Everyone has heard of Paypal.
Alive and kicking since the turn of the century and synonymous with the online auction site, eBay, Paypal has been providing online payments services to the UK public for over 20 years.
Always at the forefront of technology and changes within the industry, they now offer a multitude of different services to those wanting to buy and those wanting to sell; but is it any good for online betting?
Many people are still skeptical of online payment solutions, with fears of data breaches and hackers at the front of their minds. Safety and security is a key concern, as is the need for privacy.
What’s more, for those of us that have been gambling since before the internet (yes kids, there was a time before the internet) the speed at which technology advances can be intimidating, so how easy is it to set up this Paypal malarky and use it?
All your questions are answered below.
Bookmakers That Accept PayPal
Betfred - £5.50 Minimum Deposit
Betfred stand out with a low deposit minimum of £5.50 with PayPal, making them the best option for those that don't want to deposit a minimum of £10.
Withdrawal limits are also low at £5 and are usually in the wallet within a few hours, although the processing time could take up to 2 days.
Betfred are a classic bookie, brilliant for the traditional stuff: footy, racing, darts, snooker, rugby, etc., and if you tend to bet on the major sports this is one of the best sites you can do it with.
Bet365 - Best PayPal Betting Site
bet365 have been the leading betting site for PayPal, and indeed most other payment methods, for nearly two decades. They have a low deposit limit of £10 with PayPal with a maximum of £5,500, with the same withdrawal limits (per transaction).
It's not just the fact you can deposit using the method that we list bet365 here but rather the quality of the bookie when it comes to then betting. The brand have some of the most expansive markets available with fair odds and high payout limits. This is a no messing operator who allow their markets to shine on their own.
Accurate as of February 2020 from the author’s experience and is subject to change and location. Customer eligibility is the bookmaker’s decision.
Coral - PayPal Quick Registration
Coral offer one of the fastest ways to sign up through PayPal, known as quick registration. They have a partnership with the payment service provider that allows them to receive your details directly from they, allowing you to join in seconds.
The minimum deposit is £10 and the minimum withdrawal is just £0.01 and it is fast too with the money landing back in your eWallet within 3 hours (usually).
Beyond PayPal the depth of features and particularly promotions offered with Coral is top class, making them one of the best all-around bookies available in the UK.
PayPal Deposit & Withdrawal Averages Compared To Other Payment Methods
In the graph above we looked at the minimum deposit and withdrawal limits from 35 UK online bookmakers, including William Hill, 888, Coral, Ladbrokes, Betfair, Paddy Power and others, and averaged the amount. We also looked at the range between different betting sites and this is reflected in the standard error.
Average Deposit Minimums
The PayPal minimum deposit amount average is £11.54, which is higher than other eWallets such as Skrill (£10.17) and Neteller (£8.88) as well as debit cards (£8.38), the method used by most people. In fact, from the payment methods we looked at PayPal had the highest average minimum deposit amount overall, excluding bank transfers (£28.16 – data not shown). The PayPal average is around £3 higher than the overall overage of all payment methods shown above (£8.53).
The lowest average minimum for deposit limits is ApplePay at £6.43, although not all sites offer this, PaySafeCard, which is more widely accepted, has an average of £7.32. Cash is also a good option for low limits (£7.29) but is only possible through companies with high street shops. The lowest for an eWallet is Neteller, EcoPayz is not far behind (£9), but again is not as widely accepted.
Average Withdrawal Minimums
When it comes to withdrawing funds PayPal’s average minimum is also higher than most others at £10.83 , but is still in line with Skrill (£10.79), Neteller (£9.31) and bank cards (£10.55). It is around £1.50 more than the overall minimum withdrawal average for all methods shown above (£9.36).
The highest minimum withdrawal average is by bank transfer (£23.83 – data not shown) but of the methods shown above it is Entropay (£11.43), followed by PayPal. The lowest minimum average for withdrawing funds is £6.83 with cash from bookies with shops, for eWallets it is EcoPayx at £7. Debit card minimum, the most popular method for withdrawing, is £10.55. PaySafeCard is also a good option for low limits at £8.10, however, not all sites that let you deposit with PaySafeCard will let you withdraw.
Why Does PayPal Have Higher Minimums On Average?
PayPal have higher fees compared to other eWallets and bank cards for betting sites and so this is reflected in the generally higher minimum amounts. This is also the reason why PayPal is not as widely accepted as debit cards and other eWallets such as Neteller and Skrill.
You will find the majority of sites have a £10 minimum deposit and withdrawal lower limit for PayPal, a handful of sites have higher minimums of £15 or £20 and this is largely why the overall average is slightly higher than other methods and can be seen by the fact PayPal have a higher standard error compared to others.
In general though the levels are all fairly similar with a range of £5.11 difference between the highest and lowest deposit method and £4.60 for withdrawals (both excluding bank transfer).
What is Paypal?
Have you ever heard of an ewallet? Well Paypal is widely regarded to be the daddy of them all. Technically it wasn’t the first, but it’s certainly the most famous and the longest standing.
Paypal is a safe and secure digital payment service that allows users to send and receive money almost instantly and without having to enter their card details each time.
Just like a real wallet, you can hold funds in your Paypal account and store various different debit/credit cards in there too, meaning there is a lot less faffing about when you want to spend money online.
It also offers a great deal of buyer protection, because when you pay through Paypal you don’t need to hand over any of your card details to the company you are purchasing from.
How is it Different to Using a Debit/Credit Card?
The main differences are:
Once you have a card registered to your Paypal account you can use it almost everywhere; there are very few businesses that won’t accept Paypal payments these days, especially big businesses like bookies.
If you bought from 5 different websites using your debit card, you would need to enter your card details on each of those sites. This would be time consuming and would also mean that each of the 5 companies would have access to your card details.
If you used Paypal, on the other hand, you could settle each transaction in a fraction of the time because you would only need your Paypal password to make the payment – your card details would already be safely stored behind Paypal’s encryption barriers. This also means that the companies would not have access to your card details.
Betting With PayPal
Firstly, you are going to need a Paypal account. If you are reading this then it’s probably safe to assume you have opened an online account elsewhere at some point and the process here is no different; you just need an email and a password.
You have two options when you register; you can sign up as a buyer or a seller. For the purpose of depositing to your favourite bookie or casino you will want to sign up as a buyer, as you are buying their services, essentially.
Once you’re in you just need to register a card and potentially deposit funds – although you don’t need to do that, Paypal can take money directly from your account as and when you tell them to – and you are set up and ready to go.
Once you get to your online bookmaker, you just go to deposit as you normally would but select ‘Paypal’ from the options.
Once you make the deposit you will be asked for your Paypal password and the rest is handled for you.
It really is hassle free.
The key question: what will this cost you?
As a buyer, it will cost you nothing. Paypal earn their money through charging a small fee per transaction to sellers, so you are on the right end of this deal.
You can also use Paypal to withdraw funds from your betting account and this is usually free too. Some bookies might try and pass on their fees to their customers but this is nothing to do with Paypal and will usually only be a few pounds at the most. It is much rarer these days, though.
In the modern age it would be madness for Paypal not to have an app, but these guys are perfectly sane, and the app is great.
You can use the app in the same ways that you can use the desktop site, but you can also transfer money to people in seconds just by using their mobile number or email address.
It is equally possible to use Paypal in conjunction with Google pay and other similar services, so you can even use your account to pay in store by tapping with your phone.
For bettors, this means Paypal is the perfect companion to your mobile betting app.
Is It Safe To Bet With PayPal?
Paypal is used by millions of people worldwide every single day. It has been operating for more than 20 years and is the main payment provider for eBay, so yes, it’s about as safe as online payments can get.
It uses the highest standard of data encryption available and even pays ethical hackers to try and break into the system so they can spot any flaws there might be.
Of course, it would be irresponsible to claim that anything is 100% secure, but if you find a payment provider safer than Paypal then let us know. It is certainly no more dangerous than using your credit or debit card online.
In fact, it could be considered even safe.
Why? Simply because your sensitive information isn’t being spread around lots of different companies. As we explained above, when you pay with Paypal the company you are buying from doesn’t get hold of your card details, and the fewer organisations that have access to that data the less likely you are to be subject to a security breach.
The only thing to be aware of is that Paypal is not a bank account, so in the unlikely event that it went into insolvency any funds held in the account might not be protected. This won’t affect anyone who uses their debit/credit card through the system, only those with actual funds resting in their account.
Is it Legal?
A bit of an odd section of an article that has thus far done nothing but talk about how brilliant and widely used Paypal is, perhaps, but for the online gambling industry the future of Paypal is a little uncertain.
First of all, Paypal itself is totally 100% legal. It’s accepted as a legitimate payment method accepted all over the world and I would imagine even Boris Johnson has an account. However, for online bettors the waters are a little cloudier because the UKGC recently announced a change to the way betting companies are allowed to accept payments.
From April 2020, credit cards will no longer be allowed as a deposit method in the UK. This is another attempt to make gambling safer and to stop people gambling with money they cannot afford to lose, and so, gambling on credit is a goner. It’s hard to find an argument against this move given the issues of problem gambling in this country, but it does make things a little challenging for the various ewallets out there, including Payapl.
You see, Paypal and others allow their customers to deposit funds using a credit card, so if betting companies then allow their customers to deposit using Paypal then effectively the door is still open for people to deposit to their online betting accounts via credit card – they are just using a middle man; Paypal.
As soon as this situation becomes clear, this section of the article will be updated, but for now, the future of Paypal and all ewallets at online betting sites is in doubt, and for responsible gamblers this is bad news because ewallets are one of the fastest ways to withdraw winnings.
The company’s history can be traced back as far as 1998, having been developed by 6 entrepreneurs and using the name Confinity. Just 2 years later it merged with an online banking company called X.com owned by one Elon Musk. You might have heard of him.
After some internal shifting around of titles and positions, the company re-branded as Paypal in 2001.
The company was worth $1.5 billion at this point, but it was the association with eBay that really put Paypal on the map, because even though the company was already public by the time eBay bought them out in 2002, the boom the payment provider experienced after this point was phenomenal.
Countless acquisitions and additional services hit the headlines, and by 2010 Paypal had more than 100 million active accounts across 190 different markets and using 25 currencies. At the end of 2012 the company reported payment volumes worth more than $145,000,000,000 – that’s 145 billion.
Things changed once more in 2014 when eBay announced they were going to spin off Paypal as a separate publicly traded company, a move that was completed around a year later. Furthermore, in 2020 Paypal ceased to be the favoured payment provider for eBay, although it remains as an option and will no doubt always be closely associated with the auction giant.
As of 2019, a reported 286 million accounts are active with the payment provider.
Pros and Cons
There is certainly more that is good than bad about Paypal, not least the ease and speed with which you can withdraw winnings from your online bookie, but they have been known to freeze accounts at the slightest sniff of an issue. It’s great for security but is rage-inducing when no foul play has actually occurred.
Also, UK customers will be fine but Paypal will restrict use if you are in a country or jurisdiction where gambling is not allowed. Furthermore, with changes to the rules regarding betting using credit cards in the UK, Paypal could well be affected as they do allow customers to add funds to their wallets using credit cards.
You already know most of the plus points, but there are a few others. If you change your bank you only have to update one website, not hundreds of them, and that is a huge time saver, not to mention the fact that gambling transactions won’t show up on your bank statements if you use Paypal. On top of this, Paypal keeps a record of every transaction you ever make, so if you ever need evidence of a purchase or your spending activity it will be easy to find.
|Instant Transactions||Restrictions in some Countries|
|Safety, Security, Privacy||Fees may be Passed On|
|Record Keeping||Account Freezes|
|Widely Accepted||Credit Card Changes Afoot|
|Limits Suit Most Punters||High Rollers May Be Frustrated|
|Multi Use (Shopping, etc.)||Excluded from some Offers|
|Easy to Use|