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When online sportsbooks first came into existence in 1996, there were limited ways to fund sports betting accounts. Payment methods like Bitcoin didn’t exist yet, eWallets were in their infancy, and integrating a credit card payment platform with an online platform was far from seamless.

The original way to send money to your sportsbook was through your bank, be it via a wire transfer or check. While it isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be, many sportsbooks still allow bettors make deposits the old school way: directly from their bank account. Further, there are some services which let you make bank transfers electronically.

In this guide, we’ll touch on the benefits of financing your sports betting bankroll with bank transfers, checks, and various kinds of online bank transfers.

The Benefits of Using Your Bank To Make Sportsbook Deposits

Over 40% of the sportsbooks we review still allow bettors to go through their bank to make a deposit, either via a conventional wire, check, or some form of digital bank transfer. While it may seem “old school”, there are quite a few benefits:

  • Many people still don’t feel comfortable sending money over the internet. For people who don’t want to send money from either a line of credit or via a payment platform on the web, banking methods are the only choice.
  • This is a great option for bettors looking to make huge deposits. Bookmaker and Just Bet, for example, have no limit on deposits made through a bettor’s bank account.
  • Banking methods won’t reveal any sensitive personal information to their sportsbook (financial or otherwise). Banks protect the security of all transfers, employing the highest quality encryption and safety measures to protect their clients.
  • It’s unlikely that regional restrictions will be placed on bank transfers. The same can’t be said for eWallets.

Bank Wires, Checks, and Instant Transfers for Sports Bets

There are three primary ways that you can finance your sports betting account through your bank: bank wires, checks, and instant transfers. Here, we go over the basics, and offer information to help you weigh your options.

Bank Wire Transfers

A bank wire moves money directly from your bank account to the receiver’s bank account, without the assistance of a third-party facilitator. These transferred funds cannot bounce (unlike with a check), because you must first possess these funds in your account.

The process involves going to your bank and requesting that a certain amount of money be transferred to a specific individual and particular bank account number. You will need to contact your sportsbook’s customer service department to determine where to direct your wire.

Fees are generally applied to every transfer and can take anywhere from two to ten business days for the transfer to complete. You may be asked to send a little more than what you wish to deposit, as the receiver of a bank wire is often charged a fee (either as a percentage of the transaction or a flat amount).

While minimum deposits are high, bank wires have the highest maximum of all deposit methods, allowing you to deposit upwards of $100,000. As we mentioned earlier, some sportsbooks even allow for unlimited deposits via bank wire.

Checks

This is a dying form of payment that is relatively rare, due in large part to lengthy processing times and unruly minimums. A select few sportsbooks do, however, still accept checks.

Checks can take upwards of 28 business days to be deposited into your gambling account, and the minimum deposits can often climb as high as $2,000.

Checks have to be handled manually by your sportsbook, which makes them a cumbersome and labor-intensive deposit method. As a result, many sportsbooks have gradually phased out this deposit option, opting for easier, electronic funding with less friction. That said, 20% of the sportsbooks we review still accept checks, including Bet Online and WagerWeb.

The most significant benefits of checks are the low fees involved and large deposit limits. The two types of checks still being accepted today are:

  • Cashier’s Check
  • Instant eCheck

Sportsbooks won’t take personal checks, due to the risk of fraudulent and bad checks. Hypothetically, if a sportsbook tried to cash a personal check they received from a prospective bettor, they’d incur a fee from their banking service if the check bounced.

Cashier’s Checks

A cashier’s check is signed by a cashier at your bank, certifying its authenticity and legitimacy. After this step is completed, the bank puts a hold on the amount requested, ensuring that the funds will be in your account when the check is presented to your sportsbook.

If there’s an issue with this method after the check is signed, your bank is responsible for paying the funds, not you.

Since the check is already certified by your bank, the sportsbook is able to cash the check immediately, without the traditional waiting period of a regular check.

Instant eCheck

Instant eChecks aren’t that popular anymore but they can still be used for depositing funds at select sportsbooks. This form of payment allows you to transfer funds electronically from your bank account to your online gambling account.

There are very minimal fees involved, and you can instantly deposit large sums of money into your account, too.

Both Pinnacle and Bet365 currently accept eChecks.

eTransfers

An electronic transfer is money that goes from your bank account to another bank account, but unlike a bank wire, it’s with the aid of an electronic facilitator.

A handful of companies still offer this service, and all charge their own fees. You don’t need to transfer your money to a third-party service first. Generally, you can access these third-party services directly through your financial institution’s online banking platform.

Here are a few of the services who offer these transfers:

iDebit

With iDebit, your personal banking information is not shared, and both parties need to bank at one of the supported institutions.

Transfers carry a fee of $1.00-$1.50 unless you sign up for an iDebit account – by creating an e-wallet – which eradicates those transfer fees. There will still be a fee to withdraw your money from the wallet.

Of the eTransfer options, iDebit has the highest maximums. However, they are still not terribly high, averaging around $1,500.

Interac e-Transfer

With Interac e-Transfers, no personally identifiable financial information is shared. All you’ll need is an email or phone number, as well as a bank account to receive funds.

The transfer is made from your online banking platform and received the same way by the other party. Depending on your financial institution, you may be required to pay $1.50 for each transfer.

This is a trendy option for Canadian sports bettors, as many different banks in Canada include Interac e-Transfers service. Interac e-Transfers have not caught on in other locales to the same extent as they have in the Great White North.

InstaDebit

This isn’t the easiest method to classify, but it identifies best as an eTransfer. InstaDebit allows bettors to pay merchants directly from their bank accounts, with a transfer fee of $1.95.

When signing up, you will be required to create an InstaDebit account and, in the process, provide bank account information and verify your identity. After signing up, a small fee will be taken from your bank account as further verification. There is no sign-up fee with InstaDebit, and merchants are restricted from accessing your private information.

Any funds credited to you by a merchant are stored in your InstaDebit balance account. You can use these funds to pay merchants or withdraw them to your bank account, though there is a $2.00 charge when withdrawing.

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Outside of traditional banking methods, there are so many different ways to finance your sports betting account.

If you’re looking to dispense with tradition – and want the highest tech deposit option available – read our guide on how to deposit with cryptocurrency.