How to collect a payout from an Online Casino

The quintessential question of all online gambling: “How do I get my winnings?” Believe it or not, what should be a relatively painless process can actually be very complicated, annoying, and downright frustrating. The casinos make it that way on purpose, for obvious reasons. No online gambling operator wants to part ways with money. They only want an inbound flow of cash, and some will go to extraordinary lengths to keep it that way. What can a player do? How can a USA online casino player collect winnings from an online casino without all the grief?

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The first step is to get all your ducks in a row. Gather important documents and your credit cards, including the online casino’s faxback form (or Credit Card verification form), your Driver’s License or Passport to prove identity, plus a utility bill in your name to prove that your address is valid. You’ll also need access to a scanner to turn your documents into digital form. Visit a friend with a scanner, use your local Library (making sure to Delete ALL copies of sensitive documents on the computers), or head to one of those chain office supply stores. Many of these retailers have in-store printing and photo service, that allows you to scan documents. Again, as with using the Library, make sure you delete all your files from the store’s computer once you are finished.

How do I save my files? It’s actually easier than you think. Many cellular phones have cables that interface with computers via USB, that allows you to transfer files to the phone. Another option might be to use one of those portable flash drives, that generally cost around $25-$125 depending on how much space the drive offers. If all else fails, the safest, and most reliable method of saving your documents is to access a web based email account, like gmail.com or yahoo.com, and email the files to yourself for safekeeping. That way, they’ll always be in a convenient location, and are generally safe from prying eyes.

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The next step is to personally contact the customer service department of the online casino. When you’ve reached the casino, don’t listen to a machine delineate how to collect your winnings. Instead, choose to speak with a human customer service rep, who can look at your actual account and will know what documentation is required for you to get your cash. Don’t worry about wasting their time with what you might think to be a routine question: some casinos have large amounts of service professionals that spend most of the day playing solitaire on their computers. Your call will give them something to do.

While on the phone, make it clear that you intend to withdraw your winnings, and that you don’t want any special promotions, deposit bonuses, or higher table limits. Some casinos might try to stall you, edging you towards gambling the money back to the house, opposed to actually getting it in your possession. Making it clear that you want your money to the customer service rep may also speed up the casinos’s internal cash-out approval process, which generally consists of a couple different managers making sure that the money going out is going to the right person. There’s bureaucracy of all kinds in the casino business, just like your local DMV, so just get used to it. 🙂

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Once you’ve initiated the payout process, it’s also important to ask what email address you should use to send your documentation to the casino. The last thing you want to do is email your sensitive files to the wrong person, who might use them for illicit purposes. For more privacy, you should also ask if you can blot out (or obscure using a simple image manipulation program) parts of your documents that aren’t required for the payout. For example, some casinos might not need your actual driver’s license number, the account number of your utility bill, or the amount of money in your checking account if a bank statement is required. Take all necessary precautions, because it will save you from a ton of heartache later on.

Finally, if nothing else, be persistent. After confirming your withdrawal with customer service personnel, log into your casino player’s account and see if the money has actually been debited from your account. If it isn’t, don’t fret: sometimes it takes a day or two for the casino to process your cash-out request. Check your account periodically over the next few days to see if and when the money gets sent out. If it doesn’t, get on the phone and have a stern word with your casino’s payouts department. Make it clear that you want your money, and that you’ll call every day, if necessary, to get it. Casinos don’t want to waste time with a determined cash-out customer, so they’ll just process your payment in order to unclog the customer service queue.

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What can make this process easier? E-wallets. Instead of waiting for a bank wire, EFT, or check in the mail, an e-wallet account like UseMyWallet, EwalletXpress, Click2Pay, Moneybookers, or Neteller can make cashing out a cinch. In most cases, the payout will come much faster, because the casino only has to login to their e-wallet merchant control panel to appropriate the money to your account. This saves a lot of red tape, bank processing fees, and many other headaches. If you’re a serious casino player, get an E-wallet account: it is exponentially easier to deposit and withdraw money.

So that’s it for now. In extreme cases where you never actually get your money, the last resort is usually complaining about your experience at one of those online casino message boards, like CasinoMeister.com or MajorWager.com. Some casinos have managers that regularly browse these forums to make sure their business’s reputation is in order, and the last thing they want is bad press. Letting the rest of the world know that a casino is stonewalling is a powerful alternative when all else has failed. Our final word of advice: play at the online casinos listed on this website. They’ve been vetted by our editors, and all have solid reputations in the gaming industry. If you’ve been legitimately treated poorly by any of these casinos, email us and we’ll do our best to resolve the situation, and/or remove their page from our site.

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Picture This: Harrah’s Online Casino Goes LIve

Before we go any further, let’s be clear (as of the date of this blog) that Harrah’s has not launched an online casino, nor is it live. The word “Harrah’s” is a trademark of its respective company.

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Now, on to the hypothetical: imagine waking up one day discovering that Las Vegas giants like Harrah’s, MGM, and Steve Wynn opened up online casinos. Would you stick with your old fashioned offshore casino, or would you flock to these highly respectable brand names? Would the offshore online casino industry fold up overnight? These and other scenarios are all important to consider when it comes to discussing the possibility of legalized/regulated USA online casinos.

For one, it’s a safe bet that most people would sooner trust an established Las Vegas brand, opposed to some unknown offshore business entity. Vegas casino giants are generally well run, and operate within the guidelines of the Nevada Gaming board. Accordingly, there are no crazy bonus schemes, absent customer service, or payout hassles. Instead, a “Harrah’s” online casino would probably be very player friendly, unlike its offshore counterparts.

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Secondly, the overall online casino experience would be superb. Most large Las Vegas land based casinos have very deep pockets, which equates extraordinary buying power. That means top of the line gaming software, highly trained customer service, and multiple deposit and withdrawal options. What’s more, the marketing and casino management teams would likely have ample experience running a gambling operation, unlike some offshore casinos that have a skeleton team of IT professionals and light-weight management.

Finally, competition among the Las Vegas giants themselves would ultimately only further benefit the customer. Online customers would likely be offered comps, travel packages, and other rewards for their patronage. Most offshore casinos barely have enough money to send Christmas cards, let alone sending customers on exotic trips or providing freebies as an enticement to signup.

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Would all this become “doomsday” for offshore online casinos? Frankly, the answer to this question is “Yes…but”. Almost immediately, smaller, rogue offshore online casinos would close their doors. Meanwhile, larger companies would have to work hard to shore up their player base, making sure that none of their hard earned customers defect to the Las Vegas online casinos. In the short run, it’s possible big offshore operations might survive by making extraordinary offers to their players, and speeding up the payout process. In the long run, however, even these companies will bleed players to the Vegas operations, and may have to eventually close.

There’s a bit of irony here. Right now, the USA Justice Department regards all offshore gambling as “illegal”, per the UIGEA. The Justice Department cites lack of regulation, criminal enterprise, and reputation issues with various offshore gaming groups. If the USA decides to legalize online casinos, for example, the twist is this: allowing large Las Vegas companies to open their virtual gaming doors will ostensibly wipe out all the offshore rackets, thereby providing more safe and enjoyable experience for the customer.

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On top of that, the USA government could legally levy taxes from any Las Vegas online casino business. Canada has already opened a government operated online casino, designed to quell financial worries with fresh gaming revenue. Likewise, the USA government would ultimately benefit from legalized online gambling. Countless state governments already reap the rewards of additional tax revenues from Native American casino operations, and USA online casinos would be no different.

For now, however, you’ve still got plenty of places to play online. We only advertise the best online casinos at Jaxcasinos.com, and if you’ve ever had a hard time with an online casino, we encourage you to let us know: jax@jaxcasinos.com . Enjoy casino gambling as it is for now, and just hang on for the day when the likes of Steve Wynn, MGM Grand, or Harrah’s open their first casino websites.

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