Using Prepaid Cards at Online CasinosBy: Shirley Spicer, Friday November 13th 2009
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Prepaid cards are one of the latest options that can be used to fund online casino accounts. They are fast gaining in popularity and more and more online casinos are allowing the use of prepaid cards. The reason for this is that prepaid cards exhibit all the advantages of credit card and at the same time counter the major disadvantages of credit cards.
Prepaid cards operate the same way as credit cards do. They have a unique string of numbers that are keyed in at the Cashier section of the online casino in order to transfer the funds. Players have to log into their casino account and go to the Cashier section. There they choose the appropriate prepaid card option and entered the number code. The transfer of funds is instantaneous as in the case of credit cards.
Credit card transactions are often rejected because the player has exceeded the limit allowed to him by the credit card company or for some other default. This problem cannot occur with prepaid cards. In the case of prepaid cards the issuing organization already has the player’s money and therefore there is no reason for it to block the transaction.
Prepaid cards are much safer to use than credit cards or debit cards. Despite all precautions taken by online casinos credit cards and debit cards can be subject to identity theft. Unscrupulous hackers have a motive in stealing credit card information because they can then use the credit available in the credit cards to make purchases. Similarly they can use the balance available in the debit cards to make purchases. However, the prepaid cards are issued for fixed amounts. The moment the player enters the prepaid card number at the online casino the entire amount gets transferred to the player's casino account. Therefore there is nothing left to steal and the prepaid card number is meaningless. Prepaid cards are not linked to the player's bank account number or to any other sensitive information. Hence players are totally at ease when entering prepaid card numbers at the online casinos.
Most prepaid cards can be purchased at retail outlets for cash. Hence the player is not required to use a bank account at all. In the case of credit cards the payment is usually done through a bank account. E-wallets are commonly funded using bank accounts or credit cards. In all these cases there is an ultimate documentation of having made a payment to online casinos. This is totally avoided when prepaid cards are purchased for cash. Hence players who want to avoid documentation of their online casino funding transactions find it very convenient to use prepaid cards.
Prepaid cards are an important tool in the prevention of problem gambling. Players can purchase prepaid cards for exactly the amount that they can afford to spend at online casinos. Once that amount is transferred to the online casino account the prepaid card becomes useless. No matter how great the temptation to continue wagering may be, the player cannot use the same prepaid card again. The player has to go through the process of purchasing another prepaid card and this acts as a brake. In the case of credit cards it is much easier to give into temptation and transfer more funds and thus take the first step to problem gambling.
Prepaid cards are very common in the United States where they have a further advantage. Because of the UIGEA the organized financial services system is wary of transferring funds to online casinos. Prepaid cards purchased using cash enable the player to bypass the organized financial services providers.
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