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Online Casinos Article

The point on new casino payment methods for US players

Published on December 6th, 2007 by Editor

If you are playing online casinos and are a USA citizen, you probably have noticed how the payment methods for funding online casino accounts have evolved recently. Several new payment options have appeared, while some companies have completely disappeared or have stopped processing US transactions. This article explains clearly why this occurs and how to properly fund the accounts of your favorite online casinos. And as always, if you need any complementary information or have questions about this article (or need help), then please contact us.

1. Payment methods and online casinos: a long love story...

Neteller website
Neteller was the most favorite ecash payment method used by US online casino players for several years, until Kyl Bill put up his UIGEA.

One thing for sure is that the online casinos world has a long love story with problems concerning payment methods. Back several years ago, a first ban on credit cards (mostly implemented by the credit card processors themselves) obliged the online casinos owners to find new ways for their customers to deposit money. That's when e-cash accounts have appeared, and e-cash accounts were very friendly, fast and convenient to use. PayPal was the first to be used, but not for a long time until eBay purchased Paypal and chose to stop processing gambling transactions. Feeling a big market need was in creation, two persons founded the Canadian and famous company Neteller, which has been the most favorite and most used payment method by players, by a very long shot - for very long years of success.

So everything was running fine in the amazing and fantastic world of online casinos. But everyone was forgetting that a big danger had been menacing online casinos, since their creation: the US politicians. As most of you probably know, most online casinos (if not all now) are based offshore of US. That means, for US treasury, billions of dollars going out of US each year with no real interest for the US economy and country, apart entertainment for players - but aren't we in a supposed fair global worldwide economy? So since their creation and following their success, US officials were looking for a ban on online casinos. Problem, online casinos are based offshore. So what's best for cutting their business, apart intimidation tactics: the financial flux, going out from US via US banks.

Senator Kyl Bill
Kyl Bill has dealt a lot of damage to the online casino industry - but where some companies have collapsed, others have been created.

So that's how the danger was finally realized last year, and it was called UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). This bill, which was forced, passed and voted through the Safe Port Act (Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006) after several years of failure, makes illegal to banks and other financial mechanisms to participate in the funding of online casinos. Attention, it does not change anything to the actual state gambling laws. The UIGEA does make illegal for a company to help US citizens to fund online casinos. But are those companies US based? Hmmm, it's a very tricky situation. There has been lots of opposition to this law, the most important coming from the WTO (World Trade Organization). The result is, that Neteller has been forced to stop handling transactions for US players, as long as other companies with strong exposition to US laws shutting down or following the Neteller route (such as Click2Pay, MyCitadel, Citadel, On-Demand Funds...). And as usual, the strong dynamics of this very particular internet sector have helped the creation of dozens of new payment methods, recuperating the Neteller market. And US officials should be happy to believe their masked actions for a 'better world' have pushed all online players in rushing to Las Vegas... hey not a chance! The billions have not evaporated. They just changed hands and are still going out of the USA. The industry has been dealt damage, that's sure. But's it's still very active, and current reports show that the UIGEA has had very limited consequences.

But talking of politics is not the subject of the article, although I have never commented anything on this story. I thought taxing and regulating online casinos was the best way to protect US interests, online casinos interests AND players interests (safer environment), as the public opinion pointed out this idea and was positive about it last year through major polls in magazines and journals. So now what is most interesting to us is: what is changing for you and what are the best options to fund your favorite online casinos accounts?

2. Payment options for US players

eWalletXpress website
eWalletXpress is a survivor of the UIGEA period - it's still accepting US customers...

Please find below the most reliable payment methods for funding online casinos if you are living in US:

As described in our article about eWalletXpress, this payment method is a great e-wallet from Navaho Networks that is available through lots of eWalletXpress casinos. If you are based in US, you can actually fund your account using 900Pay, electronic checks and checking accounts, Xpress Funds™, bank wire, money orders... Other countries have access to more funding options. They are still accepting US customers, and usually you will get a bonus when you choose to purchase chips using eWalletXpress.
QuickTender is a relatively new payment method, launched after the UIGEA debacle, that acts as an electronic wallet and is cost effective. You can usually register an account by invitation only from any of the QuickTender casinos (it is also referred as "UseMyWallet"). You can deposit via Credit Cards, International Bank Transfers and money services such as Western Union and MoneyGram. The fees are relatively low such as free registration, free payments to online merchants, 5% to credit card deposits, free wire deposits and $20 flat fee to withdraw (which is great if you withdraw large winnings!). You will be given a "QuickTenderCard" (only one is allowed per person).
Prepaid Cards, Reloadable Cards, Gift Cards
All of the above represents either virtual reloadable cards (Visa...) or ATM prepaid / debit cards such as Netspend / All Access, EntroPay, CashVantage and others that may be used to fund online casinos accounts There isn't a perfect list of online casinos listing clearly if they accept those cards or not and which ones they accept (apart these two limited lists: Prepaid Cards casinos / Gift Cards casinos), due to the nature of the information. The best option for you is to ask the customer support or live support of the online casino you're interested in if they accept those cards and which one you should fund before depositing into your casino account. Please note that using these options may cost higher than normal fees and due to the UIGEA, the information about those cards may not be disclosed publicly easily on the net.
Western Union (official site) / MoneyGram (official site)
Western Union and MoneyGram are international money transfer services. They are usually not used directly with online casinos (but some are using them directly, referring as "Money Transfers"), however they are used to fund other payment mechanisms such as QuickTender for example. And they still work for US players to some extent.
Credit Cards
Regular credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Amex, etc... are still working for online casino deposits, but the acceptance of the transaction depends on the issuer bank policies. So we often recommend players to try a small deposit first with their regular credit card(s) to see if it's going through.
Money Orders
Money orders are like Western Union or MoneyGram services, but other companies and banks are offering these services as well. A money order is a pre-payment for a specific amount of money - it is usually more reliable than a check because the funds are pre-paid.
Wire Transfers
Wire Transfers, which are a method for transferring money from a bank account to an another, are still available for US customers to some extent, and at some Wire Transfers casinos. We recommend you asking customer support if they accept wire transfers from USA for purchasing your casino chips.

3. Payment methods no longer available to US citizens...

The following online payment methods have accepted US deposits by the past but are no longer accepting US customers at the current time: Neteller (after a whole long debacle, they closed their doors to USA on January 18th, 2007) ; Click2Pay ; FirePay ; InstaDebit (one day later than Neteller) ; Citadel & MyCitadel (one day before Neteller) ; MoneyBookers (on October 25th, 2006) ; EcoCard ; UseMyBank ; CentralCoin ; PaySpark (was a huge loss for Microgaming, especially for their VIP players) and more may follow in the future.

4. Final words

Due to the dynamic nature of the online gaming sector, the information contained in this article may change often. We always recommend you to check the online casino banking pages and contacting customer support teams to ask about the latest options available to you before making a choice.

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