Paper Checks at Online Casinos: What you can and can’t (and should and shouldn’t) do.
It’s funny, not too long ago, many of us cringed at the thought of conducting our everyday banking over the internet. When paying bills, paper checks sent through conventional mail were considered much safer and more secure.
Now days, it’s the exact opposite. We have the same gut-wrenching reaction to the thought of writing, or even receiving, a paper check, as we once did to online banking. Not because paper checks aren’t safe or secure, but because they take so much more time. Online banking is instant, where checks can take days.
In the case of an online casino withdrawal by check, it could actually take weeks. But is that really a bad thing? Let’s take a look at the pros, cons and limitations of using checks at online gambling websites.
Online Casino Checks – Limitations
The most notable restriction here is that you can’t send a paper check in to an online casino to make a deposit. This payment method is strictly limited to withdrawals only.
There are several reasons for this. One, paper checks can take quite some time to reach an international operator. Once they do, it can take a few more days for the check to process, and unlike instant eChecks, the money isn’t guaranteed to be in the payees account (i.e. the check could bounce).
Paper Checks at Online Casinos – Pros
In reality, paper checks are still one of the safest and most secure ways to move money. A check is a physical thing. They are issued as a promissory note of payment, and a government regulated form of monetary exchange. That means that, when you receive a check from a company, you are guaranteed to receive the amount for which it is written.
We could use this same argument to say players should be allowed to deposit via check, but individual people and regulated businesses are quite different. When a person writes a check, they may or may not have the funds in their account to back it up. When a fully licensed and regulated online casino issues a check, they must be insured. That means, even if the funds aren’t there, the player still gets paid.
Cashing a check is simple enough – albeit not as simple as clicking a few buttons on your keyboard, mouse, or touch-screen mobile device. Once received, take the check to your bank, sign the back, and hand it to the teller. You’ll probably have to fill out a deposit slip, but you shouldn’t get a hand cramp doing that.
Last but not least, depending on where you live, you may run into difficulty withdrawing funds by any other means. Maybe you don’t have an account with an online payment processor like Skrill. Perhaps you deposited by credit/debit card, and cannot withdrawal more than the deposited amount to this card. Or, maybe you just don’t want to pay the considerable fee for a direct bank wire transfer. Checks may take longer, but they are free to receive, and free to cash.
Paper Check Casino Withdrawals – Cons
I’ve already touched on this topic before. The biggest downside is the time it can take to receive a check by mail from an online casino. If the operator is located overseas on some remote island, like Gibraltar, Malta, or the Isle of Man, you could be looking at 2-4 weeks.
First, there’s the time it takes for the casino to process the withdrawal. This generally take up to 48 hours, maybe more if they don’t work weekends. Once processed, it has to be mailed out, put on an airplane, flown across the ocean and delivered to your country of residence. It will probably go through sorting at multiple destinations before it ever gets delivered to your mailbox.
Then, when you deposit that check, there’s every chance that the teller will smile and say, “I’m sorry, but we have to put a hold on this”. If that happens, you’ll be waiting another 3-5 days before the money appears in your account.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Do
If you need that cash in your hands post-haste, you obviously shouldn’t request a paper check withdrawal. If time isn’t a big deal, however, checks are a great, cost-effective way to get your hands on that cash.
The most important tip I can give you is to never sign up with an online casino that is not properly licenced and regulated. As I said above, licencing and regulation guarantees payment, even if the operator defaults.
If you deposit somewhere that’s not in compliance with regulatory standards, then request a withdrawal via check, guess what? There’s every chance that check will bounce right back into the ocean, if it ever arrives at all.
It’s not a bad idea to utilize paper checks at online casinos. Just be smart about it. Play at safe, reputable websites, and be prepared to wait a few weeks for your cashouts.