The Ins and Outs of Online Sports Betting with PayPal

There’s a huge range of deposit methods available at all leading online sportsbooks, but few are as popular as PayPal. Long gone are the days when only a handful of bookies accepted the e-Wallet as a payment method. Nowadays punters often look out for the PayPal logo attached to an online sportsbook, not just to ensure the betting site accepts PayPal, but for the legitimacy and trust that association with the brand brings. PayPal has publicly stated it will only work with sports betting sites that work to the same properly licensed and regulated standard as itself, so customers feel safe making bets with an operator associated with the brand.

Bet with PayPal at Betway
Best Operator for Paypal Payments UK Gambling Commission
Best PayPal Betting Site
  • ● £10 min. deposit
  • ● £30 welcome bonus
  • ● no fees
  • ● instant deposits
  • ● no deposit limits
  • ● quick withdrawals

It hasn’t necessarily been a smooth transition to achieving a perfect unity between PayPal and sports betting operators however. In 2003, the company voluntarily withdrew from being a valid payment method between gambling sites and their customers. In 2010, it resumed its service for online betting sites in countries where gambling is legal and only to businesses that were properly licensed and regulated. This helped to bring an air of legitimacy to the online sports betting world and PayPal has been one of the most popular payment methods ever since. All the bookmakers reviewed here offer it as a payment option and usually at least one other e-Wallet service, but PayPal remains by far the most popular.

Deposits, Fees, Limits and Processing Times

Deposit and withdrawal limits seem to fall into two categories. Minimum limits are generally either £5 or £10 for both deposits and withdrawals, though Betfair offers up an anomaly here with £1 the minimum withdrawal amount. Withdrawals at half of the bookmakers max out at around £5000 or £8000. With the other half however, the maximum limits for both depositing and withdrawing are dependent on a user‘s PayPal limits, rather than at the bookie specifically. There are strict Know Your Customer (KYC) steps taken by both the e-Wallet and online sportsbooks these days, as part of money laundering prevention efforts. Just what limits will be allowed with these betting sites will be subject to different criteria. For this reason, usually you will have to withdraw with the same method as you deposited with, when withdrawing an amount outside of definitive limits set by an operator. So if you’ve made a deposit with PayPal and are wanting to make a large withdrawal, it’s very likely it would have to be made with the same payment option.

Another great thing about PayPal payments is that they are instantly deposited into your online sportsbook account so you can make bets even faster. Withdrawal times are a little longer though. At their quickest, with Paddy Power, they can take just 4 hours, although most bookies promise within 24 hours, such as at Betfair, Bet365, William Hill and Coral. The longest times stated are at BetVictor and 888 Sport, where withdrawals could take up to three business days. The processing times are also a big attraction, especially among those who are general fans of e-Wallets. The time frames each bookie gives are a range to cover them in the event of an unusually long processing time taking place and in reality most withdrawals will be completed within 24 hours. So there’s not much to differentiate the operators when it comes down to it.

Operator Processing Time Limits min/max Fees More info
instant £5 – £5500 Betfair
24 hours £1 – £5000
instant £5 – £15,000 Paddy Power
1-4 Hours £10 – £5000
instant £10 – £5500 William Hill
24 Hours £5 – £5500
instant £5 – £8000 BetVictor
1-3 Business Days £10 – £8000
instant £10 – £5500 Bet365
24 hours £10 – £5500
instant £10 – no limit Coral
24 hours £5 – no limit
instant £10 – no limit Betway
48 Hours £10 – no limit
instant £10 – £99,999 Ladbrokes
6 Hours £10 – no limit
instant £10 – no limit 888Sport
2-3 Business Days £10 – no limit
instant £5 – no limit Betfred
48 Hours £5 – £5000

Another great thing about the popularity of PayPal is that the associated fees are handled by the operators, rather than being passed onto the punter. This is because the sports betting sites know the value of offering it as a payment option and so absolve the charges themselves, rather than choosing to not have it at all or to pass the fees onto punters. With the bookmakers reviewed on this site, there are no charges on their end when it comes to PayPal payments.

How Secure is Online Betting With PayPal?

While PayPal’s ease of use and simplicity has helped it become so successful, it wouldn’t have achieved it without being a secure and safe system. Security then, is another aspect that has drawn many to become regular users of the payment system. The very process of paying via PayPal gives users peace of mind. When depositing at an online sportsbook, you’ll never have to share any financial information with them. You can simply enter your log in details to confirm the transaction. The beauty is that this process is both simple and safe, but there are a few things to pay attention to. Firstly, you should always ensure that the website you are on is protected. You’ll know whether the protection is active through the address of the website. Look out for HTTPS at the start of the address bar, which signals that data is being encrypted. Some of the sportsbooks encrypt all data on the site, while with others encryption protection kicks in when personal data is being sent or received, such as when making a deposit or withdrawal or when making bets.

The range of security features with PayPal

It’s also obviously a good idea to keep your password safe. Passwords should typically be around 10 characters long and have a mix of numbers as well as upper and lower case letters. Make sure that you are on an encrypted site whenever entering your log-in details and be sure not to share your password with anyone. There is of course lots more relevant information when it comes to security, especially around keeping your details and information safe from phishing attempts. These usually come in the form of rogue emails asking you to divulge your log in details. This should not be done at any cost so it’s important to know what to look out. The PayPal help page has lots of information about how to spot phishing attempts and what you can do to prevent them. You can also report any emails you believe to be phishing emails directly to PayPal who will investigate the issue and attempt to quickly shut down those responsible. This also helps to keep the company updated about current phishing attempts so it can inform its users on what to look out for.

Costs for Using PayPal

While there are rarely charges on the bookie’s end for using PayPal, unfortunately there are fees for sending and receiving money with your account in many instances. This is the one area where PayPal loses out significantly to other popular payment methods, such as credit or debit card. We’ve tried to break down the fees you’ll encounter as much as possible below. But there are also ways to minimise the amount paid on fees as well, which can help to make some considerable savings.

Fees for Using PayPal Payments Within the UK Payments to Northern Europe* Payments to USA, Canada & Europe I** Payments to  Europe II***
PayPal Balance/Bank Account Free 0.4% 0.5% 1%
Credit or Debit Card 3.4% + 20p 3.8% + fixed fee 3.9% + fixed fee 4.4% + fixed fee
* Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland (including Aland Islands), Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
** Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, France (including French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion and Mayotte), Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom (including Channel Islands and Isle of Man), Vatican City State.
*** Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.

As you can see from the table above, how much you will pay depends on a few different criteria. Fees can change depending on where you are located, where you are sending a payment to and which currency you are sending. Ultimately, it pays to transfer money using your PayPal balance or by using a bank account that is linked to your account. This takes just a minute to do and is well worth it, since it can make payments free from added costs and also speeds up the process of making payments.

Overview of the Business

The Company at a Glance
PayPal's headquarters
Company Name PayPal Holdings, Inc.
Headquarters San Jose, California, USA
Founded 1998
Parent Company eBay (until 2015)
Users 173m
Revenue US $9.24bn (2015)
Regulator Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF)

Founded in 1998, PayPal has been one of the most successful firms to come out of the internet boom period of the late 20th Century. It was initially established as Confinity, a software company that developed security software for mobile devices. The company existed initially as a money transfer service at Confinity, launched in 1999. Shortly after, in 2000, Confinity merged with an online banking company called The new entity decided to focus on the money transfer aspect of PayPal and renamed itself PayPal in 2001, expanding rapidly and becoming public in 2002.

Key to its success was its acquisition by eBay for $1.5bn in July 2002, shortly after going public. PayPal was already the most popular payment option utilised on eBay and its use skyrocketed afterwards. It returned to being an independent company in 2015. There are currently over 173 million active users in 203 markets and there are offices in the USA, Luxembourg and Singapore. Regulation has always been an interesting area for the company, since its services are primarily electronic money transfer and not those of a bank. Despite this, PayPal was granted a Luxembourg banking licence in 2007, allowing it to conduct banking business in the European Union. This means that in Luxembourg and Europe, it is regulated as a bank by the banking supervisory authority in Luxembourg, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF). In the UK, it was previously registered and licensed as an Electronic Money Issuer under the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), but the Luxembourg licence and regulation now applies to all the company’s European activity. Since splitting from eBay in 2015 the company has continued to go from strength to strength. Though there were some initial mixed reports on revenues immediately after the split, PayPal have since continued moving forward, acquiring numerous companies and start ups to add to its roster and to help improve its overall service.

Are There Any Reasons Not to Use PayPal for Betting?

Like with most things in life, there are both pros and cons to using PayPal. While it offers an excellent level of buyer and seller protection, PayPal is not a bank and therefore not subject to the same requirements when it comes to compensation or protecting its customers. Many customers have also reported blockages or limitations placed on their accounts, which have restricted the ability to send or withdraw funds. These often occur with a freeze placed on accounts, which will temporarily freeze all the funds in any account while an investigation is carried out. This can be a serious issue if you have a lot of money in your account that is suddenly frozen. While these are of course part of the company’s policy and designed to protect customers and their money, there have been many occasions where accounts have been locked seemingly with little reason and for a fairly long duration of time. UK customers may also be a little wary of the fact that the company is licensed in Luxembourg and has no specific UK licence, after previously being under the watch of the FSA in the UK.

Of course, there are alternatives to using PayPal. Many other leading e-Wallets even have lower fees. Our recommendation is Skrill. There are many benefits to using Skrill compared to other e-Wallets. Both sending and receiving money with Skrill is totally free. Sending payments to another Skrill account does come with fees, but it is just 1% of the amount sent and the charge is capped at £10. The only downsides are that in some cases, transferring funds into your Skrill wallet may be subject to fees, as are withdrawals to a bank account. These are very low however, with most methods that are subject to charges being around 1%. Some popular methods, such as Maestro, are totally free. Withdrawals are charged at a flat rate, which is £2.37 for withdrawals via Visa. In any case, the fees at Skrill are certainly lower, which is more than enough to attract millions to use its service.

Conclusion – The Smart Way to Deposit at Sportsbooks

With so many payment options available at most online sportsbooks, punters really are spoilt for choice when it comes to depositing and withdrawing funds. The popularity and advantages of offering PayPal as a payment option are such that all leading operators offer it as a payment option and none of those reviewed here charge for depositing with it. This is great news for PayPal fans, since they can concentrate on other important criteria for an online bookmaker, rather than having to search around for an operator who supports it as a payment method. With this in mind, you can consider the other betting sites who have performed well in our tests, alongside our favourite PayPal operator, Betway. BetVictor has the best odds of all the bookies reviewed, while Bet365 is our overall winner.

Bet365 - the best sports betting operator
  • no PayPal fees
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Secure payment with:PaypalLicensed byGovernment of Gibraltar


Why can I not withdraw with PayPal?

With some bookmakers, you must withdraw via the same method that you deposited funds. It is likely that if you are unable to withdraw using PayPal, it is due to the deposit being made via a different payment method. Some operators will allow you to use a different withdrawal method, but only if your balance is under a certain threshold. Always check the operators FAQs or contact their live chat for more information and their specific withdrawal policy.