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Beginner

Creating a betting account

You're soon at the stage where the talking will stop, and the betting will begin. But just before then, you’ll need to set-up an account to bet from. Our final chapter and simple guide will see that you’re ready to wager in no time.

US Online casino payment methods

How to set-up an online sports betting account

You’ve weighed up the pros and the cons and you’ve settled on a betting company that ticks all the boxes. Great, time for the next stage!

Providing the state in which you live has given the green light to regulated sports betting, you are free to create an online betting account! Bear in mind that geolocation, used to ensure you are within legal borders, will be in use to pinpoint your exact location.

Rule number one before you start: make sure you have a good internet connection or internet access on your phone - you don’t want the process to be interrupted unnecessarily but most importantly you want the connection to be 100% safe and secure.

Enter personal details accurately

Now, every betting site will have a link to “Join” or “Register”. Clicking this will take you to a page for you to submit your personal details. The information required is fairly run-of-the-mill but attention to detail is of utmost importance so double check to enter your full name as stated on your identity card, i.e if your full name is Steven, this is what you must enter - not Steve.

You’ll need to fill in your permanent address in the relevant fields - note it’s likely you’ll be asked to supply proof of this later on in the process - as well as your date of birth. Those under 18 years are forbidden to bet by law.

Contact details such as e-mail address and phone number will need to be added for verification purposes - most websites send a link to your email to activate your account with your mobile phone number serving as a further means of identification.

Choose secure log-in details

Often, limitations will be placed on choosing a username and password. It can be possible for there to be a requirement to use a minimum/maximum amount of characters, or at least one capital letter, one number etc.

Carefully read the conditions being asked and also be wary of creating sign-in information that isn’t obvious and highly sensitive, i.e. (birthday/phone number): try and use a password with a level of security but still memorable!

The penultimate part of the security procedure will require you to provide answers for up to five security questions made up of basic information such as favorite team, name of first pet, mother’s maiden name etc.

In the likely case, you forget and need to retrieve your log-in information - let’s be honest, it’s easily done these days with our lives just a whirl of apps and passwords - you will be prompted to provide the answers to the security questions, known only by you, of course.

It’s not uncommon for a four-digit number to be used by some companies, instead of security questions. Again though, this should only be known by the account holder and may be requested to access live chat or customer support.

Last but not least, you’ll need to accept the terms and conditions of the company. We’d recommend reading them to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Once finished, you will be able to deposit and bet. However, before withdrawing money, you’ll need to verify your identity.

Identity verification procedure

Confirming who you say you are and that you are old enough to bet online is part of the Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations that all betting sites in the US must adhere to. And there’s no getting out of it - if you can’t verify your identity, then you won’t be betting.

The betting site will need a copy of a valid government ID and proof of residence. Should your ID show your address, that’s all you need. Otherwise, you’ll need to send a scanned copy (or a mobile picture) of a recent utility bill that shows you name is registered to that address.

If you’re thinking, who the heck still has paper bills sent to them in this digital age then don’t fret; most sites will accept a recent bank statement as proof of address.

Once done and the operator is satisfied, you won’t be asked to confirm your identity again, though you will have to go through the same process if you choose to sign up with another site further down the line.

Choose your preferred payment method

Arguably, one of the most important decisions when creating a betting account, but often overlooked, is choosing how to fund your account.

It’s fair to say everybody shares the common goal of wanting to fund their account as quick as possible but also in a safe and secure manner you are comfortable with.

This said, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all payment method. Essentially, it all comes down to personal choice and individual needs.

Credit/Debit card

By far the most popular means of funding your account is via card, be it VISA or Mastercard. Thanks to online payment processors all that’s required is for you to punch in the long number on the front, the expiry date and the last three digits on the signature strip, on the reverse of the card (referred to as the Card Security Code (CSC) or Card Verification Value (CVV).

E-wallets

An e-wallet acts as a middle man between you and the betting site and is a method favored by many fearful of potentially losing money to illegal sites. By choosing to fund your account with an e-wallet, you can store your money away from the betting site, yet still make deposits to and receive payments. On the whole, Neteller, Skrill and Paypal are used for sports betting sites with Click2Play also a popular choice

Bitcoin

Using the cryptocurrency as a payment method removes the third-party element entirely and is fast becoming the preferred way to pay. Why? Well, a transfer can be created and finished in the matter of minutes, it offers near-anonymity, there’s little to pay by way of fees and it’s almost definitely the safest in terms of protecting your most sensitive information of all the methods out there.

Prepaid cards

If you’re security conscious to the nth degree, then a prepaid card is your best option. Here, you can buy a pre-loaded card for a specific amount from a gas station or grocery store, take the card home and enter the information provided into your betting account. Security and anonymity is guaranteed, while you can also limit the amount you spend on betting this way too. Paysafecard and Entropay are the recognized names to keep an eye out for.

Bank transfers

Traditional and simple but by no means the quickest, many US bettors still prefer to use the likes of Western Union to transfer monies. The appeal of using what many will consider to be an old-fashioned method stems from the standing of the companies involved. Western Union and MoneyGram are companies that seem as if they’ve been around forever and exude trust and security through their name alone. Remember what we said previously about longevity? This method ticks that box and many more.

Bank Wire/Checks

A throwback to the good old days of transferring funds, a bank wire or a check isn’t at the top of payment methods used in this digital age. In fact, it’s considered a last resort due to the time it can take, yet, wiring money or writing a check can still be of use when depositing larger amounts.

Recap: Checklist for effective account set-up
  • Enter personal details accurately
  • Choose secure log-in details
  • READ and accept terms and conditions
  • Deposit money into account
  • Complete identity verification procedure
  • Withdraw money using same method used to deposit

Creating a sports betting account - FAQ

Why do I have to verify my identity?

Gambling operators are required by law to have such a procedure in place to prevent minors from entering a site. In addition, the process helps combat money laundering and fraud.

Do all betting sites have to follow the regulations?

Yes. All betting sites must follow the guidelines set out by the state. If this isn’t the case, then get the hell out of there, chances are you’ve come across an illegal site that will soon eat away at your account funds.

How long does it take to verify my identity?

On average, the process should be complete within one or two days. It’s hard to give one firm answer as every betting site operates differently. Usually, though, you can expect to have your identity verified quicker if you go with a reputable bookmaker of significant standing within the industry.

How can I ensure a smooth and swift process?

For a smooth and swift process we’d recommend: having your documents ready, making sure photos are clear and, finally, being patient!

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