At most legitimate offshore gambling sites, players are given a variety of options for funding their accounts. And while credit and debit transactions remain in popular use, Bitcoin (BTC) is now the gold standard.
If there’s a problem with Bitcoin, however, it’s in the initial acquisition of the stuff. As opposed to other banking methods, Bitcoin takes a bit of setup before you can actually use it, and that setup takes time.
Most mainstream BTC buy-ins – sites like Coinbase or major exchanges that accept USD for conversion to the cryptocurrency – require customers to wait up to 10 days before they can get their hands on their Bitcoin. For Internet gambling, such a wait is far from ideal, and that wait can push online gamers away from embracing this superior monetary medium.
But there’s finally a solution: Zelle.
What Is Zelle?
Zelle is an instant-pay platform developed and owned by a consortium of the largest US banks and financial institutions. In fact, the chances are good that you already have access to Zelle through your bank or online banking app.
Al Ko, CEO of the service, breaks down Zelle’s current adoption rate:
“More than 64% of U.S. demand deposit accounts…have access to Zelle through the 480 financial institutions contracted to join the Zelle Network. We continue to see double-digit increases in new customer [gains] each month, demonstrating continued demand for Zelle from national and regional banks and credit unions.”
At heart, Zelle is a competitor in the space previously dominated by PayPal and PayPal’s Venmo service. And though the latter has more mindshare in the marketplace, Zelle transactions account for far more volume. In the last quarter alone, US customers undertook 171 million Zelle transfers for over $44 billion.
The key difference between Zelle vs. Paypal/Venmo is that Zelle is a US-only product, good for transactions exclusively between US bank account holders. PayPal is a global brand, and many non-US casino sites offer PayPal support, which has been a point of significant annoyance for US-based gamblers.
Zelle fixes that.
There is one caveat, however: You can’t use Zelle to transfer funds to your favorite casino sites directly. Instead, Zelle is a quick, easy entry point to Bitcoin, which you then use to load up your gambling account.
How To Buy Bitcoin With Zelle
Several casino sites – like Bovada and Ignition Casino, among others – offer primers on their cashier pages for how to use Zelle to fund member accounts. That said, you aren’t limited to these operators if you want to go the Zelle-to-Bitcoin route.
No matter which offshore gambling site you prefer, they all support Bitcoin as a matter of course. In effect, then, all these venues are essentially Zelle casinos – you just have to do a little legwork at the outset. Namely, that legwork involves setting up a free account at a site called LocalBitcoins.
The process is outlined in detail at the previous link, but in a nutshell, here’s how you can use Zelle to fund your online gambling hobby:
- Sign up at a legitimate online casino that offers BTC deposit options. (All of the most reputable sites fall into this category, so you have several good providers at your disposal.)
- Make sure your bank already offers Zelle support. Alternatively, you can download the official Zelle app for iPhone or Android and link it to your Visa or Mastercard account, as these companies are Zelle partners.
- Sign up at LocalBitcoins.com.
- Use Zelle to purchase BTC from any private seller on LocalBitcoins. You will receive your BTC at the crypto wallet of your choice in just a few minutes.
- Bitcoin in hand, simply log on to your casino site, choose the BTC deposit method, and transfer your gambling funds to the site’s provided BTC address.
That’s the entire process, start to finish. Instead of having to wait a week or two to gamble with Bitcoin, Zelle lets players buy that BTC – and transfer it to their chosen gaming sites – in under an hour.
And that means you never have to miss out on a good hand of poker, a progressive slots payout, a sure-thing pony in this afternoon’s race, or an attractive betting line on tonight’s ballgame.
What Is LocalBitcoins?
LocalBitcoins.com is the gateway that makes Zelle work for offshore gamblers. The site is a major global BTC marketplace serving more than 240 countries around the world, and it was founded in Finland in 2012. Because LocalBitcoins links private BTC buyers with private BTC sellers, you can bypass the typical red-tape rigmarole associated with purchasing cryptocurrency through FDIC-insured frontends.
Despite a lack of government licensing and regulation, however, LocalBitcoins is inherently safe to use. This is because the site employs an encrypted escrow system.
In other words, when you use Zelle to buy Bitcoin at LocalBitcoins, the site takes immediate custody of the seller’s BTC as your payment is processed. Once your Zelle payment clears, LocalBitcoins releases the agreed-upon quantity of Bitcoin into your possession, eliminating any opportunity for bait-and-switch scams on the network.
LocalBitcoins is a proven, trusted platform that has processed billions of dollars in BTC over the years, and you can feel safe using the site any time you want to purchase Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Is Even Better With Zelle
Bitcoin is the preferred way to deposit into your betting account for a number of reasons. You can get better welcome bonuses and deposit perks, for one thing. For another, your deposit will never be declined by the likes of the UIGEA, which guarantees success for every banking transaction.
The biggest benefit of going the Bitcoin route, of course, is that BTC is the only way to get same-day payouts at offshore betting and gambling sites. However, to get these same-day payouts via BTC, you have to deposit with BTC to begin with.
There’s also another thing to consider about legitimate Bitcoin casinos, and that’s that no domestic online casino site or brick-and-mortar gambling venue in the US currently supports BTC. If you want to enjoy the anonymity and security of using decentralized currency to keep your gambling activities private, Bitcoin is the answer, and it’s only supported by offshore gaming sites.
To maximize the convenience of online and mobile casino gaming, Bitcoin is the way to go.
And since Zelle makes Bitcoin more accessible for gamblers than ever, this new funding model is just one more way that the offshore providers continue to one-up domestic operators.
If you’ve been waiting for a quick, convenient way to buy into Bitcoin for your gambling needs, Zelle is the answer.