Picture the scene. You have just had a big win at your regular online casino, and you go to cash out. However, moments later you get a call from your bank who inform you that your account has been frozen due to ‘suspicious behaviour’.
Banks do not publish statistics on how many accounts they freeze for gambling and betting-related activities, yet anecdotal evidence suggests that tens of thousands of people experience this kind of issue.
Having a dedicated gambling or sports betting account, which is separate to your personal current account, is the best way of managing money when gambling online - especially if your gambling is more serious than the occasional flutter. However, many high street and digital banks are automatically wary of online casinos and betting sites, which can make things difficult when it comes to placing bets and collecting your winnings.
Why do regular bank accounts make it hard to gamble online, and what specialist features should you be looking for?
Why do regular banks make online gambling difficult?
There are several reasons why high street and digital banks make online gambling difficult. Some of these are reasonable and sensible precautions, others are down to a lack of experience in the sector:
Fraud and crime concerns
Banks are obliged to flag up fraud and minimise the risk of organised crime. Unfortunately, online casinos can be used for illegitimate purposes such as money laundering, so banks may automatically block your account just in case.
Learn more: Read our overview of Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer
Most major banks have signed up to charters that aim to protect problem gamblers so they may freeze your account if you seem to be betting frequently or in large quantities. Again, this is a good thing for problem gamblers, but it makes life harder for the professionals.
Lack of expertise in the gambling sector
Online gambling has risen dramatically in recent years thanks to new legislation which makes it easier to do. Unfortunately, most banks do not have the experience or facilities to support professional and hobbyist gamblers or sports bettors.
If you are one of the growing number of people who treats gambling as a serious hobby or even a profession, it is very valuable to have an account which is designed to support your activities.
7 bank account features you need for gambling and betting online
What should you be looking for when you are choosing a bank account for online gambling and betting?
Knowledge of the igaming sector
More than anything else, your bank account provider needs to have a deep understanding of the online casino and sports betting market. This expertise will mean they will know which casinos and betting houses are trustworthy, can identify what ‘normal’ gambling behaviour looks like and, crucially, will not close your account for using these websites.
Supports multiple currencies
Professional gamblers and bettors will naturally want to take advantage of the best offers available for making money around the world. You might notice great odds on a sports bet at a betting site in a foreign country or wish to gamble in a different currency to take advantage of exchange rate differences. It is therefore valuable to have a bank account which allows you to gamble in several different currencies to get the best returns without having to pay expensive exchange rates.
An account with an IBAN
An IBAN (International Bank Account Number) allows you to receive payments from abroad. If you are placing bets or gambling at casinos in multiple jurisdictions, an IBAN is essential if you wish to be paid fast.
A debit card or virtual debit cards
Most casinos and betting sites are wary of accepting payments via credit card, and bank transfers and payments through services like PayPal can take a long time to process. Therefore, a debit card is often the ideal way of making payments. You could opt for a physical debit card or a virtual one (which has the added benefit of letting you create and close as many virtual accounts as you want).
Crypto-friendly for curacao licensed
A growing number of casinos allow you to make and receive payment in a variety of cryptocurrencies, depending on their gaming license. Most traditional banks put up the same barriers to crypto as they do to online casinos – so it is worth seeking out a specialist account that supports this new form of money.
In casinos and sports betting, rapid decision making is often crucial. You don’t, for instance, want to miss making a potentially huge win because your bank takes a few hours to send your money to the betting site. It is therefore crucial that your bank account supports UK Faster Payments and SEPA networks which ensure you can send money in seconds.
Regulated, licensed and responsible
Specialist gambling bank accounts treat their customers as adults – at Xace we know that most serious gamblers have a cool head, smart strategies and know their numbers. Nevertheless, that does not mean a totally hands-off approach is always right. Any gambling account should be regulated by the relevant authorities, your money should be just as well protected as it would be anywhere else, and the provider should offer tools and support (such as spending alerts or self-exclusion) in case you should need them.
The specialist in gambling and sports betting bank accounts
Xace is a specialist in providing accounts for online gambling and sports betting. We are FCA regulated, know the online gambling sector inside-out and take a responsible approach to vetting our customers. And that means you get an account which is perfectly suited to your activities, without any of the obstacles and barriers that non-specialist banks throw up when you gamble online.