Making your way through the reams and reams of terms and conditions of sportsbooks and online sports betting platforms can be exhausting.
Unfortunately, it is here where you will find all the information you are looking for in most cases. Whilst many sportsbooks will break down the important points from their T&Cs in their FAQs and support centres, not all of them do.
One of the most important terms you’ll need to know as a new player at any sportsbook is what the ‘minimum deposit’ amount is. Luckily, this information is typically easy to find—bookies will often display this information quite clearly on their websites.
What is a ‘Minimum Deposit’?
A ‘minimum deposit’ is exactly what it sounds like—it is the minimum amount of money that you can deposit into your sportsbook wallet per transaction. Minimum deposit amounts can differ between payment methods. For example, PayPal minimum deposits are often higher than debit card minimum deposits because PayPal charges higher fees on payments.
It is not possible for you to make a deposit that falls under the minimum deposit amount. For example, if you wanted to deposit £5 via PayPal but the minimum deposit amount is £10 this would not be possible.
Some sportsbooks and online betting sites choose not to set any minimum deposits in a bid to pull in more customers.
Minimum Deposit Amounts Across Funding Sources
As we just mentioned, different funding sources and payment methods have different minimum deposit amounts. There are three ‘levels’ of minimum deposit amounts, the lowest, second-lowest, and highest.
Lowest Minimum Deposits — It is typically Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that attract the lowest (or no) minimum deposits. This is because cryptocurrency transfers do not involve an intermediary or any fees. Unfortunately, bookies do not widely accept crypto.
Second-Lowest Minimum Deposits — debit cards, and e-wallets (e.g. PayPal and Skrill) typically have the second-lowest fees. These often charge a fee of between 0% and 5% on transactions going from you to the sportsbook.
Highest Minimum Deposits — Other payment methods such as cheques, bank wires, and money transfers have the highest minimum deposits. This is because there is a greater hassle for sportsbooks to process these payment methods and it can cost them money to do so.
Minimum Deposit via Debit Card
Debit cards are the most popular funding methods for sportsbook customers. The minimum deposits via these methods are often between £5 and £20, however, there are exceptions to this as some sportsbooks have minimum deposits ranging between £0 and £50.
The rationale for these minimum deposits is the fact that fees are deducted from the deposit you make. So, although you deposit £5 into your account and receive £5, a smaller amount (e.g. £4.85 if there is a 3% transaction fee) may be received by the sportsbook.
Minimum Deposits Using Transfers and Cheques
Many sportsbooks allow you to deposit (and withdraw!) money using more ‘outdated’ payment methods such as paper cheques and wire transfers. If you decide to deposit using one of these methods, though, you may have to make a large deposit which can range from £20 into the hundreds (or even the thousands—it has been done!)
If a bookie does not impose a minimum deposit amount for a deposit via one of these methods, it’ll likely charge you a percentage fee on the amount you are depositing. This is because handling cheques and wire transfers involves a fair amount of hassle and work on behalf of the sportsbook and they may also incur some additional fees.
Minimum Deposits Do Not Mean Minimum Bets
Many people get minimum deposits confused with minimum bets. A minimum deposit amount of £5 does not mean you can only make bets £5 and above. On the contrary, most sportsbooks these days allow customers to make very small wagers that go down to penny amounts.
So, be sure not to get the two confused—seeing “£5 minimum deposit” advertised at a sportsbook does not mean that amount is the minimum betting amount, it is simply the minimum amount you can deposit into your account.