How to Use Money Transfers to Deposit Funds at an Online Casino if You’re from the United States, and How to Make Withdrawals

One of the most effective ways to fund an online casino account from the United States is to do so via money transfer. This is a means of sending cash from one person to another. The two largest services that handle these kinds of transactions are MoneyGram and Western Union. Even though they’re two different companies, with two different websites and with different pickup and drop-off locations, they work in essentially the same manner. You give the company cash along with a fee for transferring the funds, and the other party picks up the money.

This page looks at the specific how-to of getting money into your casino account using this method. It also takes a look at the pros and cons of using this deposit method as compared to others.

How Does a Money Transfer Work, and How Do You Do One with an Online Casino?

Many banks, convenience stores, check cashing stores, and retail stores have counters with financial products available. One of the most common of these is a Moneygram or Western Union counter. Sending money via the service is as simple as walking up to the counter, filling out a short form, and handing some cash to the attendant. The information you include on the form is basic, too—mostly it has to do with the recipient’s address and name.

Sometimes they’ll also include a security question. But this isn’t the only way to initiate such a transaction. You can also transfer money using their website. In either case, you give the company involved the cash plus a fee to make the transfer.

The Pros and Cons of Using Moneygram or Western Union

This fee, compared to the fees involved with other deposit methods, are high. You might only spend $5 or $10 buying a prepaid credit card, but a money transfer usually involves a fee that’s as high as 10% of the amount you’re transferring. This is the major downside to this deposit method—the expense. But the upside is large. This is the single most reliable deposit method in the industry in terms of acceptance and approval.

If you’re concerned about the expense but like this method of making a deposit, MoneyGram is known to have lower fees in general than Western Union. If it’s available as a deposit option at your casino, opt for it even if you have to open a new account there.

I should point out that Moneygram and Western Union frown on being associated with online gambling in any way. It’s just the nature of their business to make more or less anonymous transfers of cash convenient for a lot of people. One way to think of these two companies is that they were Paypal before there was a Paypal. After all, that’s what Paypal does—facilitate the transfer of cash between people.

How to Actually Make the Deposit

When you’re registering your account you go to the cashier page as part of the registration process. Even if you’re an existing customer, you still have to go to the cashier page to get money into your account. These pages invariably have a list of deposit options for you to choose from. In the case of Western Union or Moneygram, you’ll have some fields to fill out, but you’ll also need to contact the casino’s customer service department to get the recipient details to give Moneygram or Western Union. You’ll follow up with another call to the casino’s customer service team to provide them with your confirmation number. (It’s also called a “money transfer control number” or “MTCN”.)

Withdrawing Money When You Deposited via Cash Transfer

Most of the time when you make a deposit at an online casino using a particular method, your withdrawal also defaults to that method. If you make a deposit with a Visa, your withdrawal is done as a credit to your Visa account, for example. In the case of cash transfers, though, casinos generally prefer to send money via some kind of check via courier. They have no problem getting money via Moneygram or Western Union, but sending money seems to be a little trickier for them.

A Recommendation

Since the fees for using this method to transfer money are so high, you should probably only use this method if you’re a relatively high stakes gambler. The more money you have, the less you’ll feel the sting of that roughly 10% charge. If you’re a low roller, I’d encourage you to look into some of the other options. With a prepaid debit card, you can get a fee that’s much lower than 10%, provided you’re loading the card with enough money. But if you’re depositing $1000+, cash transfers work great. Definitely consider Moneygram instead of Western Union, too.

Updated: 11.26.2016
Author: Steve Mitchell