Note: Neteller is no longer active in the US market. Neteller stopped serving US customers in 2019 and appears to have no plans to return any time soon.
Neteller is an e-wallet supported by a fair number of legal betting sites and online casinos in the United States. This is one of just a few deposit methods that also support withdrawals, which makes it particularly handy for bankroll management and keeping your gambling money separate from the rest of your personal finances.
Getting started with Neteller involves signing up for an account and then funding it with a credit or debit card. Once you have a funded Neteller account, you’ll find it one of the more convenient deposit methods provided you have a Visa credit or debit card.
That brings us to one of the major caveats associated with Neteller: this e-wallet is extremely limited when it comes to deposits and withdrawals. The only way to fund your account is with a Visa credit or debit card and the only way to withdraw is back to a Net+ prepaid card that will be mailed to you after registering an account.
Note: You may read elsewhere that Neteller offers many different funding and withdrawal methods. That is true, but only outside the United States. I called Neteller myself when writing this article and customer support confirmed that US customers may only deposit with Visa and withdraw via the Net+ card.
However, Neteller has stated it will be improving the service for US customers at some point in the future to introduce new deposit methods, increased deposit limits, a VIP program and an affiliate program. Neteller at one point announced major changes were imminent, but then cancelled those plans the day before they were set to take effect. In the meantime, Neteller remains a very limited deposit method here in the US.
The idea of Neteller is great, but the implementation just isn’t there yet. PayPal offers a similar idea that is implemented in a much more efficient manner with more funding and withdrawal options.
Where Neteller does come in handy is as a backup option when your Visa card deposits are declined (some banks decline all gaming-related transactions as a matter of policy). If you have had trouble depositing with your Visa directly, you can use Neteller as a quick workaround.
Neteller is accepted across a wide cross section of sports betting, gambling and online lottery sites in the United States. Numerous NJ betting sites, all three Delaware casinos, the Michigan Online Lottery and BetAmerica.com all accept Neteller as a deposit method.
How to Deposit with Neteller
Funding your online betting account with Neteller begins with signing up for an account at Neteller.com. This process involves filling out some basic information about yourself, establishing a few security questions and setting a password. Neteller accounts are free and the whole process should only take a couple of minutes.
Once you have a Neteller account, you can log in and visit the “money in” tab to initiate a deposit. Here, you’ll fill out your credit or debit card information, choose an amount to deposit and confirm the transaction. This part is no different than purchasing something on Amazon with your debit card.
The next step is to log in to your betting site and visit the cashier to make a deposit. Select Neteller as your deposit method and choose an amount to deposit.
One part that may trip up some customers is where your betting site asks you to enter your Neteller Secure ID. Your Secure ID is a private number generated by Neteller and known only to you. By entering the Secure ID number, you confirm to Neteller that it’s really you making the deposit.
You can find your Secure ID number by logging in to your account, visiting the “account” tab and then selecting “retrieve” next to your hidden Secure ID number. Neteller when then send an e-mail containing a Secure ID that will be valid for 24 hours.
Now, go back to your betting site, enter the secure ID and confirm your deposit. Your online betting account will be credited with the funds instantly. If you need some help with this, see this video from BetAmerica that explains how to retrieve your Secure ID:
Neteller Pros and Cons
Stark contrasts between Neteller’s pros and cons make it a deposit method that is either very useful or not at all useful depending on your needs.
Pro: High acceptance rates for credit and debit cards
Neteller comes in handy if you have had problems funding your online betting account with a Visa credit or debit card. Some banks automatically decline all gambling-related transactions, even to sites that are fully licensed and regulated.
If you are having problems funding an online gaming account with your own credit card, you can sign up for an account with Neteller and then use your card to fund your Neteller account. After that, you can log in to your betting account and select Neteller as your deposit method. This will result in a successful deposit almost every time.
Con: Another account to manage
If you’re anything like us, you already have more than enough accounts and passwords to remember as it is. Between the various online banking, e-mail and sports betting accounts we all have to juggle, adding yet another one to the mix just adds to the clutter of our digital lives.
Pro: Keep your gambling bankroll separate from your other money
Neteller is called an e-wallet because it acts as a safe place to store your money online rather than in your personal bank account. This is a big advantage if you are a serious bettor or poker player intent on growing your bankroll.
Keeping your gambling bankroll totally separate from all your other money makes it easier to track your progress, monitor your spending and avoid the temptation of spending your betting bankroll on other things.
Con: Can only load Neteller with Visa credit and debit cards
The current iteration of Neteller for US customers only accepts Visa debit and Visa credit cards for loading funds. Neteller doesn’t even support bank transfers from within the US. This is set to change at some point in the future, but Neteller has not released a timeline as of now.
Pro: The Net+ card is pretty neat
The Net+ card you get when you sign up for a Neteller account is versatile. It provides instant access to your Neteller funds and purchasing power much quicker than you would get by requesting a bank transfer (which usually takes a couple days).
You can use your Net+ card anywhere Discover is accepted, including at ATMs. If you score a big win, there’s no need to wait a few days when you have a Net+ card around. Just keep in mind that you may want to get into the habit of leaving your Net+ card at home if you are in the process of building a bankroll to avoid any impulse purchases while you’re out and about.
Con: Can only withdraw to your Net+ card
The downside to the Net+ card is that it is literally the only way to access your Neteller funds in the United States. The good news is a recent e-mail from Neteller indicated the company may be adding new withdrawal methods in the near future.
Pro: Betting sites never see your private banking info
Neteller serves as a firewall between your bank account or credit card and your betting site. Deposits made with Neteller are only confirmed after you generate a 24-hour Secure ID from inside your Neteller account and provide that ID to your betting site. At no point in the process of depositing does your betting site ever see your credit card number or banking info.
Con: Iffy customer support
The customer support section of the Neteller website is not very helpful. Searching for terms as simple as “fees” yields no results. The actual fees page here isn’t much better with missing information and little context.
Additionally, the Neteller website often provides information that contradicts what the customer support people provide on the phone. For instance, the fees page says Neteller has “a wide variety of options for funding your account,” but a customer support rep on the phone explained Neteller only accepts Visa credit and debit card deposits from US customers.
I believe the numerous discrepancies on the Neteller website are a result of the company’s international focus. The majority of Neteller’s business is focused overseas and it appears information designed for customers in other countries shows up on the US-facing website as well.
If you browse the support section of the Neteller website, you’ll references to numerous other funding methods such as Bitcoin, bank transfer and others that a support rep confirmed as not available to US customers.
On a more positive note, calling customer support was relatively painless and my call was answered in under a minute both times I called. The support reps had strong accents that made them difficult to understand, but they were able to answer all my questions quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Neteller website is a bit confusing to navigate with a wonky search feature, so we offer the following FAQs in an effort to clear things up and give you the answers you need quickly.
Are there any fees for withdrawals?
No. It costs nothing to withdraw to your Neteller+ card and to use that card wherever Discover is accepted. However, withdrawing cash at an ATM will subject you to any fees charged by that ATMs.
How can I fund my Neteller account?
Neteller currently only accepts Visa credit and debit cards for loading funds. Neteller has confirmed it will be adding additional deposit methods in the future, but for now the only way to load funds is with a Visa-branded card.
How can I withdraw from Neteller?
Our biggest gripe with Neteller right now is that withdrawals are only offered through the Net+ prepaid card. Once you have funds in your Net+ card, you can withdraw visit an ATM for cash or spend the money anywhere Discover is accepted.
What is the Net+ card?
The Net+ card is a prepaid debit card linked to your Neteller account. After you sign up for an account with Neteller and load funds for the first time, a Net+ card will be sent to you by mail. Your Net+ card can receive withdrawals, make purchases anywhere Discover is accepted or be used to withdraw cash at ATMs.
Your Net+ card is not a credit card and it is not linked to your bank account. This is a prepaid card only, and the only money that can be spent is whatever you have in your Neteller account at that time.
How can I get a Net+ card?
Signing up for an account with Neteller and making your first deposit will automatically prompt Neteller to send a card to the address you provided when you signed up. You’ll get the card within 10-14 business days of making your first deposit.
A Brief History of Neteller in the US Market
Neteller was established in 1999 and has an interesting history in the US market that includes a fair amount of scandal. At the time Neteller was launched, online gambling was unregulated in the United States and many online sportsbooks, casinos and poker sites served the US market in open defiance of the Federal Wire Act.
The Rise of Neteller
Back in those early years, online gambling was not on the radar of US authorities and Neteller established a firm foothold as one of the most popular deposit methods for offshore gambling sites. An investigation into the company would later reveal that Neteller at one point derived 75% or more of its business from American customers.
Neteller grew quickly during those early years with traditional banking institutions hesitant to touch anything related to online sports betting or gambling. It was especially popular for poker players who could use Neteller to quickly move from one poker site to the next without withdrawing all the way back to their bank accounts.
After competing e-wallet PayPal left the US gambling market in 2002, Neteller became the de-facto deposit method of choice for gamblers in the United States. This was a fortunate break for Neteller, but the firm’s rise to number one in the gaming payments business would also paint a target on its back.
The Downfall of Neteller
The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) near the end of 2006 signaled a turn in fortune for Neteller, but company execs failed to react properly in time. Contrary to popular media reporting at the time, the UIGEA did not “ban” online gambling. Instead, it specifically targeted financial institutions just like Neteller by making it illegal to knowingly process payments for unlicensed betting sites.
In January of 2007, Neteller cofounders Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre were arrested by US Authorities. The pair was charged with operating an unlicensed money transfer service and promoting illegal gambling by facilitating transactions between US-based customers and offshore betting sites.
Interestingly, the charges were not filed under UIGEA provisions despite the UIGEA being passed just months earlier. Even so, the timing was probably not coincidental. In any case, Neteller’s cofounders faced the possibility of 20 years behind bars under the charges.
Individual gamblers have never been seriously prosecuted in the US for playing online, but Neteller customers were not left unscathed. As Neteller’s founders were being arrested, the Department of Justice (DOJ) also froze roughly $94 million worth of funds in Neteller accounts belonging to US customers.
Fortunately for everyone involved, Neteller was able to reach a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ. Under the terms of the agreement, Neteller admitted to wrongdoing and forfeited $136 million to the US government. The agreement also had Neteller return roughly $94 million to US customers.
In return, Neteller agreed to exit the US market and take proper steps to ensure no US customers would be able to access the service. The loss of Neteller in 2007 combined with credit card issuers refusing to process known gambling transactions crippled the illegal online betting industry in the US.
The Triumphant Return
Neteller stayed well away from the US market over the course of the next seven years and focused its attention on building its international presence. Despite the massive fines and near-imprisonment of its cofounders, Neteller managed to remake its image, expand on the international stage and establish itself once again as a mainstay deposit method for gambling and sports betting sites.
In 2014, Neteller managed to secure its place in the US market once again – this time legally. News broke in late 2014 that Neteller had been approved to process payment services for horse racing betting site BetAmerica.com. Neteller’s successful re-entrance to the US through its BetAmerica agreement also paved the way for the company to enter New Jersey, Delaware and elsewhere as an approved payment method for legal betting sites.
A Quiet Exit from the US Market in 2019
In mid-2019, Neteller left the US market once again with little fanfare. Neteller was accepted by a handful of licensed betting sites at the time, but offered no explanation for its sudden departure. Neteller is still active in other markets, but US players will have to find other options. The closest alternative to Neteller today is PayPal.