If you’re a younger punter, you will probably never have to deal with the frustration of winning a big bet and having to wait up to four days for your winnings to land in your account.
That is because of the bookmaker debit card craze.
Cash cards were first introduced in Australia in mid-2014 by BetEzy – now Crownbet – and Ladbrokes, before Sportsbet and William Hill followed suit. Now several other online bookmakers are offering the service, which has been a massive hit with Aussie punters.
What are bookie cashout cards?
Cash cards at online bookmakers allow punters to instantaneously transfer money from their betting accounts onto a special debit card that can then be used at ATMs and other outlets to withdraw their cash. Thus, rather than waiting for the bookie to do its banking and then the bank to clear the funds, punters have the cash at the tips of their fingers after a click of a button.
Bruce Stewart of Emerchants – the company behind the cards – championed the new technology to online bookmakers and, while they were sceptical, it has proved to be a win-win situation for both punters and bookies.
“When we first launched it, the bookmakers were a little bit concerned about the net outflow from their platform,” Stewart told Fairfax Media.
“The expectation that we had when we began was that it wouldn’t be a big amount, but about 40 per cent of that money is coming back to the gambling companies.
“That means for every $100 spent, $40 is coming back to the gaming platform.
“We’ve cannibalised the bank transfer.”
There are some concerns that the cards are fuelling gambling, because of restrictions on what can be withdrawn and players often being forced to turn over their money before they can claim it. There are also fears that the accounts are like unregulated banks that open it up for money laundering. But, when used how they are intended to be used, there is no doubt cash cards have made it easier for punters to access their money.
Emerchants issues cards to bookmakers under an Australian Financial Services Licence. It relies on a partnership with Cuscal Limited, an authorised bank, to fulfil its duties under Australian banking laws.
Which betting sites offer instant cash cards?
Four of the biggest bookmakers in the country provide handy debit cards for instant cash-outs:
The William Hill Card allows punters to access their winnings instantly and use them to buy goods or services. Unlike a Visa card, you cannot use this service for transactions online or over the phone. It is not a credit or debit card and does not earn interest.
The CrownBet card can be used to access funds instantly at any ATM, Visa payWave, or Eftpos terminal where prepaid Visa cards are accepted. If you have a withdrawable balance in your CrownBet account, the transfer to your card will happen immediately. There are no fees for loading and withdrawing money and you can access up to $1000 per day through ATMs and $5000 in EFTPOS each day.
Sportsbet’s Cash Card gives you instant access to your winnings through any ATM in Australia and allows you to by everyday items. You can use it like any other EFTPOS card by selecting savings when you pay for your items. EFTPOS purchases are free, but cash-out fees do apply. You can access up to $3000 of your winnings per day, with cash withdrawals limited to $1000.
How to use cash cards for online betting
Betting debit cards are very simple to use. Once you sign up with the bookmaker of your choice and have your account verified, you can order a card off their website. It will usually be posted to you via Australia Post and the bookies say it can take up to 21 days, but it is usually within the first week or two after you order. The card must be activated before you can use it.
With most of the bookmakers, you will have access to two balances – your wagering account balance and your cash card balance. If you deposit into your wagering account, you will normally have to ‘turn over’ that deposit at least once to be able to transfer it to your card. Once you’ve fulfilled the bookie’s betting requirements, you can transfer your available funds over and spend them as you would with a regular debit card.
Make sure you read the fine print so you know where your card is accepted. Not all bookies’ cash cards are accepted at all outlets. Some have stipulations about where you can use it. Most will allow any ATM, some only where Visa is accepted and you will find some smaller outlets won’t allow you to use the cash cards at all.
Once you have your head around that, it is happy spending.
Why should I use online bookmakers cash out cards?
The answer to this is simple: speed of access.
Let’s set the scene: you’ve loaded up on the punt and cleaned up at the races. But wait – you have to wait a couple of days for your winnings to come through to your bank account.
That’s a non-issue with your bookmaker’s cash card. It makes betting online so much easier and you can bear the fruits of your good tips so much faster.
A precautionary note on cash cards
With the cash cards, it can be very easy to lose track of what you’re doing. Make sure you only ever charge up your wagering account with money you can afford to lose, because you won’t be able to send it over to your cash card until after you have bet it at least once. There is nothing worse than loading up and realising you aren’t able to meet your obligations. If you want to withdraw that money, your bookmaker will tell you “tough luck”.