The sports betting industry has been forced to get creative in 2020. It has been a year of strife, a year of stress, and a year in which uncertainty has become the norm.
In the middle of the year, we witnessed a global shutdown that saw major sports shut their doors, and even now, many months later, global sports like soccer are still struggling to get back to normal. One of the ways that betting sites have dealt with this unprecedented level of change is by offering unique payment methods, effectively increasing the ways that a player can deposit and withdraw and attracting a larger playerbase as a result.
Why are Payment Options so Important?
In the early days of online gambling, players were forced to adapt to the needs of the betting sites. Simply put, these sites didn’t have the backing of major online payment methods, and so they limited their options to wire transfers and money orders. It’s something that remains true in countries where online gambling is in its infancy.
If you wanted to gamble and your chosen site only accepted wire transfers, you made it work, even if the method was slow, expensive, and far from convenient. These days, it’s a different story. There is so much variety with online betting sites that players are the ones in control.
Players are much more discerning these days. They have a particular payment method that they prefer above all else, and if their chosen site doesn’t accept it, they will find one that does.
A betting site can’t simply list a handful of options and expect all players to conform to them. If they want a wide range of players to sign up, deposit, and play, they need to offer an equally large selection of payment options.
And that’s exactly what they are doing.
How Many Payment Methods Do They Accept?
Many betting sites accept between 10 and 15 payment options. These include a selection of popular credit/debit cards, which are a must; e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller, and cryptocurrencies.
Some sites go above and beyond the call of duty and offer upwards of 50 payment methods. These methods cover every popular instant payment method, e-wallet, credit card, debit card, and cryptocurrency, as well as bank transfers, prepaid cards, mobile payments, and vouchers.
What are the Latest Payment Options?
Every few years there seems to be a new payment method sweeping the online gambling industry. If you go back 20 years or so, it was Skrill and Neteller, which were deemed game-changing and eventually forced PayPal to change its ways and embrace this industry. In later years, instant transfer solutions took over, including POLi in Australia and New Zealand and Interac in Canada.
This was followed by the rise of Trustly and Klarna, European payment powerhouses that have seemingly come out of nowhere to dominate the world of gambling and retail.
In recent years, it’s all been about cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is the biggest of these currencies and the one that most people are familiar with, but there are many more, including Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Ripple, DASH, Tether, and countless others. These payment methods have exposed online gambling sites to an entirely new playerbase, one that has all-but rejected fiat currencies and is looking for ways to spend their digital coins.
Many regulators have yet to embrace these currencies and so most sites based in Europe are still refusing to take payments in Bitcoins, but the tides are turning.
Bitcoin payments offer all of the speed and the convenience of PayPal. They are easy to use and can be processed instantly. Furthermore, there are no security risks, no need to create accounts, add debit cards, connect bank accounts, and jump through the many other hoops required of online sports bettors.
What Does the Future Hold?
As we head into 2021, it’s likely that we’ll see an increasing number of online casinos and sports betting sites accept cryptocurrencies. Some of the world’s biggest brands, including the Mansion Group, have already looked into ways to accept these currencies, and while there are limitations in place (such as only using Bitcoins for deposits and only to a maximum of $500) these will be lifted before long.
When that happens, the average number of payment options will grow exponentially. The great thing about cryptocurrencies is that there are thousands of them out there and all are offered through legitimate and highly-regulated currency exchanges.
You can use one cryptocurrency to buy another, before turning those virtual coins into betting credits. Once you’ve had your fill, you can convert everything back to a fiat currency or use your winnings on the many online retailers that now accept Bitcoin.
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