For most online players, choosing between Visa and Mastercard for US casino deposits may seem like choosing between a bullet in the chest and one in the stomach. That’s because governmental regulations have caused many issuing banks to shy away from accepting any transactions involving gambling activities. Luckily, recent legislation has allowed certain U.S. states to adopt increased online casino activity, and credit card acceptance is slowly beginning to become a legitimate option on a limited basis.
This article is intended to inform readers about the various Mastercard and Visa products that are available for online deposits and withdrawals. We’ll examine the challenges faced by American players seeking to use these cards, as well as discuss the potential impact of the changing face of U.S. gambling. The good news is that legitimate casinos accepting Visa are still available.
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Difficulties Facing U.S. Players
In 1961, the Federal Wire Act was passed to outlaw interstate gambling on sports, but this was well before the creation of the Internet. New laws were needed to allow for online regulation, and this came in 2006 with the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act by the Bush administration. While this new law didn’t prohibit the act of online gambling, it did make it illegal for financial institutions to transact business for the purposes of Internet gaming.
While the legality of the UIGEA has been challenged in numerous quarters, many of the financial institutions who issue credit cards have found it more convenient to play along. This reluctance to act as a middle-man for gamblers and casinos has been further complicated by individuals who deposit money with their Visa or Mastercard, suffer losses, and then call the issuing company to report the credit card stolen.
Types of Visa Cards
If you’re thinking about using a Visa card to make online deposits at a casino, here are some of the options that you might want to consider:
- Visa Debit – This card allows for instant transactions to be made from your bank account. The biggest negative for gamblers is the fact that you can sometimes overdraw on your account.
- Visa Prepaid Cards – These cards allow you to load a specified amount of money and spend it however you went. Once the money on the card has been exhausted, you’ll need to add more before you can use it again.
- Visa PayWave – By waving your card in front of a sensor, you can automatically make hassle-free payments. Online casinos are not yet accepting this form of payment, but don’t be surprised if it turns up in the near future.
- Visa Credit Card – As you might have guessed, the Visa brand is the most recognized credit card name in the industry. When using this card, the issuing bank pays the immediate debt, and then the cardholder is expected to pay back the bank. Failure to do so results in the accumulation of interest charges.
- Visa Business – Ideal for high rollers, this card works the same as the regular Visa credit card, but it offers a higher limit for charges.
Types of Mastercard Products
When choosing between Visa and Mastercard for US casino deposits, here are some of the many options offered by the Mastercard company:
- Mastercard Credit Card – The credit card with the Mastercard logo comes in five varieties: Standard, Gold, Platinum, World, and World Elite. The more exclusive cards come with higher credit limits and a wider range of available services.
- Mastercard Debit – Each of the available debit cards allow customers to draw from their bank account, but the Enhanced and World options provide a greater range of additional services.
- Mastercard Prepaid – When choosing a prepaid card from Mastercard, you may choose from the following: Everyday, Gift, and Travel. Despite the different appearances, there’s little difference between the three.
- MasterPass – Pay for things by clicking your mouse, tapping your smartphone, or touching your tablet. By choosing the “Buy with MasterPass” option at checkout, you can unlock your account and choose from shipping and payment options. While this isn’t available at online casinos yet, you can expect it to become more common in the future.
Visa or Mastercard – Which Is Better for US Players?
When it comes to their available services, Visa and Mastercard are quite comparable. However, the approval rate for Visa cards is lower due to their using a general banking code for all Internet gambling transactions. MasterCard, meanwhile, uses a banking code that’s specifically keyed to regulated and legal gambling. Ultimately, this means that Mastercard is the better deposit option for U.S. gamblers.
In the last year, several American states have decided to allow online gambling within their borders as long as the player is physically present within the state. Several gaming sites have already sprung up as a result, and I’ve noticed that their clients have had success with both Visa and Mastercard. The latter card works more often, however, so here’s a list of issuers that you may want to try as a primary option: Capital One, CitiBank, Chase Bank Debit Cards, Bank of the West, MetaBank, Juniper Bank, USAA Savings Bank, and ING Bank.
Choosing between Visa and Mastercard for US casino deposits can be a maddening experience, but a certain level of perseverance is bound to pay off eventually. While some banks steadfastly refuse to conduct transactions involving any form of gambling activity, others are warming to the idea of deposits in states where online gaming has been made legal. Your best bet is to try a number of cards until you find one that works, as well as keep an eye on this continually developing situation.