Many newcomers to online gaming are unsure of how to regularly deposit funds into their player’s account. E-wallets might seem complicated at first, and many of the ID verification routines required by these companies can turn people away. So, it comes as no surprise that most people want to whip out their Visa or MasterCard and purchase credits at an online casino much like they would buy a book at or a flight at Clearly, Visa and MasterCard are probably the most popular deposit methods on their own (excluding funding an e-wallet with these cards as an intermediary deposit method).

Well, things just became a little more complicated: MasterCard may be shutting down any and all payment processing to offshore casinos for USA players. This decision stems from a recent audit MasterCard conducted, in which they found that some gaming sites were incorrectly coding transactions. Usually, transactions via MasterCard to an online casino are processed as “uncoded” transactions; that is, they have no specific numeric value that designates the type of payment being processed. This all changed recently, when a few online casinos improperly coded their payment requests, thereby exposing the loophole they were exploiting in order to get MasterCard funds through the door. MasterCard pulled the break on any sort of “uncoded” transactions, bringing the online gaming industry to a standstill.

What does this mean for players? For the moment, it’s likely that any attempt to deposit directly to a casino using MasterCard will fail, especially if you’re located in the USA. There is, however, a little good news: MasterCard is planning to revoke all funds to offshore payment processors and refund all casino customers their purchases. On top of that, if you were ahead of the casino and cashed out money, you’ll obviously get to keep these winnings, too. Clearly, MasterCard is holding the payment processors responsible, and the dominoes eventually fallback to the online casinos, who are at the end of the money chain.

What does this mean for online casinos? This is a devastating turn of events for sure. Online casinos will lose and all recent funds deposited by MasterCard, plus they run the risk of having their payment processors shutdown by authorities. Also, under financed casinos, that are running on skin and bones are now suddenly faced with losing substantial sums of money, which they have to cough up as the merchants who originally benefited from the transactions.

If there is a silver lining to be had, it’s probably that e-wallets, which act as an intermediate step between credit card and online casino, are relatively unaffected. So, if you’ve been hesitant to open an EwalletXpress, UseMyWallet, or Click2Pay account, now is the time to do so. In most cases, online casinos themselves have to hand out invitations to these services, so make sure that you get in touch with your casino’s support team as soon as possible. They’ll be able to guide you through the e-wallet sign up process, making sure that you are ultimately able to do deposit money. You might also consider looking at casinos that accept Visa, AMEX, or Discover Card. We’ve listed a few below.

In the big picture, the exodus of MasterCard from the online casino scene will hurt in the short run, but the situation should wright itself in a few months. It has been noted that some people are considering starting up special payment processing options located in the USA, employing MasterCard ex-employees in order to gain favor with the company. Also, players in Europe and Asia might experience a temporary blackout period with their MasterCard. This side effect will be more pronounced with any International players that carry a MasterCard bearing a USA bank name. This too, should blow over, since online gaming is legal in most non-USA jurisdictions.

Good Luck from and Sign Up for an E-Wallet Account today!