The most recent article in this sports betting 101 series concerned important aspects to consider during the bookmaker account opening process, and we follow that up with a discussion on funding methods.
Firstly I would like to make some important points before discussing some of the more popular methods around:
1) Switching between currencies will ALWAYS either result in fees or a poor exchange rate.
I mentioned this in my previous article but try to be consistent with your currencies. If your bank account is in GBP and you (perhaps) open up a Neteller account in GBP then keep your bookmaker account in GBP, where possible.
2) You will only be able to withdraw to the same funding method from which you have deposited.
Bookmakers need to be wary of money laundering. Their very nature leads themselves to be perfectly suited to the clever gambler moving money from account to account (think chip dumping in poker or creating a false price in a betting exchange), so in order to attempt to crack down on this they will usually only allow you to send your funds back to your original deposit method. So deposit with Bitcoin and you will generally only be allowed to withdraw back to Bitcoin.
3) Always check applicable fees before depositing.
Different funding methods attract different fees and these fees vary from bookmaker to bookmaker. You will almost never see these fees upon depositing (of course not, the bookmakers want to make it as cheap as possible for you to deposit!) but rather when you request a withdrawal. Some, especially those outside of the US gambling arena, will swallow all fees themselves, but others will not; the general rule is that the more the bookmaker is charged, the more you will be charged.
The original way of funding and perhaps still the most comfortable feeling. If this option is available then it is likely that the majority of first time gamblers will start here before gravitating to a more convenient method.
- Easy to use, familiar and deposits are generally instantaneous. Deposits and withdrawals are usually fee free
- Withdrawals are sloooooow. It may take days for the funds to reach your account and if your withdrawal is large, this may be an uncomfortable waiting period
- Banks may well stop deposits to bookmakers due to suspicion of fraud. Whilst it is easy enough to speak to your bank and have any block on your card removed, this is a hassle and there is no guarantee that such refusals will not be repeated. Trying to deposit 5 minutes before the game starts and seeing the refusal message is never fun!
There are several of these about, PayPal, Skrill and Neteller being the most well known. These initially fulfilled a gap in the betting market (in the case of Skrill/Neteller) before expanding to other markets and becoming more mainstream. They function by acting as an intermediary between your bank account and the bookmakers where you can seamlessly move money to and from bookmaker accounts and finally back to your bank
- Fast, both with deposits and withdrawals. Deposits are instant and withdrawals only take as long as the bookmaker drags its heels in processing the payout;
- Widely accepted depending on your jurisdiction. The vast majority of reputable bookmakers accept Skrill/Neteller these days, although if you live in a region where gambling is illegal or tightly regulated don’t expect to get around the rules by using them, they won’t play ball.
- Fees. Whilst you won’t be charged for moving money to and from bookmakers, once you send back to your bank account there will almost certainly be a fee. And don’t even think about using them as a currency exchange, rates are terrible and fees are high!
- Verification inconvenience. You will be asked to verify who you are, usually by uploading or emailing ID/Utility Bill/Selfie/DNA sample which can be tiresome; it adds more minutes to the bookmaker process which isn’t necessary with other funding methods;
- The vast majority of bookmakers these days will refuse account opening bonuses to any user making his/her initial deposit with Skrill or Neteller. They have sustained years of attacks from bonus abusers whose weapon of choice has traditionally been an internet wallet and have responded with blanket bonus bans.
The new kids on the block of funding methods have been greedily accepted by a number of US facing bookmakers, with less of an uptake over in Europe, Asia and Australasia.
There is a distinction here between bookmakers which offer accounts in, say Bitcoin, and those which allow you to deposit with Bitcoin before converting to your account currency. The former are few whilst the latter are many and it is these with which I am concerned here.
- Very cheap for all concerned. Whilst this is the only method that will incur a charge on the depositor, this is a small mining fee that will not break the bank. Cryptos come into their own when withdrawals are concerned, where no bookmaker that I know of charges a fee for a withdrawal;
- Bonuses. Such is the glee concerning the above (no fees for bookmakers), bookmakers are known to offer additional bonuses if the user deposits with a Cryptocurrency.
- The knowledge. Cryptocurrency education is a sharp learning curve and it is this gradient that may scare away potential users. One mistake in the sending of currency to an address may result in the entire amount being lost. This is more a con of Cryptos as a whole rather than just bookmaker funding as a leap of faith is involved.
- Volatility! Whilst you may not wish to speculate on a particular market it is going to be incredibly difficult to avoid doing so as you will almost necessarily have funds in a Cryptocurrency for a certain amount of time. Your withdrawal from your bookmaker account will be converted from your account currency into Crypto and will then be sent to your Crypto wallet...where it will stay until/unless you do something about it. You are then at the mercy of fluctuations.
So, to conclude, understand the funding methods that are available to you and read the small print when it comes to fees. Whilst you may have a great day betting you do not want to have those profits erased by something that may well have been avoidable!We are passionate about improving all punters’ chances of being profitable in sports gambling and are open to answering any questions that you may have. Please send us a message if anything is unclear or if you would like information on a certain aspect of sports gambling, after all, if you are writing the question it is likely that many others are thinking it.