Online casino market has been growing at an alarming rate over the last few years, driven primarily by advancements in technology that have made better games possible, as well as increasing accessibility to devices and internet connectivity across the world. According to Statista, the world market is due to grow by 50% between 2019 and 2023, increasing from under US$60 billion to in excess of US$93 billion by 2023.
According to the UK Gambling commission, online slots account for around 70% of this market, making slots the most popular game in casinos by some margin. One of the reasons for this is that slots are very easy to play; there is no pre-requisite or skill required (whereas other casino games like blackjack and poker require some knowledge of the game). Another reason for their popularity is that they are quick and fast, and players can dip in and out of the game whilst waiting for a bus, on their daily commute, or whilst cooking dinner. There is no minimum time that must be spent and it fits in nicely to changing player habits.
Another reason that slots (and to an extent online casinos) have become more popular is due to improvements in online safety and the technology to ensure payment details are secure. More and more people feel safe spending money in online slots and live casino as there are guarantees that protect their accounts and personal information. When accessing online slots, players want to know that their personal and financial information is secure, and that they can easily withdraw their winnings.
Popular payment methods explained
Debit Cards (Visa, Maestro, Mastercard, Electron)
This option is available at pretty much every casino. This method is hassle-free and secure, with in-built security at the casino end, as well as at the bank end, meaning players can be certain that there will not be unauthorised use of their funds. Deposits made with debit cards are virtually instantaneous, and it is easy for players to withdraw their winnings. The downside to using a debit card is that players still need to share their card details, and transactions will show on account statements, so does not allow for full anonymity.
Most sites will accept credit cards in much the same way as debit cards, though as of the 14th April 2020 UK legislation was changed so that players could no longer use credit cards to access online casinos.
Pre-paid cards (Paysafecard, EcoPayz)
Pre –paid cards can be really handy when players want to retain anonymity and not provide their personal information. It also makes it really easy to stick to limits and ensure that gambling online does not become a problem. There are no fees applied to pre-paid cards, but not all casinos accept them, and players may struggle to get winnings paid out.
EWallets, like Neteller, Skrill, and PayPal essentially link a players bank accounts to their digital wallet in a safe and secure manner. It is really easy to access and to set up payment through these, without the need to find the physical card and enter details and go through security questions; usually just a quick login and finger print/facial recognition is all it takes, and the player will know that their information is safe. PayPal, one of the most popular payment methods in the UK, is fast, safe and convenient, and players can deposit and withdraw in almost real-time. One drawback of some of the payment methods available in a digital wallet, like Neteller and Skrill, is that players are not able to take advantage of the sites welcome bonus for new players.
Mobile Apps/ Pay by phone
There are two main apps that are accepted and enable for online casinos; Boku and Revolut. Boku works through the players mobile phone contract/pre-paid balance, and is fast and easy to get playing. However, withdrawals are not possible through Boku, so players till need to find a different payment method to withdraw any winnings. Revolut, on the other hand, is linked to Visa and Mastercard, and ensures payments and withdrawals are even faster than with traditional bank cards.
Apple Pay and Payforit are popular pay by phone options that allows players to make deposits and withdrawals through a phone without the need for players to enter any personal or financial details.
Bank transfers remain popular due to the increased security available to players when transferring money into an online casino account. It however, does not allow for fast deposits and withdrawals due to these additional security measures, but for the more safety conscious player, who perhaps does not have access to other methods this is a safe way to manage an online account. Withdrawals, however, take time, as there are many checks, including money laundering checks, carried out by banks.
Funding a casino account with crypto-currency is still relatively new, and not all casinos accept Bitcoin, Monero, Litecoin and many other crypto-currencies available. It is certainly a very safe way of transferring money, as the built-in security measures and multiple authentication steps make it virtually impossible to hack. However, few casinos accept crypto-currencies for deposits, and even fewer allow for crypto-currency withdrawals.
There are lots of different payment methods available to players, all with their pros and cons, but all, thanks to advancements in technology, secure, as long as players take basic precautions when using their financial information online.