March 2016 U.S. Offshore Online Poker Payment Processing Report
There was no Super Bowl hangover this year for offshore poker sites that accept U.S. players. Withdrawal speeds remain at an acceptable level with only a slight drop off in the time it takes to process payments. This is great news for American online poker players.
The most noticeable change from February is the loss of cash transfer services at many sites. Western Union reported a probe into its processing online gambling payments. MoneyGram’s cap was lowered to $400 at many sites last month. Most sites have Bitcoin available to replace cash transfers.
Last month’s processing report is available here. The previous report’s grade is in parenthesis.
Winning Poker Network A (A+)
The Winning Poker Network’s cashier processes payments for Americas Cardroom, Black Chip Poker and True Poker. It is the second largest poker network that accepts U.S. players, according to PokerScout. It is the 11th largest in the world in terms of cash game traffic, averaging about 700 players at any given time.
The fastest way to get a withdrawal from the Winning Poker Network is by Bitcoin. Players may receive a withdrawal in amounts up to $25,000, depending on the level of play. There is a fee of up to 2 percent. Players may receive one free Bitcoin withdrawal per month. These are processed in one to four days.
Debit card withdrawals are processed in about two days. This option requires the player to request a physical card. That costs $40. Each withdrawal request has a $4.95 fee. That amount is also charged as a monthly maintenance fee against any balance remaining on the card. There is a $3 fee to withdraw from an ATM.
Checks are available in amounts up to $2,995. This is not a popular withdrawal method, even though the check arrives in less than two weeks. Bitcoin and debit card withdrawals are much faster so most players prefer those methods. The check fee is $65 but players may receive one free per month if a complimentary cashout has not already been requested during that time period.
There have been no recent reports for MoneyGram or Western Union withdrawals. These options have fallen out of favor due to the fees and low limits.
Intertops/Juicy Stakes A (A)
Intertops and Juicy Stakes are the main skins on the Revolution Gaming Network. U.S. players have four withdrawal options. The fastest is also the newest. Bitcoin withdrawals are processed in amounts up to $2,500. These arrive in about two days. There is no fee for Bitcoin withdrawals. Players may request a Bitcoin cashout once per week.
Checks are available in amounts up to $3,000. These have a fee of $50 but players that rake at least $40 in a month may receive a free one. These are delivered by courier in about one week.
Bank wires are paid in amounts up to $2,500. The fee is $50 in addition to what the intermediary and receiving banks charge. Wires are processed in about two weeks.
Players that register a credit or debit card may use it as a withdrawal method. These are available in amounts up to $5,000. The fee is $20.
BetOnline A (A)
BetOnline is the flagship of the Chico Poker Network. Its sister site Sportsbetting.ag is also on the same platform.
BetOnline offers two withdrawal options to all U.S. players. Checks are processed in about one week. These are available in amounts up to $2,500. The fee is $25, the lowest among all offshore sites that accept U.S. players. One free check per month is allowed if the request is made on a Friday.
Bitcoin is the other option. The maximum amount is $5,000. The fee is 1-2 percent of the withdrawal. These are processed in 1-2 days. A fee of up to $50 is waived once per month if requested on a Friday and a complimentary check has not been requested in the past 30 days.
Bovada A- (A-)
Bovada is the largest U.S.-facing poker site, according to PokerScout. It is the third largest in the world. Bovada probably deserves a B+ grade but its years of fast payouts give it the benefit of a doubt on a slow month that is probably an anomaly. The Super Bowl may have been more of a burden on its payment processing system compared to its competitors.
Cash transfers have historically been the fastest way to get paid by Bovada. There have been no player reports of these transactions. Considering the issues other sites are facing, this option may not be available to all players. If it is offered in your cashier, choose it if you are looking for a fast payout and you are willing to cover the 10-15 percent fees.
Checks were the quickest form of payment in the past month reported by poker players at Bovada. These arrive in 3-7 days. The fee is $50. Players may receive one free per month as long as they do not have a Visa Fast Funds account. The maximum check amount is $3,000.
Bank wires arrive in two to four weeks. The fee is $50. This does not include what intermediaries and the receiving bank charge. The maximum wire is $9,500.
The Visa Fast Funds speed tripled in the past month. These arrive in 10 to 20 days. This has become a popular option that may have been swamped due to the Super Bowl. The maximum Visa Fast Funds amount is $2,500. The fee is $50 but it is waived one time each month.
Merge Gaming B- (B-)
The Merge Gaming cashier processes payments for Carbon Poker, PlayersOnly and Sportsbook.ag. The cashout speeds this month are comparable to February.
Checks arrive in about one month. The maximum amount is $2,500. There is a five percent fee that is only waived one time every year.
Bitcoin is also available as a withdrawal option at Merge Gaming. The cap is $5,000. There is a five percent fee on these transactions. These are processed in about one week.
While these speeds lag major competitors, they are still better than they were at this time last year. The outlook at Merge Gaming is positive.
SWC Poker B- (B-)
SWC Poker is the second version of SealsWithClubs. It is a Bitcoin-only site. No other deposit or withdrawal options are available. Bitcoin withdrawals are processed in about 12 hours. The reason the grade is lower here than at other sites is due to the lack of traffic and other withdrawal methods.
Full Flush Poker D (D+)
Full Flush Poker is the flagship on the Equity Poker Network. New management took the site over earlier this year. We upgraded the room slightly last month and added a positive outlook. It seems that may have been premature. There are still complaints about cashout speeds. Some players report still waiting more than six months for a cashout, while others state cash transfers arrive in a week.
The MoneyGram cap was lowered to $330 in the past month. This may have to do with the crackdown on cash transfer services during the past couple of months.