Plenty of us enjoy a flutter – whether it’s an annual punt on the Grand National, a bet on our favourite footie team to win the cup, or just putting a couple of quid in the fruit machine in the pub.
But now online casinos are becoming an increasingly popular way to have a bit of fun and try your luck at landing a cash payout.
Never use debt to bet
Part of the reason for this increase in popularity is that online casinos no longer only accept credit cards for payment. This is good news for a number of reasons, but mainly because it’s never a good idea to use debt to bet!
However, sending your hard-earned cash to an offshore organisation (and most online casinos are based overseas in territories that offer favourable tax rates to gaming organisations like Gibraltar and Malta) was seen as risky by many. It’s one thing sending Mr MasterCard’s dosh, quite another to send your own.
Luckily, the online casino industry is opening up access to a range of “electronic wallets” which make it safe and easy for punters to send money from their bank accounts and to receive any winnings.
Electronic wallets for the casino
In a nutshell, an “e-wallet” really does do what it says on the tin – it’s a place to store your own cash securely but in a way that can be used to pay for a whole range of goods and service (including gambling) and, crucially, it can also be used to accept payments. The primary benefits of these systems are that you don’t share your personal details or bank account with anyone else, you can use a range of currencies and change between them easily, and if you do win a jackpot you can use the wallet to receive as well as spend.
There are more of these services available than most people think. We’ll look at a few of them here, but we’ll start with the one that almost everyone will be familiar with.
Yes, Paypal is the grandaddy of electronic wallets. Everyone’s favourite eccentric billionaire Elon Musk was one of the founders and the company is now owned by eBay. Despite its almost universal appeal, Paypal was never popular for gambling.
That’s all changing, and there is an ever-growing list of new casino sites accepting Paypal. Because everyone knows how it works, and is familiar with its app, security and flexibility, Paypal is a great way to load up your online casino account before you play.
Neteller (as in interNET bank TELLER) was founded in Canada in 1999, but now resides on the Isle of Man. It entered the casino payments market the following year, and within a short space of time it was handling payments for over 85% of the world’s gambling sites and online casinos.
You can use money in your Neteller account to pay for shopping as well as gambling with any retailer who accepts MasterCard using the Neteller Pre-Paid card, as well as send cash to another Neteller user. Because users can withdraw their cash at a hole-in-wall, this is a popular service worldwide.
Skrill used to be called MoneyBookers, and was set up in the UK in 2001. It changed its name to Skrill in 2013 and is one of the most popular e-wallet services worldwide. You can create accounts in over 40 different currencies, and there’s the option to have a pre-paid card in good old GBP where you can withdraw your winnings as cash.
Not one to miss a trend, Skrill opened a cryptocurrency service in 2018, allowing customers to use their balance to invest in a range of popular cryptocurrencies. This has proven attractive to punters who like to gamble on the price of Bitcoin as well as the spin of a wheel!
Safe way to play
E-wallets are a really useful way of making all kinds of transactions, including receiving cash like casino winnings, without having to give out personal information. They are all regulated by the financial authorities in the countries where they are based and they operate some of the most advanced online security systems there are.
So next time you feel like having an evening at an online casino, remember that you can use an e-wallet to have some fun at the slot machines and not just for that must-have eBay purchase!