As of March 26th, 2014, Skrill is available as a deposit method at Virgin Casino, Tropicana Casino and PartyPoker. Support at other casino websites should be rolling out soon.
Depositing funds has been a challenge for online gamblers in New Jersey, but one company is looking at ways to improve the experience. Last week I spoke with Neil Steinhardt, the CEO of Skrill USA, a digital e-wallet company now available to gamblers in New Jersey’s online casino and poker market.
Steinhardt talked with me about how his company fits into the ecosystem of US online gambling, and the value that they can provide to players. Skrill is already available as a deposit and withdrawal method at several of the online gambling sites, and more of the sites are slated to add the service to their cashier page in the near future.
What is Skrill?
Skrill is an online wallet service. The Skrill e-wallet lets you deposit money into your Skrill account, and then instantly move it to and from individual casino sites without the normal delays in payment processing that accompany other deposit and withdrawal methods. Having a separate and safe place to manage your gambling funds has several benefits…
Four Reasons That You Should Be Using Skrill
I see four main benefits to using an e-wallet for your gambling transactions…
1) Online casinos often use “deposit bonuses” as a promotional method, to entice gamblers to play more often. If you have the flexibility of moving your funds to and from the casinos in an instant, guess what? That means more potential bonus dollars for you!
2) Your bankroll can easily be shared across multiple casinos. Let’s say you are a poker player, and you’d like to participate in buy-in poker tournaments at two different casinos. Without a quick method of withdrawing from one and depositing in the other, you would need more money invested overall to play the events.
3) When using Skrill, the online casino providers don’t have access to your credit card or bank account details. While online casinos are likely to be among the most secure online sites for handling your account details, it is still comforting to know that you can reduce the number of entities that have access to this sensitive information. Skrill is licensed as a money transfer service in 46 states, so they are subject to strict banking regulations. I trust them more than I trust the casinos.
4) This may be the most helpful reason of all… You can use Skrill as a budgeting method. If you move a set amount of gambling money into your Skrill account for the month, you can now freely move that money around between casinos as needed, always with the awareness that your bankroll is limited to that amount. If you instead deposit directly into the casinos from your bank account, it can be far too easy to lose track of how much you are spending. Skrill makes it easier for you to play responsibly.
How You Can Get Started
Signing up at Skrill takes about 4 minutes, and you’ll need to provide the expected personal information so they can identify you.
Once you have an account, there are several ways to fund the account:
- You can make an ACH transfer from your bank account, by providing the account number and routing number of your bank.
- You can fund the account with cash, by purchasing a Paysafecard at a local store. The Paysafecard is similar to a prepaid debit card. Actually, it’s a voucher with a 16-digit PIN number. The paysafecard offers a secure way to fund your account with cash.
- In the near future you will be able to use credit cards to fund your Skrill account. Read more about that below.
Once you have funds in the account, using the wallet is the easiest possible method of depositing in an online casino. Just login to the casino, and use the Skrill option in the cashier. You can begin to play instantly. Similarly, withdrawals can be processed immediately, moving the funds back into your Skrill account.
Credit Cards for Gambling: The Current Status
I am preparing another article to be published here soon, detailing my in-person experience with deposits and withdrawals in New Jersey online casinos. However, since this is a related topic, I want to offer part of my advice now, since credit cards will soon be one of the ways that you can fund your Skrill account.
Although it seems like a credit card would be one of the easiest methods to deposit, in truth it is still easier and cheaper to use other options. Many credit card issuers are currently declining gambling transactions. In my testing, my MasterCard and Visa cards from Chase and PenFed were declined, but I was successful depositing with a CitiBank MasterCard. Even if your transaction is accepted, it is possible that your card issuer will treat the transaction as a cash advance, and charge you a cash advance fee. (CitiBank charged me $10 for that!)
Over time, I expect that more banks will begin to accept these transactions, and hopefully without the extra fees. But for now, I recommend funding your accounts with ACH or cash (either through Skrill’s paysafecard, or at a physical casino cashier in Atlantic City).
Note that when it does become available, if you fund your Skrill account with a credit card, you will be asked whether the funds will be used for gambling or not. If you answer Yes, the credit card transaction will be processed as a gambling transaction. If you answer No, that portion of the funds in your Skrill account will not be available for use at online casinos. This seems like a very sensible and well-designed way to handle the regulations that cover these kinds of transactions.
Skrill Looks Like a Winner
Overall, this looks like a solid service offering for players. In addition to the services mentioned above, you can get a MasterCard debit card to directly access your Skrill funds at any retail outlet that accepts MasterCard. Skrill is available today in several of the New Jersey online casinos, and I expect Skrill to be available at all of them in coming months. So, do you Skrill?