US-facing online casinos don’t exactly feature a robust selection of deposit methods. Most gaming sites only offer a couple of credit cards and Bitcoin as banking options.
However, you can find some alternatives when depositing at US-friendly casinos. One of these options is an MST Gift Card.
If you have no idea what an MST Gift Card is, then don’t feel bad. This payment option was created specifically for online gaming and isn’t available to general shoppers.
You may be skeptical about using such a niche option. That said, I’m going to discuss more about MST Gift Cards and offer advice on if you should consider them.
What Are MST Gift Cards?
But there’s just one problem with Visa and MasterCard deposits: they get rejected around half the time.
Both companies are leery of the UIGEA, which creates headaches for financial intermediaries that freely process gambling transactions.
MST Gift Cards are a direct solution to this dilemma. Those who worry about having their credit deposits denied can turn to MST cards, which are almost always accepted.
The weird thing about these gift cards is that they’re not available for general shopping purposes.
Websites and stores don’t sell MST Gift Cards. Instead, they’re created specifically for online casinos.
How to Deposit at Online Casinos with MST Gift Cards
The first step to depositing with these gift cards is finding a gaming site that supports them. This payment option isn’t the most popular in online gambling, but it’s available, nonetheless.
The Main Street Group, which runs many Realtime Gaming (RTG) slots and table games, is one notable company that features MST.
These cards work differently than the average payment method, because you can’t immediately access them from the banking section. Instead, you must contact email customer support for an invitation to use them.
Customer service will email you instructions for buying and using MST Gift Cards. The email will feature a link that you follow to get one of these cards.
Pros of Depositing with MST Gift Cards
These gift cards offer a few benefits that make them worth considering when available. Here are the primary benefits to making MST Gift Card casino deposits.
High Success Rate
Unlike credit cards or e-wallets, this payment option was created with online casinos in mind. You can likely look forward to a 100 percent success rate when funding your account.
The possibility exists that your deposit could be rejected for some strange reason/glitch. But you can generally almost always expect an MST Gift Card deposit to work.
These cards are essentially like debit or credit cards in terms of speed. Once you input the gift card number and deposit, your funds will be available immediately.
As I’ll cover later, the process of using MST Gift Cards is a bit annoying. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to wait for funds after initiating a deposit.
Perhaps you don’t want your gambling deposits to be seen by anybody else. In this case, MST Gift Cards are a great way to keep your gaming habit under wraps.
Additionally, MST cards leave no trail after a deposit is made. You can clear related emails out of your inbox to remove all evidence of any casino deposits.
Good for Low Rollers
If you’re a low roller, then you’ll appreciate the limits on MST Gift Cards. They range in value from $5 to $500.
This option is nice for when you don’t want to move hundreds of dollars to an online casino. You can purchase one of these cards for a small amount and quickly start playing for low stakes.
Cons of Depositing with MST Gift Cards
MST cards aren’t perfect by any means. In fact, they have some notable downsides, which you can check out below.
Time Consuming Process
You can just visit a casino’s cashier section and start funding your account with most banking options. MST Gift Cards differ, though, by forcing you to first contact customer support.
You must then deal with a couple of emails — one involving instructions for using the card and another after you’ve purchased one.
Finally, you can proceed to making a deposit. If you don’t like dealing with extra hassles during the deposit process, then you won’t be a huge fan of MST Cards.
High Fees Relative to Transactions
As mentioned before, these cards are good for low rollers. However, they’re not exactly the most economically efficient banking option.
You have to pay around a $5 fee to buy them. This amount won’t break your bankroll, but it’s high relative to the purchase price.
You can get value when buying a $500 card, because $5 only accounts for 1 percent of the transaction. However, the average player doesn’t make $500 online gambling deposits.
Inconvenient for High Rollers
The $500 cap on MST Gift Cards may appeal to most players. However, it’s not enough for the true high rollers, some of whom deposit thousands of dollars.
What’s more is that MST doesn’t allow gamblers to take full advantage of welcome bonuses. Some US-friendly sites offer “sticky bonuses” worth up to $10,000. An MST card doesn’t come close to enabling one to gain max value from such deals.
One reason why banks, Bitcoin, and e-wallets are popular casino banking methods is because they can be used for deposits and cashouts.
MST Gift Cards, however, can’t be used for withdrawals. If you deposit with this option, you must find another method for withdrawals.
Not Widely Supported
Even if you’re fine with all of these drawbacks, you may not be able to use MST Gift Cards anyways. The vast majority of online casinos don’t offer them as a payment option.
You’ll even have trouble finding them at US-friendly gaming sites. This aspect is odd when considering that they solely exist to get around the UIGEA.
Alternatives to MST Gift Cards
Interested in other options for funding your casino account? Here are some other deposit methods that are found at US online casinos.
Automated Clearing House (ACH) allows you to send eChecks to an online casino. This process lets you fund your gaming account directly through your bank.
One drawback is that ACH isn’t available at most US-friendly gaming sites. When it is available, you still run the risk of the bank rejecting the deposit.
Bitcoin (BTC) is my personal recommendation for depositing at US-friendly gaming sites. It’s relatively anonymous and decentralized.
Downsides to BTC include its fluctuating value and learning curve. But if you can deal with the price swings, then BTC is a great option for online casino banking.
Assuming you’re from Europe, South America, or elsewhere, then e-wallets are handy ways to deposit and withdraw funds.
Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to wire money to a gaming site via an agent. The benefit here is that you’re using a trusted service to complete fast deposits.
Final Verdict on MST Gift Card Online Gambling Deposits
MST Gift Cards became available at a time when the UIGEA was really hampering the gaming industry. They’ve allowed certain casinos to bypass this law and still connect with American players.
They let you quickly fund your account with more anonymity than a bank, credit card, or e-wallet. You can also look forward to all of your deposits being completed, rather than turned away.
However, MST Gift Cards are losing some relevancy today. They’re not available at most casinos and carry relatively high fees.
If you want anonymous deposits without the possibility of rejection, then Bitcoin is a more-suitable alternative. Far more gaming sites accept BTC than these cards.
Nevertheless, MST Gift Cards are still worth considering as a US player. They don’t fluctuate like Bitcoin and are still valid deposit methods when available.