When online gambling first became established in the late 1990s, punters had little choice to get money into their online wagering accounts. It was really a case of a debit card or a credit card or nothing else.
Happily, alternatives soon popped up. Skrill and Neteller largely established themselves via the processing online of wagering payments, and other services such as PayPal, ecoPayz, Trustly and ApplePay soon all became options too.
By 2015 mobile browsing had begun to overtake computer-based browsing and so mobile gambling began to catch up with computer-based gambling. Punters needed an easy way to get money into their online accounts via a mobile device, and several mobile phone-based payment systems emerged.
Boku is now one of the most popular ways of getting money into an online casino account using an associated mobile phone bill.
A Brief History of Boku
Boku has very humble beginnings. The company commenced operations in 2003 in Chesterfield’s small market town in the UK, under its original name of ‘Vidicom’. The company quickly grew and attracted investors, some of whom were US-based. In 2009 Vidicom moved to Delaware in the US and renamed itself Boku, at the same time buying up two smaller companies that offered similar services to themselves – Mobilcash and Paymo.
The company is now based in San Francisco in the USA, and now has agreements with around 175 global mobile phone carriers. It has continued its policy of buying up smaller, similar companies to expand its global reach. Among those purchases were Quebcell in India, Mobile view in Italy and Mopay in Germany.
As well as online casinos a number of other services accept Boku payments including Facebook, Google Play, Spotify and the Sony PlayStation store.
Boku – Pros and Cons
- Quick and convenient and easy to use.
- Good for responsible gambling as payments are limited.
- Can be used directly via mobile and online too.
- Not all online casino and carriers will process Boku payments.
- Cannot be used for withdrawals.
How to use Boku at Online Casinos
First and foremost, you do not need to open any kind of ‘Boku’ account to use Boku at an online casino. Boku is a payments facilitator, which means anyone can use their services.
Not all mobile carriers and not all mobile phone accounts are suitable for Boku payments. If you have any kind of ‘pay as you go’ account, then it is unlikely that you will be able to use Boku. Also, you will need to check that your mobile carrier allows Boku payments.
To make a deposit using Boku, head to the casino’s cashier and choose ‘Boku’ as your payment method. You will need to select the amount you wish to deposit. The maximum at the time of writing you can deposit is £/$/€30. This is a ’24 hour’ maximum so if you deposit $30 and then try and deposit $30 four hours later your second deposit will be rejected.
You will also need to enter your mobile phone number. Once you have completed this, click the confirmation button.
You should then receive an SMS from your mobile services provider, asking you to confirm the transfer. This is usually done by replying to the text with a specific word. Complete this aspect of the transfer to finish your deposit.
Once all has been completed successfully, your money will be available in your online casino account. The amount you deposited will then appear on the next bill you receive from your mobile services provider, which you can then pay as part of your normal monthly billing cycle.
Boku is not available for withdrawals. If you want to withdraw money from your online casino account, you will have to arrange for a separate payments system to do so.
There are two main benefits to the use of Boku at online casinos. The first is that payment limitation of £30 per day should help you keep control of the money you spend gambling – although you should not simply use that as a ‘crutch’ and use other means in tandem to help prevent you from falling foul of problematic gambling.
The second is the convenience factor. Although not all carriers accept Boku payments, and not all accounts are suitable, Boku is one of the best ways of using a casino cashier via your phone. It is simple to use, quick and convenient. The lack of withdrawals is an issue, but then there are always ways around that.
Remember, no matter the payment method you choose, make sure you always follow responsible gambling guidelines.
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Why can’t I use Boku to make withdrawals?
Why don’t all mobile carriers accept Boku payments?
Is Boku available is all jurisdictions?
Is Boku the only way of paying via a mobile phone bill?