Multiple Currencies at Online CasinosBy: Rick Balding, Saturday January 10th 2009
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When online casino gambling originated in the 1990s the USD was the currency offered. Not only was the United States the biggest expected market for online gambling but the USD was the most widely used international currency. Players outside the United States had to convert their currencies at their banks into USD and make deposits in USD. Similarly withdrawals were made in USD by the online casinos and players had to convert those into their currencies at their banks. This was an inconvenience and an impediment to the growth of online gambling.
Then the online gaming software providers moved to the next step in the evolution of multiple currencies online casinos. Online casinos began to accept payments in the currencies of the players. The deposits were converted to USD at the prevailing exchange rate. The accounts were maintained in USD and the wagering was done in USD. The players specified the withdrawal amounts in USD and this amount was converted to the players’ currencies at the prevailing exchange rate. This offered a convenience to the players but did not address the basic issues.
Players lost value at every conversion because of commissions charged by the banks and this effectively diminished their bankroll. The second issue was that non-American players had to wager in an alien currency and this reduced their comfort level. To overcome these issues the leading online gaming software providers came out with the real multiple currencies online casinos.
The leading online gaming software providers like Microgaming, Cryptologic and Playtech allow players to bank and also to wager in currencies of their choice from a list offered. The common currencies offered are USD, CAD, EUR and GBP. This covers the major online gambling geographical sectors. Some online casinos offer other currencies as well depending on their clientele. Online casinos catering to the Australian market offer Australian Dollars. Those online casinos catering to the Far East Asian countries like Japan, China and Korea offer transactions and wagering in those currencies. Microgaming and Playtech online casinos require players to select the currency at the time of registration. This selection must be made with due consideration because players cannot change their selection on their own. The only way to change the currency is to request the online casinos customer support team to do so. In many cases the online casino would require that the player completely fulfills his wagering requirements in the existing currency and withdraws the balance so that a fresh start can be made with the new currency.
Another issue that multiple currencies online casinos have to deal with is bonuses. The simplest mechanism is that bonuses are offered in the lead currency. A bonus of USD 100 would be converted into the equivalent in EUR or GBP. In this case the players wagering in the higher value currencies would receive smaller bonuses in terms of playing credits. However there are many online casinos that offer the same credits, say 100. Players wagering in USD would receive 100 USD and players wagering in EUR would receive 100 EUR.
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