Western Union Poker Sites
As the name suggests, Western Union has a long history as a company, one that dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. It would probably come as quite a surprise to the founders of Western Union that their company would evolve into one of the top deposit methods for US online poker players, but maybe not as big of a surprise as some would think. After all, the point of Western Union has always been to reduce the phy sical space between individuals.
From that perspective, the founders might appreciate the way their company is now employed to allow poker players from all points on the globe to come together in a shared location to play some cards and win some money.
The Best US Poker Sites Accepting Western Union
Western Union is one of the few payment methods accepted at almost all legal US online poker sites. If a site accepts US players, then there's an excellent chance you'll be able to use Western Union to deposit at that site. Based on our extensive research, here are the top US poker sites currently accepting Western Union for deposits.
Below is our list of the best United States poker sites accepting Western Union deposits & withdrawals.
Western Union: Making Online Poker Deposits
Poker players who have never used Western Union to deposit at an online poker site accepting US players have the mistaken impression that it's difficult to make a poker deposit utilizing Western Union. The opposite is actually the case; depositing with WU is a hassle-free procedure that can be completed in a matter of minutes. For most players, using Western Union to deposit at a poker room is no more difficult that using a Visa to make a deposit.
You have two choices when it comes to playing at a poker site accepting Western Union: In-person Deposits and Online Deposits.
In-Person WU Poker Deposits
While you may have never seen a dedicated Western Union store in your neighborhood, you've almost certainly been in a location that offered Western Union services. That's because Western Union is usually located within another property, such as a department store, convenience store or grocery store. A quick search online at the Western Union website will quickly reveal multiple options for making your online poker deposit in person, often within walking distance in more urban settings.
Once you've found the Western Union location that works best for your purposes, initiate the deposit at the Western Union poker site you've chosen. You'll receive information about where to send your Western Union payment from the poker room. Take this information to the Western Union, fill out a quick form and provide your payment method (cash, debit or credit card) and you'll be finished with the first step. Western Union will provide you with transaction details that you then send to the poker site. You'll usually have access to funds deposited with Western Union in the hour following the completion of your transaction.
Online WU Poker Deposits
If there's not a Western Union outlet close to where you live, or if you simply prefer to handle transactions online, you always have the option of creating an account at the Western Union website and processing your transaction using that account.
In addition to funding your poker deposit with credit cards and debit cards, you'll also be able to fund transfers to poker sites using your bank account if you handle the deposit online. Cash deposits are not available via the online channel for Western Union.
The process for completing your deposit is the same online - give Western Union the information provided by the poker site, fund the transfer and then send your Western Union transaction information back to the poker site. Funds availability times tend to be under an hour for most poker sites accepting Western Union.
Western Union: Requesting Withdrawals From a Poker Site
You can also use Western Union to withdraw funds at many of the US poker sites accepting Western Union. For specific information about how to initiate and complete a Western Union withdrawal, contact support at the poker site. Each poker site has slightly different procedures for handling Western Union withdrawal requests, and you'll also need specific information from the site to complete the transaction with Western Union,
Important: Fees for Using Western Union for Poker Deposits
Winning poker players know that a dollar lost on fees is the same as a dollar paid in rake, and that both are the same as a dollar lost at the tables.
In fact, a dollar lost on fees is even worse than a dollar lost at the poker tables, because at least money lost to an opponent can be an investment in future potential winnings. Money you spend on deposit fees is just gone from your bankroll. With that in mind, here are some quick facts about fees that you might run into at the rooms accepting Western Union for poker deposits.
Western Union makes their money by charging people to send money from one point to the next. It's a fair enough model for the most part, but some situations result in players paying way too much in fees when they deposit using Western Union. For example, there's basically a flat fee on Western Union transfers, so you pay far more in effective fees to make an online poker deposit if you put $20 into your account as opposed to putting $200 in your account.
Western Union also generally charges higher fees for faster transfers or transfers that involve a credit card. Compare your options before you make a deposit at an online poker room with Western Union.
Another fee you'll run into using Western Union: Currency conversion fees. Clarify with poker site support what country the money is being sent to, as converting dollars to any other currency with incur a small fee from Western Union. Players should track these fees if incurred, and ask the poker room to compensate them with some sort of equivalent bonus.
Credit Card Fees
This can be a nasty one for players who deposit at a US poker site with Western Union via their credit card. While Western Union doesn't charge you any hidden fees for funding a poker site deposit using your Visa or MasterCard, your credit card company may treat the transaction as a cash advance. Depending on the terms and conditions of your credit card, you may incur fees for the advance and be subject to a higher interest rate on portion of your balance that the Western Union transaction represents.
What Is Western Union?
The service that so many poker players from the United States now turn to for online poker deposits actually started as a patchwork set of telegraph operators brought together under a single banner in 1855. A fact rarely mentioned in modern discussion of Western Union is that the company was given its moniker by Ezra Cornell, the co-founder of the Ivy League university that bears his name.
That telegraph network then gradually evolved over the next few decades into the earliest form of the money transfer service which now allows poker players to make deposits at legal US sites. Today, the company employs over a force of 7,000 from its global headquarters in Englewood, Colorado.