods
Processing times are this method’s main disadvantage. Due to extensive checks, deposit and withdrawal requests can span up to 5 workdays. Although the actual times may differ and will depend mostly on individual banks.
Online banking transfer
Although convenient and safe, online banking transfers share the drawbacks we’ve already covered. Namely, what we mean by this is longer processing times.
Bank wire transfer
Bank wire transfers are generally useful for depositing larger sums of money. However, long processing times in addition to high fees make many users shy away from this payment method.
Mailing personal checks is another viable option, though it’s not the most convenient. Depositing via paper checks usually takes somewhere between 7 to 10 days for the check to arrive and be processed. Most online sportsbooks use paper checks only for payouts.
Online sportsbook cashouts
When it comes to cashing out at online sportsbooks, the options are normally a bit more limited compared to depositing. Processing times will also usually take a bit longer. Finally, while some, but not all, payment methods don’t charge fees for depositing funds, they might end up charging a fee on withdrawals.
Finally, note that online operators sometimes require users to verify their identity before allowing them to withdraw funds in order to avoid fraudulent activity. The procedure will usually require users to send a scanned copy of a relevant personal document such as your ID, passport or driver’s license. Luckily, you will only have to do this once before making your first withdrawal.
Our favorite cashout methods
It isn’t easy picking the best withdrawal method, especially when taking into account the variety of customer needs. Still, there are some clear criteria that we consider to be important to all customers. In particular, those are availability, speed, and reliability. This is what we used as a guide when selecting our favorites.
VIP Preferred (ACH e-check) and PayPal
Both for their speed and reliability, PayPal and VIP Preferred (ACH e-check) win out as our top picks when it comes to making sportsbook withdrawals.
If you already use PayPal to make deposits, you can use the same account for withdrawals. PayPal’s processing times are usually very fast, and the service doesn’t charge processing fees on transactions, unlike competitors like Neteller. PayPal is generally also widely available and is currently offered by most of the major online sportsbooks.
Much of the same advantages of PayPal also apply to VIP Preferred. Much like when you deposit using the service, you can expect super fast processing times when making withdrawals. Naturally, this is compared to other withdrawal methods which can often take several workdays to complete. Finally, like PayPal, ACH doesn’t charge processing fees.
What other withdrawal methods are usually available?
As you might expect, apart from PayPal and ACH, there are a whole host of other ways to withdraw funds. Below you can find a list of the most common withdrawal methods available in U.S. sportsbooks.
List of sportsbook cashout methods
- ACH e-check
- Prepaid card
- Check by mail
- Cash at the casino cage
A lot of the same characteristics we’ve discussed in our section on deposits also apply to the methods when it comes to withdrawals. For example, withdrawing via check by mail can take 1 to 2 weeks, which makes it by far the slowest option. So, make sure you take all variables into account and choose the option that works best for you.