Bank Accounts, Cards & e-Wallets
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Most people have a main bank account, which may be a joint account or online or both, and probably a couple of cards of the debit and/or credit variety. This arrangement does not lend itself well to matched betting, arbing, casinos or very much else on this site. This post explains the problems you can encounter and how to avoid them by using the different funding methods available for bookmakers.
Bank Accounts and Debit Cards
I strongly recommend opening a new, separate bank account for gambling transactions. Open it in your own name, not jointly with anyone else, and make sure it has paper statements and preferably a Visa debit card.
It is really none of the bank’s business what you do with your money, but many banks frown on gambling. Although it has not (yet) happened to me, some banks may lock an account if what they consider to be a large gambling transaction suddenly appears. They will usually unlock it if you explain to them that it was you who wanted to do the deposit, but you really don’t need the stress of having your main bank account locked.
Having an account in only your name makes sense – some bookies are partner friendly, and if you use a joint account you will probably lose this advantage.
Bookies are particular about ID – they have to be for money laundering rules. They will often ask for a copy of a bank statement showing your address before they will let you withdraw your money. Online bank accounts have statements, but they do not show your address and this can be a nightmare, so always have paper statements to hand.
Visa debit cards are preferable to Maestro as they are accepted in many different countries and many banks are changing over to them from Maestro. Many of the European bookies say they take Maestro, but when you try to type the number in there are not enough spaces. I have opened accounts at at least 2 bookies which said they took Maestro (before I got a Visa debit card) and then been unable to fund them because my the card number was too long. By the time I got a Visa debit sorted out I was no longer eligible for the free bet.
Another nightmare scenario occurred when my bank (HSBC) decided to change over from Maestro to Visa. Because the numbers were different lengths the card numbers were completely different. Again the money laundering rules provided a serious headache, because some bookies would not allow me to change the card, even though it was the same bank account, without withdrawing the whole balance first. This meant waiting for the money to appear in the bank, and about a week when arbing was very difficult because none of my accounts were funded. The largest problem of all was Betfair. Betfair operate differently to most bookies in that you are allowed several different cards and funding methods registered at the same time. But before you can withdraw more than you have deposited to any one method you have to clear your net deposits on all other methods. I had net deposits on my Maestro card of over £80,000 and I only had about £3,000 in Betfair. I ended up having to use my main bank account to deposit chunks of a few thousand into Betfair, which I then withdrew to the card which was about to expire and transferred them back to my main account to use again, so that I could effectively transfer the net deposits onto a card which would work in future. The process took about a month and tied up a fair amount of cash in the process.
The best advice I can give about these is that unless you have absolutely no choice, NEVER use a credit card for betting. There are 2 serious difficulties with credit cards.
The first problem is that most card companies nowadays treat gambling transactions like cash transactions. There may be a fee for the transaction, and there will be an extortionately high rate of interest. Unlike ordinary purchases, these cash transactions do not have an interest-free period between the transaction and the statement date. Interest is charged from day 1. In addition, any other items at lower interest rates are paid off first, so the only way to get rid of the thing is to pay off the whole of the balance on your card immediately after the gambling transaction occurs. If the card is one on which you have an outstanding bill which you are paying off in instalments, or even if you are just using it to manage your cashflow until your next pay packet arrives, the effect of using it for gambling can be disastrous. If you have to use a credit card, use one with a zero balance, and pay off the money the same day.
The second problem is that all Mastercards and many others will not let you withdraw money from bookmakers to them. Most cards will not let you have a positive balance either. Although this is not a disaster, it is a big nuisance as it usually means providing copious quantities of ID, waiting weeks for the money and being paid by cheque. I once had about £8,000 tied up in this manner because I foolishly used a credit card to deposit into William Hill. I got my money, but it was an experience that I wouldn’t care to repeat.
Some bookies charge a fee for credit card deposits, so you get stung in every direction.
Skrill / Moneybookers
This is often the first choice for arbers, since money movements are quicker than between bookies and banks. There are usually no fees for bookmaker deposits and withdrawals although if you want to withdraw money to your bank or send it to a friend, fees do apply. There are also monthly deposit limits, which can be overcome by becoming a Moneybookers VIP.
Many bookmakers now take Moneybookers, but before you choose to use it check that it is ok for the free bet as some bookies give no bonuses for Moneybookers deposits. You can run into trouble if you sign up to a bookie with a different email address from the primary email on your Moneybookers account and then want to use Moneybookers to fund it. Occasionally you may find that you have to wait longer than you expect to for a Moneybookers withdrawal. Bookmakers will blame this on technical issues etc, but it may simply be a case of them not having a big enough float in Moneybookers, in which case they will have to fund it from a bank, and this takes a couple of days.
With regard to safety, it has to be said that if someone hacks your email they can access your Moneybookers account. This applies to all e-wallets which use email address as the login name.
Moneybookers does not fall inside the FSA regulations for bank accounts which ensure that if the bank goes under you can get £85,000 of your money back per financial institution. I believe only £1,000 is guaranteed to be safe in Moneybookers. For this reason I am reluctant to keep a large balance in there.
You can only have one Moneybookers account in one currency as far as I know. Like all financial institutions they charge currency conversion fees, but are more reasonable than most with these.
This is an alternative to Moneybookers, but in my opinion not as good. Most of the same provisos apply to Neteller as to Moneybookers. Their currency conversion charges are worse, and probably the best way to use them is to have a Neteller account in a currency that you are going to use a fair amount but which is not your own. For example if you want to do a lot of US bookmakers, have a Neteller account in pounds, and then you can simply use it to move money between your US books, avoiding the majority of the currency charges altogether.
Paypal, Click and Buy and other e-wallets
These are really the poor relations of Moneybookers and Neteller, and I would advise against their use with bookmakers unless there is no alternative. I have known Paypal to have special free deposits into Betfair in the past (they currently charge a 1.5% fee) and this was useful for depositing money into bookies using a credit card without producing the problems outlined above. I used Paypal for this a few years ago, and the legacy of that is a net deposit of £10,000 on my Betfair account which I would rather not withdraw back to Paypal because of their incoming and outgoing limits.
I know very little about some of the other methods available for deposits into bookmakers, and feel unable to comment on them. A combination of a Visa Debit card and Moneybookers/Neteller should be sufficient for most matched betting needs.
Forum discussion from BetSeventyTwo
by stevedunk » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:58 am
Hi would anyone know which creditcards do not charge for gambling deposits, thanks
by corner123 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:49 am
Unfortunately I think most if not all charge now. The one that might not is Barclaycard, but that info is a year or 2 old so I’d check very very carefully before committing yourself.
One way of getting round it is to use a card that treats gambling transactions as cash withdrawals but doesn’t charge a cash withdrawal fee. You’ll get high interest charged from day 1 so you MUST pay off the whole outstanding balance on the card immediately – DON’T wait for your statement. Read the small print very very carefully, and preferably phone the card provider and ask if there is a fee for cash transactions before you do it.
The reason for having to pay off the whole balance is that credit card companies are sneaky and will use any payment to clear the lowest interest debt first. So you MUST clear all the balance if you do this, not just the amount you deposited into the bookie.
A better alternative is to use a Visa debit card, which has the same 16 digit format for the card number as a credit card. These are becoming more comon – HSBC are changing all their Maestro cards to Visa debit. Most bookies will accept these if you select Visa as the deposit option.
by gazza180 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:36 pm
Hi Steve, contiuing on the credit card thread, I funded this seasons betting bank by using my virgin credit card balance transfer offer, this is the second time I have used this offer, when I started out Betfair Trading and risk free betting last year I used this offer to start me off, what you do is (provided you have a virgin card) go into virginmoney online, then promotions and select transfer a cash balance to your current account, the good thing about this offer is that you can currently transfer a cash balance until may2010 interest free, the only fee that you will be charged is the 2.98% handling fee for transferring the money, I thought it was a good way of getting a large betting bank with only a 2.98% charge for the credit as I would never consider paying any of the hefty cash advance charges these greedy companies charge, any questions post them up mate and I will try to help if I can.
all the best, gazza180!!
by stevedunk » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:29 pm
Thanks for the replys gazza the reson im asking is yhat the ucant lose site say they fund there arb bets with cards with no transaction charges but i cant find them, and they dont let on which they are,once again thanks for the posts
by NickSutty » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:01 pm
I use Barclaycard and HSBC. Both do not charge for bookmaker transactions, though do for moneybookers.
Hope this helps
More forum discussion from BetSeventyTwo
by shortstuff » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:17 am
some bookies dont seem to accept maestro as a form of deposit. can someone please advise me if moneybookers is safe to use, and if this is the best way to deposit. also, some bookies require a copy of both sides of your visa card, why is this? bookies who require this, i just leave out but i am missing bonus’s. when this is the case, is moneybookers the best option?
by mikeymp » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:30 am
Used to have maestro myself but changed it for a visa debit card which i find is more widely accepted , moneybookers is a good idea as you are not giving your bank details when depositing into sportsbooks but there is a small charge for each transaction , i do use mb but even that doesn’t guarantee not having to provide id as i have found with the cashpoint promo for example , it is a good idea to have images of your card/passport/utility bill stored on your computer ready to upload when bookies request your id before paying out. Hope this helps shortstuff
by corner123 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:55 am
You will find that more and more bookies are requesting ID. Many of them will allow you to deposit and bet, but when you want to withdraw your winnings they request various sorts of ID. This may include a copy of the front and back of your card. If this is the case then I suggest blacking out the middle 8 digits of the card using “paint” or similar editing software before sending it. Most bookies do not mind this and it is safer to email it like this.
Moneybookers is an alternative, but not all bookies allow it, some bookies don’t give bonuses for moneybookers deposits and many will still require you to send ID.
by shortstuff » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:34 pm
many thanks guys, you have cleared some things up for me!!
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