How Online Gambling Works

Paying to Play

Online blackjack
Online blackjack
Photo courtesy Golden Palace

The questionable legality of online gambling makes things tricky for players in the United States and other locations that don't allow gambling. You can use a credit card to fill your account at an online casino, but most American credit card companies will not allow the transaction if they recognize that it is intended for a gambling site. This leaves players with a few options.

It is possible to open a bank account at an off-shore bank, which can then be supplied with funds for the gambling site. But this is not a quick process, and the banks will often take a percentage of the amount deposited in return for their services.

Some Internet transaction services can be used to transfer funds into an online casino account. These services act like Paypal, but unlike Paypal, they can be used for gambling transactions. The easiest method is to send an international money order to the casino site, but this is a slow process and not all online casinos offer this option.

Not all of these off-shore banks and fund transfer services are safe to use. How can you tell the difference? Research the bank or service to find out how long the company has been around -- the more established, the better. It's a good sign if you can speak to a real person when you call the company's customer service line. You can also search the Internet for complaints about scams or poor service. Once you've chosen a service, start off with a small transaction to see if everything goes smoothly. When you're confident that they are legitimate, then you can move on to larger transactions. Regardless of the service, it's still a good idea to move the funds to your home accounts as soon as possible.

For more information about online gambling and related topics, check out the links below.

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More Great Links


  • "Betting Online." Gambling Magazine.
  • "Brief History of Gambling Online." Law Offices of Constantine William Kryos, PC.
  • Golden Palace Casino
  • Interactive Gambling Act Review. Lasseters Corporation Ltd.
  • Oliver, Justice James. "United States v. Jay Cohen."
  • Peak Entertainment End Users License Agreement. March 2004.
  • Sauer, Raymond D. "Internet Gambling Prohibition: Implications from the Economic History of Gambling Regulation." The Cato Policy Forum on Internet Gambling, October 23, 2003.
  • Thomson v. Handa-Lopez, Inc. Loundy's E-Law Web Page.March 25, 1998.