February 2016 U.S. Offshore Online Poker Payment Processing Report
The weeks after the Super Bowl are often the worst time of the year in terms of online poker payment speeds to U.S. players. That is not the case this year. That may have to do with the fact that the public backed the Carolina Panthers and lost. The offshore poker sites that accept U.S. players may have better processors this year compared to prior ones.
This is our best overall showing in a month in years. Whatever is causing the faster payments, it is welcome among online poker players that continue to use offshore sites.
Last month’s grades are in parenthesis. The January 2016 report may be found here.
Winning Poker Network A+ (A+)
The Winning Poker Network remains at the top spot in our survey. The second largest U.S.-facing poker site, according to PokerScout data, offers a variety of withdrawal option. The Winning Poker Network powers Black Chip Poker, Americas Cardroom and True Poker.
Bitcoin is the cheapest option available to U.S. players. It is also the best way to move largest amounts of money. Players may request up to $25,000 per transaction. One Bitcoin withdrawal request may be made daily. Transfers arrive in 12-24 hours. Players receive one free Bitcoin withdrawal per month. Additional ones have a fee of 1-2%, depending on the daily exchange rate.
Debit card is another fast option for players. It is more expensive than Bitcoin. A debit card costs $40 to receive. There is a $4.95 fee for each withdrawal and every month the account is active. There is a $3 fee every time the card is used at an ATM or retailer. Debit card withdrawals are processed in 1-2 days.
The other way to receive cash from the Winning Poker Network within two days is by Western Union. Some players reported that the maximum withdrawal amount was lowered to $500 in the past month. The fee is $70.
Players may request a check in amounts up to $2,995. The fee is $65 but players can receive one free per month. These arrive in 10-14 days. Some players with large balances may be able to request a bank wire. These are processed on a case-by-case basis.
Intertops/Juicy Stakes A (A)
Intertops and Juicy Stakes continue the consistency in payout speeds that has lasted years. The two sites are the main skins on the Revolution Gaming Network.
Most players on the failed WinCake skin were moved to Juicy Stakes and offered a bailout deal last month. While the deal requires the players to give some action, most are happy that there is now a chance to actually receive their funds as the situation at WinCake looked hopeless.
The fastest way to get paid by Intertops and Juicy Stakes is by Western Union. These arrive in one or two days. The amounts and fees are:
- $100-$500: $70 fee
- $501-$1,000: $85 fee
- $1,001-$2,000: $180 fee
Checks are processed in amounts up to $3,000. These are delivered in one to two weeks. The fee is $50. Bitcoin deposits are available but the method is not yet offered as a withdrawal option.
Active players may receive one free withdrawal each month. Players that rake at least $40 in a month may receive a free check. Players that rake at least $50 may request a free Western Union withdrawal.
BetOnline A (A)
BetOnline is the flagship of the Chico Poker Network. It is one of the best success stories in U.S. online poker. After a rough start years ago, it grew into a well respected site. BetOnline and its sister site Sportsbetting.ag make up the third largest online poker option available to Americans, according to PokerScout.
Bitcoin is the best option for BetOnline players. Cashouts are available in amounts up to $5,000. These arrive in about one day. Players must wait at least 48 hours between Bitcoin withdrawal requests. There is a fee of 1-2%, depending on the exchange rate.
Checks are available in amounts up to $2,500. Some players receive money orders after making this request. The fee is $25.
MoneyGram withdrawals are available in amounts up to $400. The fee is $50. Western Union cash transfers are payable in amounts up to $890. The fee is $75. Players may receive one free withdrawal per month if requested on a Friday. The fee cap is $50. Any amount higher than that receives a $50 discount.
Bovada A- (A-)
Bovada may be fourth on our list, but it is still an excellent option for U.S. players giving action to offshore sites. Bovada is the U.S.-facing skin for Bodog. It is the largest option available to U.S. players.
The fastest way to get paid by Bovada is by cash transfer. These arrive consistently in a day or two. The maximum MoneyGram withdrawal is $400. The fee is $50. Western Union withdrawal fees and amounts are:
- $100-$249: $50 fee
- $250-$499: $75 fee
- $500-$999: $100 fee
- $1,000-$1,499: $150 fee
- $1,500-$2,000: $200 fee
Check speeds improved over the last month. These are delivered in about 7-10 days. Some players reported receiving bad checks during the last two weeks. Bovada resolved the issues. This is a problem that affects offshore sites at times. The fee is $50 but players may receive one free per month.
Bank wires are available in amounts up to $9,500. The fee is $50 in addition to what the intermediary and receiving banks charge for the transaction. These arrive in one to three weeks.
Visa Fast Funds act as an electronic check. A player with a debit card can submit the information and receive the money to the associated bank account. The fee for this transaction is $50. The maximum amount is $2,500. These arrive in four to seven days.
Some players may request a debit card. This works like an ATM card. The maximum withdrawal is $2,500. The fee is $50. These arrive in four to seven days.
Players may receive one free withdrawal each month. This offer applies to checks, bank wires, Visa Fast Funds and the debit card.
Merge Gaming B- (B)
Merge Gaming services cashouts for Carbon Poker, PlayersOnly and Sportsbook.ag.
Merge Gaming withdrawals slowed some from the previous month but are much improved when compared to the period after the last Super Bowl and the months after.
Checks arrive in about one month. The fee is 3 percent. Players may receive one free check per year. The maximum check is $2,500.
Some players have bank wire as an option. The cap is $5,000. The check fee policy also applies to wires.
There are some players that deposited by cash that can receive it back through services like MoneyGram and Western Union. The fees run in the 10-15 percent range. These are processed in four to seven days.
Merge Gaming offers Bitcoin withdrawals to players that deposit through that method. The maximum amount is between $2,500 and $5,000. Support states that there is a three percent fee for the transaction. Some players report no fee being charged, while others say the fee may be as high as five percent on their withdrawals.
SWC Poker B- (B-)
SWC Poker is the reincarnation of SealsWithClubs. The site only uses Bitcoin. Major sites moving to this currency hurt the appeal of SWC Poker. Cashouts are paid in about 12 hours but its lack of other options and players keeps it grade low.
Full Flush Poker D+ (D)
Full Flush Poker is the flagship of the Equity Poker Network. The site has struggled to pay players. It is under new management and payment speeds improved. We raised the grade slightly over last month and feel the outlook is positive, at least compared to last year.
MoneyGram payouts arrive in two to four weeks. The maximum withdrawal is $500. The fee is $38.
Checks and wires continue to take about four months. The volume of reported withdrawals has increased so we expect this to be better next month. Skrill withdrawals to players outside the U.S. are being processed in the same time frame with a higher frequency than in previous months.