Western Union is the world’s most popular commercial wire transfer service. Founded in 1851, the company is still going strong into the 21st century, with a $9 billion market cap and historical stock performance that indicates the company’s staying power.
The use of Western Union wire transfers to deposit and withdraw funds from online betting sites is common, especially in parts of the world where other traditional financial transaction methods are not allowed. Though the company’s specialty (and most-advertised function) is payments and funds transfers between individuals, WU also has a popular bill payment system, the same system used to send money to sportsbooks online.
Western Union Basics
In order to perform a transfer to a sportsbook via Western Union, customers simply tell the bookmaker about an incoming deposit via Western Union, as well as a few details about the transfer, in order to set up the deposit.
Once a deposit is sent, either through a kiosk at a larger retail store or through the Western Union website, the customer will be given a special code called a Money Transfer Control Number, or MTCN. This acts as the tracking number for the transfer of funds. Customers then give the bookmaker in question the MTCN so they will be prepared to receive it. The customer then watches to see when the bookmaker actually deposits the funds so they can begin placing wagers.
The benefits of using a wire transfer payment such as Western Union include a high acceptance rate, a convenient transfer process, and access to high deposit maximums (due to high transfer maximums).
The convenience factor comes from the fact that Western Union has thousands of kiosks and retail outlet pay stations around the world. Now, Western Union transfer money through an online service as well, making it even easier. As for the high deposit limits, wire transfers like WU give bettors the biggest variety in terms of the size of their deposit. Deposits are limited to between $3,000 – $9,000 depending on the area where the transfer originates and a few other factors.
Of course, this method comes with a couple of drawbacks. The fees for making a Western Union transfer are higher than customers may be used to with other methods. These fees also vary by sportsbook and by geographical location. Customers making WU deposits should expect to pay for the privilege and convenience. Another financial drawback is the higher-than-normal minimum deposit amounts required by the method – Western Union itself requires a certain minimum, as do the bookmaker websites that accept the deposits. These minimums vary by sportsbook, but are almost always larger than with other methods.
Western Union & North American Customers
For North American customers, Western Union deposits and withdrawals are fully legal. This company operates differently from banks and credit card lenders and falls outside the scope of the 2006 UIGEA bill that severely limited how Americans do business with their chosen online gambling sites.
Because Americans and Canadians can’t use credit cards for deposits, wire transfer services like Western Union are a solid second-line method for getting money in and out of their accounts.
Western Union Approval Rate Percentage
Approval rates for Western Union deposits are high at every bookmaker website that accepts them, in part because Western Union has such a strong reputation as a financial services provider, and in part because the system has plenty of security and stop-gap measures built-in to prevent fraud. Provided that a sportsbook customer is performing a fully-legitimate transfer, the acceptance rate should be 100%.
Sportsbooks that Accept Western Union
Deposits and withdrawals via wire transfer are incredibly popular at online bookmakers. The names listed below are merely representative of the large pool of sportsbooks that allow money to flow in and out of player accounts using Western Union: