Certified Check as a Deposit Option
As available payment processing options for online sportsbooks and casinos shrink, especially for Americans, it’s important to research alternatives. You never know, you may need a backup transfer method one day, should your book or your local government change its financial policies. Such was the case for Americans after the passage of an anti-online gambling law that focused its attack on payment processors.
Luckily for US and Canada based bettors, other methods of moving money to and from books and casinos on the Internet exist. Some of them, like the use of a certified check, are old money transfer methods that have existed for decades but have been adapted for use by modern betting websites and their understandably-finicky cashier departments.
In some ways, the benefits of using this old-school certified check method to make a sportsbook deposit outweigh the benefits of using more modern payment methods. Do your own research to determine if this is the case in the part of the world where you live.
When we use the phrase “certified check,” we’re technically talking about a few nearly-identical ways to transfer money. Technically, a certified check is any check guaranteed by a bank. This phrase can also refer to the use of money orders sent through the mail or courier services, since there is a form of endorsement backing up the money order. In that sense, a money order is also a “certified check.”
Certified Check Basics
Sending a certified check as a payment method to a gambling website involves a few steps. That makes it slightly less-convenient than other methods, particularly if obtaining a paper check is a problem for you for whatever reason. Don’t worry, though, you may still have options.
The first real step in this process is to decide whether you want to use a literal certified check (printed and issued by your bank) or a money order purchased in any number of retailers and kiosks.
The difference between the two may be one of convenience – obtaining a money order is as easy as spend a buck or two at the local gas station and sending money “certified” by Western Union or whatever money order company you choose. Obtaining a printed check from your bank branch can be a bigger hassle, especially if there are long lines or any hassle from the bank about the check itself.
Anonymity is another nice feature of the money order route, as the money begins as anonymous cash, rather than being tied to a bank account.
Once that determination is made, you should figure out how the sportsbook or online casino of your choice handles this type of transaction. Like other alternative means of transferring funds, standards vary from site to site. Generally speaking, this type of deposit starts through the book or casino’s cashier page, with step-by-step instructions listed by the option that allows for check or money order transfer.
It’s important to read the fine print, since fees also vary from venue to venue. Some sportsbooks like taking deposits this way so much, they’ll give you a small incentive to do so, such as zero-fee, zero-maintenance, or even a little free betting cash. Others will charge you a few bucks for the privilege, which is kind of a downer considering how much work the average bettor has to do to use this particular method.
The final step is to send the actual check or money order via courier or mail to your casino or sportsbook, specifically to the address they list in the directions for this method’s use. The most common way to send a check like this is probably through FedEx/UPS or some other courier, both for the sake of anonymity (couriers don’t care what’s in the package) and the fact that the package can be tracked and is well-insure.
Federal post offices can help but are probably not as fast or as easy to track as a courier service. There will be a small fee to use any mail service, courier or otherwise, so you may as well get your money’s worth and use a decent courier.
Certified Check Transfers and North American Customers
This form of payment is ideal for gamblers in the US and Canada who want to send funds to an offshore sportsbook or casino site, for all the reasons listed above and simply because the method is pretty much universally-approved for Americans and Canadians. It is as easy to get a money order in North America as it is to get a pack of gum – if you have the cash for the amount of the money order and the fee charged, congratulations, you’ve got an acceptable transfer method in your hot little hand.
Certified Check Approval Rate Percentage
Provided that you follow all the steps outlined by the entity you’re transferring funds to, approval should be no problem. The paper check printed by your bank (or the paper money order printed and endorsed by another financial institution) is guaranteed to be accepted, though you may have to deal with slow transfer times. This is particularly true of Americans sending money to far-away gambling venues.
Sportsbooks that Accept Certified Check Deposits
With nearly-guaranteed acceptance and the fact that some venues will actually hook you up a little for using this method, it should be no surprise that the vast majority of the world’s sportsbooks accept this kind of deposit. Here’s a quick representative sample of the best sportsbooks in the world and their policy regarding certified check transfers.
5Dimes – We love 5Dimes for sports bettors, especially those in North America. They’re known for offering tons of promos in a huge variety of markets. They accept deposits by check, but they charge a fee of between $40 and $80 to process the payment.
Carbon Sports – As one of the newest big global sportsbooks, Carbon deserves your attention. Particularly because they’re open to a variety of transfer methods that work for Americans and Canadians, including check transfers. At the time of this review, they do not appear to offer special promos for check-depositors, but they also don’t appear to charge any fees, which is a nice bonus.
William Hill – WillHill is one of the best-known brands in UK sports and race betting. They accept deposits by certified check, under generally the same terms as their “Bank Wire” transfers on the website. At the time of this review, there is no special deal available for check-based deposits.