With so many people around the world enjoying a spot of online gambling, internet casinos now accept a wide range of currencies to appeal to the largest possible base of punters. So is there a benefit to using Pounds over Euros, Dollars or Rand? Or maybe you should invest in Bitcoin for best value?
When players sign up to a brand new casino, one of the first items on the agenda after registration is choosing a currency and a payment method. This will set the default for whenever you play at this casino, so think about the currency you have the easiest access to.
If you travel a lot for work or pleasure and want to ante-up in various different countries, check whether the casino will let you change your default currency once it has been set. That way you can bank the currency of the country you’re in, rather than having to convert it beforehand.
Unfortunately, some casinos require your choice of currency to be fixed or don't have a quick way of changing it. There may also be additional currency conversion fees charged by the casino that cost you money in the long term.
If this is the case, you can choose to convert the money yourself using services like TransferWise or use digital wallets like PayPal and Neteller. They will likely charge for doing the conversion but it may be cheaper than the casino's rates, so it is always best to shop around.
The other alternative to a change in currency is to change the casino you play at. See if there are any sister casinos operated by the same parent company that offer the same range of games and set up a new account there with a different currency.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are slowly becoming online gambler's best friends thanks to the fact that they have no currency conversion fees. This digital decentralized currency breaks down the barriers between countries, becoming a true global form of payment that is valued the same regardless of where you are.
This makes it one of the best currencies not just for players to avoid fees, but also for casinos, as like most merchants they are charged for processing payments on Visa and Mastercard. There have been several attempts to establish a true global cryptocurrency, although there is no doubting Bitcoin is by far the most popular and well known.
It creates a private digital wallet with a unique Bitcoin address, which is then used to store the key to access the Bitcoins. Bitcoin can be purchased using normal currency, traded for goods or services or earned by mining data nodes called blockchains.
Because it does not belong to any specific bank or country, there are no fees for using it, which is a particularly attractive quality to casinos looking to make a profit. Although still not as readily accepted as standard currency, Bitcoin has become harder to ignore.
Casinos which cater only to gamblers in one country may only offer that country's currency. Many New Jersey casinos tend to have US dollars as the only option for depositing and withdrawing funds, for example.
While players with alternative currencies may still be eligible to play at these casinos, the additional conversion fees may prove this to be an ineffective way of gambling. Try and find a casino that allows for deposits in your own currency.
Some casinos will allow you to make deposits in a second currency. This is a great feature which allows players to bet in more than one currency, which is perfect for travellers or anyone who deals with multiple kinds of cash.
There are a couple of ways this might work. Either your online wallet will be split to hold the two currencies separately and you can switch between them. Or the casino will blend them together, charging a currency conversion fee to do so.
This can often be applied automatically with prompting the player for approval, so always check how multi-currency options work.
Geography is going to be the biggest factor when choosing the best currency for you to bet with. Casinos based in the UK and Europe are usually granted their license from the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority, and as a result offer the UK Pound and the Euro as typical currencies.
Many casinos and game developers stem from Scandinavian countries, and will often add the Swedish Krona, Danish Krone and Norwegian Krone to this list. The strength and popularity of the US Dollar is not what it once was, and has been superseded by the Euro. However, it is still usually found as an option at top online casinos.
The rising popularity of online gambling in Australia means that the Australian Dollar is a frequent currency available in most online casinos. The South African Rand has also experienced an upsurge in use online, and can be found as an option at several European casinos.
It may seem obvious that the best currency to use is your native one, but drastic changes in exchange rates could mean it makes financial sense to convert your funds before betting them. Keep an eye on money exchanges to see how the Pound trades against the Dollar or Euro, and see if it is worth converting money before betting.