For many years, Skrill offered a lower cost alternative to PayPal and Neteller. The company behind this service has now been purchased by the owners of Neteller, Paysafe Group. Since this acquisition, fees have risen, though these are still low.
With the opportunity to fund your Skrill internet poker account directly using a debit card, it is reasonable to ask what makes this type of service so popular?
There are two key benefits. First, you are placing a trusted 3rd party between your bank and the gambling sites. This means that you will never directly hand any card details to the sites, and that no gambling transactions will be shown on your bank statement. This adds a valuable extra layer of security which gives peace of mind to many players.
The other benefit is that you have a place to hold some of your poker bankroll. Keeping that money separate from your personal accounts is useful. This gives you the ability to move money between sites quickly – for example to take advantage of new bonus offers or promos. This also means that you do not need to leave too much money in your account at a poker site – again increasing security. You can access the money in your account via a debit card, which you can apply for separately.
Drawbacks include the fees – which are incurred when you send money using Skrill. This is a small percentage overall, though does need to be taken into account compared to free methods such as debit card payments. You’ll also need to set up your account, and verify your bank account via a micropayment. This is a one-off task.
How to Deposit Using Skrill
This section outlines the practical steps you’ll need to go through to make your deposit at any poker room taking Skrill. Each poker site will have its own layout – though they all work in fundamentally the same way.
You’ll need to have chosen a poker site accepting Skrill first – if you have not yet found the best site for your location and skill level, then check out our main Poker Sites page for the different options.
Once you have a player account, your next step is to locate the cashier. This is always easy to find! You’ll see a list of payment options and click on the Skrill logo.
The next page will ask you for your Skrill e-mail address, the amount you wish to deposit – and will often give you the opportunity to use a poker bonus code too. When you click the button saying ‘submit’ or ‘pay now’, you’ll be directed to the Skrill website. This can be in a new window, or within the cashier.
Here you need to double check that you are in a secure browser session. The URL should be green, with a padlock or ‘secure’ message to the left, depending on which browser you use. With this payment method, you do not need to give your account details to the poker site. Instead you are logging in to Skrill directly, where you will find the payment request pre-filled with your deposit amount.
You simply need to verify that the amount is correct and click to pay it.
Next, you will be redirected back to the poker site cashier, where you will find the payment confirmed – along with your new balance. This completes the process, you will now be able to hit those real money tables!
Withdrawing with Skrill is just as easy. Here you fill out a form in the poker site cashier. This is submitted internally for review. Most legitimate poker sites will approve within 48 to 72 hours, once the funds are sent they will be in your account very quickly. You can then choose whether to hold the amount in your electronic wallet, or whether to send this back to your bank account.
What are the Alternatives to Skrill?
There are two main rival systems which work in exactly the same way. PayPal is the best known of these. Only the biggest and best known poker sites are able to use PayPal. One difference with this system is that fees are charged when you receive money, instead of when you send it. Neteller is accepted more widely, and works on a ‘fees when sending money’ basis.
Within the regulated markets where Skrill works, players have a huge choice of payment methods. These range from credit and debit cards, though prepaid vouchers and virtual visa cards and through to local methods.
If you are in the US, then alternatives to Skrill are more restrictive. Here you can choose Bitcoin, or Visa / MasterCard / Amex credit cards – prepaid cards and money transfers are good backups.