Wire Transfer Online Casinos
Often going under various titles: Money Transfer, Direct Wire, Bank Wire, Wire Transfer, etc., this method of deposit and withdrawal is more common than you may think.
Bank wire transfers are a common way of transacting financial business with online casinos. They are used more often for withdrawals than for deposits, mostly as a matter of convenience and cost.
The process involves the electronic transfer of money from one bank account to another over a designated secure system.
Most international wire transfers are sent using the SWIFT system (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) while U.S. domestic wires often occur over the Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS) and less often over Fedwire.
ACH, or Automated Clearing House payments are a different sort of transaction which can be used to receive payouts from casinos but ACH payments are less common.
Although it may have had earlier beginnings, the first common use of the wire transfer service began in 1872. Western Union launched their "telegraph transfer" service that year.
After giving money to a Western Union office in one city, an operator would telegraph, or "wire" instructions to another office or bank in another city. The amount of the transfer was included in the instructions as were the sender's and recipient's names. Passwords were sent in code. The recipient declared themselves and provided a unique password in order to collect the money.
How Wire Transfers Work
Whether you are sending money to an online casino (deposit), or they are sending money to you (withdrawal), the process is fundamentally the same:
The sender will give their bank a transfer order for a sum of money. The recipient's SWIFT, BIC, or IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is also given so the money will arrive at the proper destination.
The sender's bank will transmit the message and instructions to the receiver's bank using a secure system such as CHIPS, Fedwire, or SWIFT.
Settlement instructions are also included in the message. The funds will be settled (available for withdrawal) in a different amount of time depending on a few factors.
How long does a wire transfer take?
Fedwire is almost always reserved for immediate or near-immediate settlement and is usually only used for Central Bank transactions or those involving significant sums of money.
Domestic transfers can be ready in a few hours or a few days.
International wire transfers can take anywhere from 2-7 banking days on average.
If the two banks don't have reciprocal accounts, one or more intermediary banks will need to become involved which could delay processing. This can also add fees to the cost of the transaction.
Wire transfer fees
Fees vary due to a variety of factors as well. IBAN/BIC transfers within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) cannot cost more than an in-nation transfer, according to EU rules. In the U.S., costs are not as well regulated and can be more expensive.
It may be good to check with your receiving bank regarding any potential fees. If you bank with more than one institution you may wish to have the money sent to Bank of America, for example, rather than Wells Fargo if the fees are disparate.
Some financial institutions, such as credit unions, will not have a reciprocal account with the sending bank. In some cases, the casino will not disburse the money through an intermediary bank.
Wire Transfer Deposits
In order to deposit money using a wire transfer, contact customer service at your casino and request instructions.
Here are a few things to consider when wiring money overseas:
- If you are sending in a different currency than you depositing (ie USD>EUR) be sure to do the currency conversion properly to end up with the desired amount in your account
- If you bank at more than one institution, especially if you plan to use the method often, consider comparing fees
- Make sure all of your details are correct. One little typo could end up sending your money to the wrong person or institution. This can be a problem not easily solved or cheap to remedy.
Wire Transfer Withdrawals
If you have a significant amount of money coming, you may want to consider asking the casino to lock or "flush" a portion of it (so you can't play it back) and do a test withdrawal of $2,500 or so.
Advantages of Wire Transfer deposits and withdrawals
There aren't many advantages to depositing via bank wire unless you don't have an alternative (free) financial instrument or method.
However, it can be a useful tool for money management. It will usually take several days for your deposit to become available for play and may curb "impulse buying" for some players.
One of the many benefits of using bank wire transfers to withdraw from casinos is that sometimes it is simply the best way to be paid - especially if you live in the U.S., Canada, Australia, or other markets where the government and financial institutions have gotten together to make online gambling more difficult for their citizens.
Players in these and other countries will often use a prepaid card or another instant method to deposit and then withdraw to their personal bank accounts and wait for the money to clear.
As there are no third party payment processing companies involved, there is less chance of identity theft and the transactions are executed through a system with the highest internet security possible.
Disadvantages of Wire Transfers
Not all players have the banking details they need readily at hand so they may hesitate to initiate their first wire transfer. It only takes a few minutes to locate the numbers you need. If you keep them in a safe place, possibly encrypted, they will be handy for future transactions.
Casinos usually charge a higher fee for wire transfer withdrawals than other methods. You receiving bank will almost surely charge a fee for their services, especially if it is an international transaction. If there is one or more intermediary or correspondent banks involved they could assess fees as well.
It can take up to 10 calendar days to actually see the money become available in your bank account.
Bank Wire Transfer Conclusion
Wire transfers are best suited to players in restricted jurisdictions who need a reliable way to receive their winnings and don't mind paying a few dollars in fees.
They are also useful for larger sums of money which would exceed the limits of other methods. This is not an issue for most players as the majority of online casinos restrict the amount you can withdraw daily, weekly, and monthly.
U.S. residents will need to know their account and routing numbers, the physical address of their bank, and the bank's SWIFT code.
You can find the SWIFT or BIC code for most banks anywhere in the world here.