Deposit Methods That Are Legal For Online Betting
Just as there are federal restrictions on sports gambling, there are also federal restrictions on the deposit methods that are legal for online betting. The biggest one you’ll deal with as a US player is the UIGEA, or Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006). This federal regulation directly influences banks and how payments are processed through US financial institutions.
This federal law mainly affects deposit methods that are processed through banks. As a US law, it can only dictate the behavior of US banks and financial institutions. Because of the limitations that the UIGEA has,, legal betting sites have provided a multitude of different sportsbook deposit methods that are legal and don’t get adversely affected by the UIGEA.
This page will dive into and review all of the different sportsbook deposit methods that are legal. We’ll go over the ones that are most commonly affected by the UIGEA, and we’ll discuss the alternatives in place to combat the annoyance of a declined payment. The important thing to remember when using any sportsbook deposit method is that you are not breaking the law, and if a payment is declined for any reason, you will not be punished in any way.
Does The UIGEA Make Sports Betting Illegal?
The short answer is no. Despite being called the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the UIGEA does not make sports betting unlawful. It is just a very scary sounding banking regulation. While it can on occasion inconvenience US bettors who are attempting to make deposits to their accounts at legal betting sites, it is nothing more than a minor bump. You will not get in trouble for betting at a sportsbook or even for making a deposit at a legal sportsbook under the UIGEA.
How To Get Around The UIEGA
Legal sports betting sites provide quite a few different deposit methods to their US bettors, in order to help them avoid the inconvenience of a declined payment under the UIGEA. Below, we go over the best of these sportsbook deposit methods that are legal. We’ll tell you how they are affected by the UIGEA and how you can avoid possible problems with the UIGEA.
Credit Cards - VISA / MasterCard / American Express
Just about everyone in the free world owns at least one credit card, and some of us own more than we would like to admit. That being said, we come to our first sportsbook deposit method that’s legal for US bettors. Just about every legal sports betting website will accept at least one of the major credit cards like VISA, MasterCard, and American Express. Visa and MasterCard are probably the most commonly accepted credit cards. But due to the UIGEA, credit cards might sometimes not be able to go through because credit card companies and banks sometimes reject transactions for internet gambling.
When using a credit card to deposit, a photo ID and copy of the credit card is typically required, as an added measure of security. This will be done after you’ve finished creating and registering for your new account. You only have to do this once, then the book will store the credit card information.
Prepaid Cards + Gift Cards
If you experience difficulties when it comes to credit cards when trying to deposit into your account to bet online, a prepaid card might be the answer to your problems - accepted prepaid cards at online sportsbook offer a 100% approval rate. Among the varieties of prepaid cards that are used include the likes of VISA, Mastercard, and American Express. These cards can be used to make legal sportsbook deposits without fear of a declined payment because they are not processed by banks.
But don't go rush out and buy just any card. You need to contact the cashier at the sportsbook to find out exactly which brands and types of cards are being accepted to guarantee our claimed 100% approval rate. This option is very enticing to USA players who would like to use their credit cards but have had trouble with their banks processing them. (Note: If using a prepaid credit card, please make sure that it is certified for international purchases, as not all prepaid or gift cards offer this feature.)
Wire Transfers: Western Union + MoneyGram
Wire Transfers are another great way for USA players looking to deposit into an online gambling site account. Most of the legal betting sites recommended on this page accept wire transfers. You’ll need to contact the sportsbook to obtain the appropriate information to conduct the transfer.
eCheck / Bank Wire: Not Currently Working For USA Betting Deposits; Payouts OK
An eCheck is sort of like writing a check to a retailer, only there's no actual paper check exchanging hands. eChecks work just like regular checks, except that the funds are verified automatically, rather than waiting for the paperwork to be filed, examined by both financial institutions, etc. Unfortunately, eChecks and similar bank wires are heavily affected by the UIGEA. These are sportsbook deposit methods that are legal but run entirely through a bank, so it will almost always get flagged by the UIGEA.
Best Legal Betting Sites That Feature Numerous Deposit Methods
BetOnline Sportsbook - Bonuses Up To $1,000 On Each Deposit
BetOnline uses proprietary software to offer gambling of all types, from casino games to horse racing bets to bingo. American customers can use many varieties of VISA and Mastercard cards to deposit into BetOnline - a site that claims a "high success rate" for USA players banking with those methods. Other deposit options at BetOnline include money orders, bank wires, and payment by courier using a cashier's check. Also worth noting: if you achieve VIP status, this sportsbook will unlock American Express as a deposit method, which is very hard to find elsewhere in the industry!
Right now, BetOnline is offering new customers at most of their gaming platforms a "25% bonus for life" offer, meaning they'll match all of your deposits at a rate of 25% up to $1,000 for your entire time as a member. This match could be as low as 15% depending on the deposit method used, but it still remains one of the best sportsbook bonuses available.
Bovada Sportsbook - Easy To Use Deposit Methods Plus High Acceptance Of Cards
Bovada is the North American-facing arm of the mega-popular online gaming platform Bodog. When Bodog pulled out of the USA and Canadian markets after the UIGEA went into effect, they opened Bovada to do business with customers in a way that is legal, even by the strict regulations of the UIGEA. However, due to the UIGEA, the deposit options – while common avenues for most bettors – are more limited than at non-US books.
Deposit methods currently accepted at Bovada include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Typically those using cards capable of international transfers are the ones that work with high frequency, and if you go with a gift card for your Bovada deposits, you need to make absolutely certain that the card in question is valid for international transactions.
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More About The UIGEA + How It Affects Online Betting
The Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act was signed into law in 2006 and prohibits businesses from accepting any form of payment and processing transactions relating to online gambling. As a US law, though, it cannot actually prohibit businesses from accepting payment if they are operated and regulated in another country. It only has control over the institutions that are processing payments within the country.
The UIGEA was actually added onto the SAFE Port Act on the last day of session by certain congresspersons. No one actually read it, but the SAFE Port Act was passed, subsequently passing the UIGEA. It was then signed into law by the president at the time, George W. Bush. While it cannot stop online gambling sites from processing payments on their own, it can stop US financial institutions from processing payments.
This put up some major roadblocks for people who were using bank wire transfers, eChecks, and Credit Cards to as their legal sportsbook deposit methods. With most of their customer base having so much trouble making legal sportsbook deposits, online sports betting sites started adding new deposit methods that were both legal in the US and couldn’t be blocked by the UIGEA. These methods include things like accepting prepaid cards, paper checks, and digital currencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, Ripple, DASH, and more. Now, there are tons of sportsbook deposit methods that are legal under the UIGEA, and US customers have ample opportunities to easily and rapidly fund their sports betting accounts.