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U.S.-based MasterCard is a financial services company and payment provider that processes transactions between merchants and customers using its MasterCard brand debit, credit and prepaid cards.
Many of the top online casinos say they accept MasterCard deposits, however, as many frustrated would-be bettors know, these transactions often are still being rejected by financial institutions. The reason is two-fold: a misapplication of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that was meant to combat illegal gambling; and banks’ concerns over an evolving interpretation/enforcement of the Wire Act by the federal government.
UIGEA was never intended to impede legal gambling at the licensed and regulated online casinos you will find reviewed at Gambling.com, and the problem is with the financial institutions and not the casino sites. That’s why the best solution for casino players is to use the virtual payment card Play+ or e-wallet PayPal instead and fund it through their Mastercard. They are both safe, secure and allow you to start playing casino games or online sports betting right away, making them preferred to credit cards.
To get a MasterCard, you’ll need to apply either at your bank or through a bank online. There are a few different types of Mastercards to choose from:
As a trusted credit card provider, MasterCard is used by millions to make payments and build their credit. Most online casinos and sportsbooks list MasterCard credit cards as accepted methods for deposit, though as noted above online casinos struggle to process them, which is why we strongly suggest using third-party services such as Play+.
Banks offering MasterCard products for customers also usually provide debit options. These allow you to make payments with the money in your linked bank account. Whether in-person or online, consumers can in theory use MasterCard to make instant deposits at many of the best sites for casino gaming. However, given the 50 percent success rate of Mastercard transactions with mobile casinos, using PayPal is preferred by many casino players for good reason.
MasterCard offers a prepaid card that you can use to make payments anywhere accepting MasterCard debit transactions. Unlike a debit card, it is not linked to a bank account. A prepaid card has a set amount loaded on to the card by the customer – which can be added to – and typically there are fees associated with loading the card.
Similar to gift cards provided by various merchants, MasterCard gift cards allow you to load the card with a certain amount and gift them to others. While some online casinos accept deposits made with MasterCard gift cards, others do not. Gift cards typically charge a small fee at purchase but not when using them.
The advantages to using MasterCard as your payment method for making deposits to online casino accounts include safety and, in theory, convenience. Large deposit maximums are also available. The reality is the banks are not supporting credit and debit cards in many cases, making for a frustrating experience for both casinos players and sports bettors. To avoid that, there are better methods, as noted above, until financial institutions eliminate the problem. Here are some benefits of Mastercard if you can get a transaction to process.
When using MasterCard to make deposits to your casino account, additional fees may be charged by the bank. There are also additional limitations:
Casino sites and online sportsbooks will have set limits for transactions made with a credit card. Yes, those high limits are attractive, but because of payment processing issues that have frustrated so many, VIP players often turn to bank transfers, which are also known as ACHs. These transactions don’t instantly credit accounts with your money, typically take 2-3 days, so managing bankroll is a must in those situations.
None of the top gaming platforms have fees for MasterCard payments. Even though you’ll never get charged an additional fee from online casinos, fees may come from the issuing bank. We suggest you ask the bank what fees, if any, are assessed for online gaming payment with MasterCard.
MasterCard transactions can be flagged by your bank and declined, as noted above, through no fault of the casino. If this happens, you can reach out to the support team at your online casino and ask for your card be taken off their system. Then try the transaction again. About half of all MasterCard transactions fail, which is why casinos and their customers often look to better options, including PayPal and Play+.
When making a MasterCard deposit, expect your funds to be added within the same amount of time it takes to use MasterCard to pay for other items – in other words, almost instantly. Deposits to online casinos made with MasterCard are very quick -- when they work.
When depositing with MasterCard, expect it to be more or less the same at any online casino in the U.S. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to add funds to your account:
Once you’ve accessed your account, select the cashier from your account page to get the deposit process started.
From the cashier page, select deposit. You can also use the quick deposit links featured at many online casino platforms.
Select Mastercard from the list of available payment options. Many sites can even save this as one of your existing payment methods.
Choose the amount you intend on depositing to your account with your MasterCard by selecting one or entering a specific number.
Finally, enter the number on the front of your MasterCard and expiration date as well as the security number located on the back of your card.
While you can’t make a withdrawal using MasterCard, there are other options available to you, including PayPal, bank transfers (otherwise known as ACH) and having a paper check mailed to you. The downside of paper checks and ACH is that you will have to wait at least a few days to receive your funds.
MasterCard is often a deposit method available at online casinos in the U.S. New online casinos bring different offerings. These sites don’t all accept the same deposit options, but Gambling.com has put together a list of the best casinos accepting MasterCard.
Even though MasterCard is often an available payment option at U.S. online casinos, there are other payment providers offered as well. We break down some you’ll see most often at the best gaming sites below.
Now that you know about the challenges of using Mastercard, visit an operator in your state from the list at the top of the page. After registering, sign up for a virtual Play+ card and top it off with your card. Then use that Play+ card to deposit with your online casino of choice. Hopefully issues processing Mastercard will be resolved by the banks, but this is the least frustrating way to get started until that happens.
"More than 30 years working in online gaming and sports journalism. I hope to explain the growing US online casino market to help those new to internet gambling have a better understanding."