August 2016 U.S. Offshore Online Poker Payment Processing Report
The big news since our last report is that Bovada is exiting the U.S. online poker market. Its poker operations are moving to Ignition Casino. Players have until September 30 to move their poker accounts to Ignition Casino. Bovada will continue to offer sports betting and casino games.
There have been few reports of withdrawals at Ignition Casino to date. These show that payouts may be slightly slower than Bovada but it is too soon to tell. For this reason, we have yet to include it in this column. We expect to have enough information to grade Ignition Casino in September.
Last month’s grades are in parenthesis. The July report may be found here.
Intertops A+ (A+)
Intertops is the flagship of the Horizon Poker Network. That platform was once known as Cake and Revolution.
Intertops is the most consistent online poker room in terms of cashout speeds. The speeds are the same every month and there are never complaints about bad checks.
Bitcoin is the fastest way to get paid from Intertops. The limit is $2,500 per transaction. There is never a fee related to a Bitcoin withdrawal at Intertops. Players receive Bitcoin in one or two days.
Checks arrive in about one week. The fee is $50. The check maximum is $3,000. Bank wires are available in amounts up to $2,500. The fee is also $50 although the intermediary and receiving bank may also charge a fee for the transaction.
BetOnline A (A)
BetOnline is the flagship of the Chico Poker Network. Its sister site Sportsbetting.ag is on the same platform.
The withdrawal speeds at BetOnline are exceptional. The only reason it does not get the top grade is its Bitcoin withdrawal fee of 2% of the transaction. Players receive Bitcoin withdrawals in a day or two. The maximum amount is $5,000.
Checks arrive in one to three weeks. The maximum amount is $2,500. The fee is $25 or $50. It depends on the method of delivery chosen by the player.
Bank wires are available in amounts up to $25,000. The fee is as high as $100 and depends on the size of the request. The banks handling the transaction may also add a charge to the withdrawal. These arrive in a player’s bank account in about one week.
BetOnline offers a debit card, however, there are no reports of its speed in the past month. These transactions were previously in the three to five day range. Players must pay $80 for the card. Every withdrawal request incurs a $25 fee in addition to what is charged at the ATM.
BetOnline offers one free withdrawal per month. It must be requested on a Friday. The maximum fee discount is $50. Any withdrawal that costs more than that will receive a $50 discount.
Bovada A (A-)
Bovada is the largest U.S.-facing poker site. It is a member of the Bodog Poker Network. Bovada announced last week that its online poker business would move to Ignitionpoker.eu. Players have until September 30 to move their account there.
Bovada’s cashout speeds improved in the past month. Checks are now processed in 4-14 days. The max is $3,000. The fee is $50. Players may request a bank wire in amounts up to $9,500. The fee is also $50 in addition to what any banks involved in the transaction charge. Bank wires are processed in two to three weeks. Players may receive one free check or bank wire per month.
Bitcoin is the quickest and cheapest way to get paid by Bovada. These withdrawals are available in amounts up to $9,500 and are processed in about one day. There is no fee.
Winning Poker Network B+ (B+)
The Winning Poker Network cashier services players at Americas Cardroom, Black Chip Poker and True Poker. Players may request a Bitcoin withdrawal in amounts up to $25,000. The fee is 2%. These take two to five days to process.
Checks are available in amounts up to $2,995. The fee is $65. These arrive in 4-10 days. Players may receive one free check per month.
The Winning Poker Network offers a debit card that works in ATMs. It costs $40 to receive the card. Each withdrawal has a $3 fee in addition to $4.95 to use the ATM. There is also a $5.95 monthly maintenance fee. Debit card withdrawals are processed in two to five days. Many players have moved away from the debit card due to the availability of Bitcoin and its lower fees.
Juicy Stakes B (B)
Juicy Stakes is sister site to Intertops on the Horizon Poker Network. Juicy Stakes players only have one option. It is a check in amounts from $250 up to $1,000. The fee is $50, however, players that rake at least $40 during a month may receive a free check every 30 days.
SWCPoker B (B+)
SWCPoker is the second generation of SealsWithClubs, the first Bitcoin poker site. Bitcoin is the only available form of banking SWCPoker offers. These transactions are processed in less than 12 hours. SWCPoker does not receive a higher grade due to its lack of cashout options and its extremely low traffic counts when compared to other U.S.-facing sites.
Merge Gaming C- (C)
The Merge Gaming cashier services players at Carbon Poker, PlayersOnly, Sportsbook.com/.ag and SuperBook. New U.S. players are no longer accepted at Merge Gaming. Existing ones may still play on the network.
There is no quick way to get a withdrawal at Merge Gaming. Bitcoin takes two to three weeks, compared to a few days at most other U.S. sites. While Merge Gaming has the longest Bitcoin speed of any site, it also charges 5% for the transaction. The largest Bitcoin withdrawal amount is $5,000.
Players can request a check up to $2,500. The fee is 3%. These arrive in about six weeks. Players may receive one free check per year.
Full Flush Poker D- (D-)
Full Flush Poker is the main site on Equity Poker. The financial situation there did not improve over the past month. Some players have been waiting nearly a year for checks. Players outside the U.S. have been waiting nearly as long for Skrill and Neteller withdrawals. There have been a handful of cash transfers in amounts around $300 processed in the past month. These players waited anywhere from two weeks to three months for the withdrawal.
Heritage Sports is also a member of Equity Poker. We recommend players choose that site over Full Flush as it appears Heritage is not seeing any of the financial problems experienced by Full Flush.
John Mehaffey – @john_mehaffey