What’s the current state of US online gambling markets?
Since the vast majority of American betting markets are unregulated, US players won’t benefit from many withdrawal methods that are available for international deposits, such as e-wallets like Neteller and MoneyBookers. Instead, they will have to rely on more traditional methods of depositing, which we’ll go into in more detail later in this FAQ.
While a few states (Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey) have legalized intrastate online poker and casino gambling, all of their operators are based in the United States and are state licensed. Sports betting sites offered to Americans are solely based offshore or in foreign countries. There’s also a host of online casinos and poker room that are based outside the United States that offer their services to Americans.
All of these companies are in violation of the US law, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), but for the vast majority of Americans these sites are their only choice for online gambling.
Since the passage of the UIGEA in 2006, things have gotten substantially harder regarding payment processing. Not only did the bill criminalize offshore gambling operators but also the banks and payment processors who facilitated Internet gambling transactions.
These changes in the climate over the past eight years have slowed withdrawal speeds and forced Americans to use different deposit and withdrawal methods, but the market is still more than viable for online gamblers.
How long should I wait for my withdrawal to be processed?
That is heavily dependent on the site, the quoted timeframes that their staff give players, and the method of withdrawal. This can vary wildly between operators and can change depending on what tmie of year it is. During the fall and winter, speeds will normally get slower as it’s the busiest time of year for gambling sites. There are also extenuating circumstances, such as a site losing an important payment processor, which happens from time to time.
However, for the most part, no US-facing gambling site should take longer than two months to process a withdrawal. Even in the much-maligned US-facing gambling industry, two months is plenty of time to get players their money, regardless of the chosen method.
Of course, players almost never wait this long for their winnings. Almost all of our top recommended sites at OnlineBetting.com process all of their withdrawal methods in two weeks or less, and usually faster.
How important is choosing an online sportsbook with a long track record of paying players in a timely fashion?
It’s paramount. Longevity is everything in the online betting industry. Sites that have been around longer and paid players consistently are more trustworthy, and for good reason. The further back their history goes back, the better. Many offshore gambling sites go back 10–15 years and have a long track of treating players well and paying them quickly. These guys are your best options.
Not all of the sites we cover in our reports have been around for ages, but they all pay players quickly, and at or above the industry standard for payouts.
Choosing a reputable site that is processing withdrawals quickly is of the utmost of importance, whether you’re playing at a sportsbook, poker room or casino. Never deposit at a site you’re not familiar with because you’ve received a special offer or bonus. Even just a few minutes of research on your prospective site can save you from a lot of headaches down the road.
The site has asked for personal information (scans or photos of driver’s license, utility bills, etc.) before I can withdraw. Is this common?
Yes, it’s extremely common and nothing to be alarmed about. The site is only trying to verify your identity before processing a withdrawal. This protects both you and them from fraudulent behavior.
Provided, after you scan the documents, they approve them in a timely matter and allow you to withdraw your funds via your chosen method, players should have no issue with this extra layer of security.
What are the most widely used methods?
Those would be check, bank wire, and money transfer. Over the past year or so, debit card withdrawals have become an option for some players, along with the virtual crypto-currency, Bitcoin. We’ll go into more detail below for procedures of withdrawing with each option, along with their pros and cons.
How do I withdraw via check?
Withdrawing via check is by far the most popular method for US online gamblers. Checks typically take about a week to hit player’s doorstops, but some sites can get them to players in just a few days.
Every site will have check withdrawals as an option from their cashier menu. Simply, choose to withdraw via check and put in the amount you wish to withdraw. From there, it’s just a matter of waiting for the check to show up on your doorstep.
A large percentage of sites will offer one free check withdrawal per month or every 30 days. Subsequent checks will generally come with a fee. Fees usually range $20–$50 per check withdrawal.
The maximum amount per check varies depending on the site, but frequently comes with a max amount of $2,500–$3,000.
When players receive a check, it is recommended that they deposit it into their bank account within the next few days. Sites lose payment processors and change banks all the time, so depositing it quickly is the best way to avoid any complications.
If possible, deposit via ATM instead of going inside the bank and speaking with a teller. The checks players receive from online gambling sites are from foreign banks and may draw suspicion of fraud. Foreign checks, in many cases, look vastly different than domestic checks. When players deposit via ATM, they don’t run into any issues.
If you have to deposit a check by speaking to a teller, be adamant that the check is valid and not fraudulent. Also, be sure not to mention that it’s from an online gambling website.
How do I withdraw via money transfer?
Money transfers come with hefty fees but are the fastest way to get your money when you need your funds quickly.
Money transfers are listed under the cashier if they’re available as a method for withdrawal but may go under several different names. “Rapid Transfer” or “Person-to-Person” transfers are the main aliases. Simply put, money transfers are Western Union and MoneyGram transfers.
Players need to contact support to request a money transfer. This usually involves calling the site directly or talking to their support staff via live chat. From there, the player will give the sportsbook their information (name, address, phone number), and the book will send them a confirmation number when the transfer is sent.
Money transfers are usually processed between 24–48 hours. They can be processed much faster than this timeframe, though; sometimes players receive them in just a few hours. The downside to the speed of money transfers is their sizable fees compared to other methods.
Fees via money transfer depend on the amount sent, which usually ranges from a minimum amount of $200 to a maximum amount of $1,500 per transfer. This depends on the site, however. The larger the amount sent, the more the fees. For $200–$300, the fee is just $25, but can go as high as $80–$120 as the customers reach the max amount per withdrawal.
Players will pay for the convenience of faster speeds and the ability to go pick up their money transfer at thousands of locations around the United States.
Though money transfer is a widely used method, we don’t recommend it, except in extreme situations where you need the money quickly, for two main reasons.
First, it’s not much faster than checks at some of the faster payment-processing sites and comes with higher fees and a lower maximum amount per transfer. Secondly, even sites that give out one free withdrawal per month will not usually include money transfers as part of that promotion.
How do I withdraw via bank wire?
Bank wire or wire transfer is perhaps the one option that you might not see available when you look at your cashier options. Some sites may only offer payouts via check and money transfer, but let’s hope not. Bank wire is one of the best methods for high-volume bettors.
To process a bank wire, the site will need your banking information, which includes your bank account, routing number, and SWIFT code. Sites normally process bank wires in about two weeks, slightly longer than it takes to receive a check, but again it varies depending on the operator.
Bank wires cost around $50 to process by the site, and players can also expect to pay additional fees to receive a bank wire from their personal bank. This usually isn’t a lot more, about $15–$25. Also, unlike money transfers, bank wires are typically eligible to be used as the player’s one free monthly withdrawal method.
The biggest advantage for wires, however, is their large maximum withdrawal limit. While checks max out at mostly $3,000, bank wires can be processed up to $5,000, $10,000, or sometimes even larger amounts. This makes them an excellent method for high-volume bettors who are looking to cash out five-figure balances.
Any other methods I should know about?
There are none that are currently widely utilized yet, but there have been some emerging options for players over the past few years. These include a debit card withdrawal option and the crypto-currency Bitcoin.
The debit card option is one of the best withdrawal methods available where it’s offered. Players are mailed a debit card, usually a Visa, by the online gambling site, which they can then use to receive cash outs from their online gambling account.
The debit card works just like a regular debit or ATM card. Players can use it to withdraw money via ATM or purchase items. Most sites offering this method have monthly fees attached to keeping the card active, along with transaction fees for cash outs to the card. These are around $10–$20.
How much players can keep on the card at once varies. One of the largest gambling sites offers this option to US player and allows up to $10,000 to kept on the card at once and up to $2,500 per cash out to the card. Processing times from players’ accounts back to the card usually take 5–6 days to process.
This method is still not widely available but is cost effective compared to others and is extremely convenient.
Bitcoin is a crypto-currency that can be purchased through a number of Bitcoin exchanges or wallets with traditional fiat-currency, such as US Dollars, Euros, or Pounds Sterling. In recent years, it has become extremely popular.
Bitcoin is unique in the sense that there are no fees for deposits or withdrawals. They usually take just a few hours to reach players once they are processed as well. Currently, only a few fiat-based gambling sites take BTC deposits and withdrawals, but that number is growing every day.
One downside is that Bitcoin’s value does fluctuate much more rapidly than fiat-currencies. There’s a chance the currency could lose value between the time you gamble with them and decide to withdraw.
Author and Updates: Joseph Falchetti