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Gift and Prepaid cards are modern interpretation of gift certificates. They are bought from the retailer and loaded with pre-set amount of money. Many of them can be pre-loaded with any denomination and re-loadable for multiple use. The balance of the card is managed electronically.
Several major credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, etc.) offer cash based gift cards, which are pre-loaded debit cards that may be used anywhere the credit card type is accepted.
This method is the easiest for US gamblers. Almost every check store can provide you with such visa prepaid card and Identification Card is all you need to get one. One more advantage of this card is that you needn't wait for its activation. The fee per transaction is $1.
The whole process is like that: you go to the nearest Check Cashing Store (make sure you have a valid ID), load the card ($2-$3 fee for Loading), wait for activation and you are set to gamble.