MasterCard is not the most efficient payment method for online gamblers, and most certainly does not provide the same level of service as the equally popular Visa Card.
Most bookmakers will offer MasterCard as a deposit method – that includes MasterCard branded debit cards such as Maestro as well.
MasterCards issued by an American bank will most likely encounter problems when trying to deposit to any gambling site.
One big limitation on this as an online payment method for gamblers is that it is not always possible to withdraw your winnings back to your card even if you have used it to make your deposit in the first place.
Where it is available, deposit limits can be reasonably low, starting at £5.00 and €5.00.
MasterCard Bookies deposit limits
MasterCard credit cards for online gambling
As widely available as Visa cards, this is usually an option at UK and European bookmakers, but rarely at an American sportsbook. And while it may be offered as an option, there is no guarantee that players from your country will be allowed to use it.
If any online site has been flagged by MasterCard as a gambling site, then they will not allow deposits to that site using any MasterCard, be it a debit card or credit card.
Withdrawing using Visa
MasterCard withdrawals can be quite tricky. For Americans it is simply not an option. For Europeans with a card issued by an English or EU Bank, it may be possible, though I understand that some limits are beginning to be imposed now. For example, a lifetime withdrawal limit is being introduced for Maestro and is in effect at soome sites already. For punters that bet in high amounts then this is not really a viable option for withdrawals in the long term.
Keeping your MasterCard secure
Similiar to deposit by Visa card, when using your MasterCard credit card to deposit to an online sportsbook, you will most likely be required to provide lots of security documents, not only to prove you identity and age, but also to prove that you own the card that you are trying to use.
You may also be asked to provide a signed document confirming the use of the card – if that is required you will be provided the document by the site requesting it.
You will likely be asked to send in a scan of both the front and the back of the card too, and as you will know, this will provide the three digit secure code that keeps you safe from unauthorised use.
Many players will not be happy with having to provide all those details.
It goes without saying that in order to stay as safe as possible you should only bet with sites that you know and trust, but even then your data may become compromised at some time. It does happen.
If MasterCard is your only option, it may be advisable for you to get a prepaid MasterCard or debit card, so that you can limit the amount of funds that are potentially at risk.
rather than using your credit card or debit card directly on the site, you might find it worth the effort to open a virtual wallet with a service like Neteller or Skrill. That way you can use your credit card to deposit to that virtual wallet, and then use the wallet to deposit to the sportsbook. Then you won;t have to send in your card details at all.
If you are going to use your MasterCard to gamble online, then you really should consider enrolling in the MasterCard Secure program for an extra layer of security.
MasterCard, Sports Betting and Americans
As I said above, you will probably encounter a lot of declined deposits if you are using a MasterCard issued by an American bank. This also applies to debit cards that are issued under the MasterCard brand, which includes the Neteller, Skrill and Paypal debit cards.
Which means, of course, that while you can use all three of those services to deposit to online bookmakers provided that you are not American, you cannot use their debit cards to make gambling deposits. While a bit ludicrous, that is the current situation.
Some US based sportsbooks do offer Mastercard as a deposit option for US players. Like for Visa cards and Americans, you should consider depositing an odd amount rather than an even number. Try $21.45 instead of $20.00.