Canadian Banks That Allow Online Gambling
Not all Canadian banks will process deposits directly to international online casinos. While we can’t cover every independent bank and credit union here we can help players understand the ins and outs of casino banking with the ‘big five’ financial institutions in the country and reveal some simple ways to get your money into and your winnings back out of online casinos using any Canadian bank account.
Online gambling has been a provincial or territorial matter since 2009 so there are no laws at the federal level that restrict players from visiting or playing at offshore casinos. None of the provinces or territories have created any laws to prevent citizens from depositing and playing internationally either. However, one of the big banks will only process payments to and from Provincial Lottery Corp casinos – that bank is the Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) and there are mixed results when play at an Ontario operator ever since it was regulated in April 2022.
Due to a U.S. law, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) major banks such as Chase, with headquarters in America, are not able to process any gambling funds for international online gambling.
However, the bottom line is that if you want to gamble online, the most effective way is to use an instant banking method instead of using a bank provided credit card.
While sometimes you will seeing varying success depending on the operator and bank you use, this method will work with any bank you are with and allows you to effectively play at any online casino without having any worry of deposits or withdrawals being declined.
Alternatively, using an e-wallet like ecoPayz is also a great alternative but will require you to set up a third party account and isn’t as widely accepted.
Lastly, cryptocurrency is also a viable option. It can be the fastest solution but there is a bit of a learning curve if you’ve never transacted with crypto before. Some banks also prohibit transactions with crypto exchanges, so there is also another challenge you may run into if you want to convert your winnings into fiat.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look at which of the major Canadian financial institutions allow online gambling transactions and alternative options available to fund your account.
The Banks of Canada
Scotiabank will only process transactions to online gambling sites operated by a Crown Corporation such as EspaceJeux.com for Quebecers, PlayOLG.com for Ontarians, and PlayNow.com for players in British Columbia and Manitoba.
If you don’t reside in these areas, then Scotiabank stipulate in their terms and conditions:
We have the right, at any time, to block, suspend, terminate, freeze or otherwise deny access to or use of the credit account or any benefits or privileges to the credit account, all without any reason and without telling you in advance, whether or not we have terminated the Agreement or demanded on the Debt…..
We may do any of the above, even if you are not in Default or we have never done so in the past, including if:
- we are required by law, including if related to online gambling or countries that are subject to sanctions;
For more information on Scotiabank product terms and alternative payment options click here.
BMO is happy to process offshore gambling transactions and treats them as “cash-like transactions” the same as purchasing money orders or travelers checks. The BMO Mastercard cardholder agreement (.PDF) defines the term as such:
Cash-like transactions mean transactions involving the purchase of items directly convertible into cash including wire transfers, money orders, travelers cheques, gaming transactions (including betting, off-track betting, race track wagers, casino gaming chips and lottery tickets)
For more information on BMO payment options click here.
As of July of 2022, CIBC have updated their terms and conditions on their services to include gambling related transactions to be valid. For the most part, we have experienced transactions to online gaming oeprators using CIBC to go through without issue.
For example, their CIBC Credit Card terms specifies online gaming activity as “Cash-Like Transactions”:
Cash-Like Transaction means using your Account for a Transaction that is similar to cash or to acquire an item that is convertible into cash, including
Transactions related to:
• gaming, gambling and lotteries (examples: casino chips, online gaming, casino transactions, betting, wagers, lottery tickets, etc.)
• money transfer services (examples: online money transfers, wire transfers, etc.)
• negotiable instruments (examples: traveler’s cheques, money orders, etc.)
However, if we look at one of their terms written for issued debit cards, it actually specifies transactions related to withdrawals related to online gambling to be restricted:
Restricted Transactions: Your CIBC Advantage Debit Card cannot be used to receive credits for online gambling transactions, wire transfers, money transfers or gains/dividends from investment instruments.
For more details and other ways to access your CIBC funds for online gambling you can see here or below.
The RBC credit and debit card terms explicitly state they reserve the right to decline transactions related to online gambling. For example, their RBC Virtual Visa Debit agreement states:
You may not use your Virtual Visa Debit Number for any illegal, improper or unlawful purpose. We also reserve the right to prevent your Virtual Visa Debit Number from being used for certain types of transactions as determined by us, including but not limited to transactions connect to Internet gambling.
Another example is their NOMI Find & Save product terms which states:
We reserve the right to prevent your NOMI Find & Save Account from being used for certain types of transactions as determined by us, including transactions connected to internet/online gambling, except for internet/online gambling-related transactions that are offered through a lawfully established provincially run lottery corporation in Canada;
However, many of the methods discussed here will enable use of this card through a third party service.
For more information on other RBC products, their terms and conditions and alternative solutions click here.
TD Bank has been blocking many credit card deposits at online casinos since 2013 but still allows several other methods of funding. We’ll look at ways to fund your online casino account using this and other major Canadian banks in the following section;
As explicitly mentioned in their terms and conditions:
We may block use of the Card or the Account without telling you in advance if we suspect illegal, unauthorized or fraudulent use of the Account. This includes transactions relating to Internet gambling or where we have any other reasonable grounds to do so.
For more information on TD Bank payment options click here.
For information on other banking institutions and their policies with regards to online gambling, see below towards the end of this article.
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Other Ways to Fund Casinos with a Bank Account
So we can see that the fact only Scotiabank expressly prohibits the use of their Visa gift cards at any online casino not owned or operated by Provincial or Territorial agencies (.PDF), does not mean that you will always be able to deposit directly from your bank account with a Visa or MasterCard if you bank with one of the other major institutions. TD Bank, RBC, and others occasionally reject credit or debit card deposits or withdrawals.
One of the most direct methods of funding your casino account from a Canadian bank is to use an eCheck/ACH facility. With this method you would enter information found on one of your paper checks and the funds will be deposited immediately.
In order to deposit or withdraw bank funds consistently an intermediary account or eWallet is the usually the best bet. All commonly used methods are listed as follows:
If you already shop online you are probably familiar with using Interac to make purchases. The highly secure funds-transfer method also works for casino deposits AND withdrawals and many find it to be the preferred method for online gambling.
Most Canadian online casinos recognize that many customers prefer to use Interac as sensitive financial information is not revealed in the process. It’s growth in popularity is making many online casinos recognize it as a must have payment option.
Much like Interac, Instadebit is another instant payment method used to transfer funds from your bank account to a casino or other online merchant. You can also cash out your winnings via Instadebit.
Since the facility works as an intermediary, your bank will not know that you are transacting with an online casino, so even Scotiabank and small credit union customers can use this method at any online casino that offers it.
Offers instant deposits as well as withdrawals from any Canadian bank account. Players don’t need a credit card to use these services and your bank will not be aware of your transaction partner. Your funds remain at your financial institution until you transfer them. Deposits are transacted instantly but withdrawals may take a few days to process.
While most players around the world can only use this method for deposits, Canadians who are approved for Pre-Authorized Debits (PAD) can also use it to withdraw funds from an online casino.
If you see the UseMyBank logo in the casino’s banking section, simply click, enter your banking information, and deposit. The funds will be available instantly and there are no user fees.
This is rarely an attractive option for Canadian players to deposit with. Banks may refuse the transaction which can take over a week to be processed. If you have deposited with a pre-paid card or another method that does not allow withdrawals back to it, direct bank transfer is a way to collect your winnings securely.
Equally as good as the above instant banking options is utilizing cryptocurrency for online gambling transactions. The benefits of using crypto is the speed of withdrawals and sometimes, less KYC requirements.
The downside? There is a bit of a learning curve if you’ve never used crypto before and it is possible to run into issues with banks prohibiting these type of transactions if you ever want to convert your winnings back into fiat.
E-wallets are a popular alternative to instant banking because transactions to and from a casino are processed extremely fast. However, the biggest difference is that it requires you to set up a 3rd party account and transactions made to get your money out will often incur fees. Neteller used to be a very popular e-wallet used to fund your account, however, it is no longer available for Canadians to use at online casinos but there is EcoPayz, MuchBetter, Webmoney and Jeton which are great alternatives.
These wallets must first be funded, so they are more like a PayPal account that you need to keep topped off. Once your account has money in it, you can use those funds to deposit. Casinos will also payout to wallets, and these payments can be instant. You will then need to transfer the money again in order to spend it anywhere that does not accept eWallet transactions.
Another alternative is to use a prepaid card, for example, you could buy a Vanilla Prepaid card from any 7-11. You can use these type of cards to deposit funds at any casino, however, be aware that you won’t be able to withdraw back into it. In this case, you would only be able to withdraw any winnings by requesting for a cheque to be sent to your address.
Banking Institutions outside of the Big Five
Bridgewater Bank explicitly state in their service terms and conditions any form of gambling is prohibited:
Prohibited Payments. The following types of payments are prohibited through the Service, and we have the right but not the obligation to monitor for, block, cancel and/or reverse such payments:
- Payments related to gambling, gaming and/or any other activity with an entry fee and a prize, including, but notlimited to, casino games, sports betting, horse or dog racing, lottery tickets, other ventures that facilitate gambling,games of skill (whether or not it is legally defined as a lottery) and sweepstakes;
Canadian Western Bank
CWB explicitly state in their cardholder agreement terms the prohibition of gambling related transactions:
Prohibited Use of your Card: You must not use your Card or the Business Account number for any internet gambling transaction or illegal or unlawful purpose, including any Transaction prohibited by the applicable laws of the jurisdiction where you reside or of any other jurisdiction where a Card is used or where the goods or services are provided. You agree not to use your Card before the valid from date or after the expiry date indicated on the Card. If any amounts are charged on a Card before the valid from date or after the expiry date, the Business is liable for and must repay us those amounts. We reserve the right to block, stop or prevent your Card or the 8 Business Account from being used for certain types of Transactions as determined by us without advance notice to you.
Written on their website FAQ, EQ Bank state that may block online gaming transactions:
We may block transactions that we can identify as internet gambling or other cash-like transactions, as well as the following:
- Crypto/security transactions
- Government-owned lotteries (incl. Canada)
- Money transfer
- MasterCard MoneySend (intracountry, intercountry and card funding/loading)
- Quasi cash (customer financial institution and merchant)
- Horse/dog racing
Some banks allow online gambling transactions and some don’t. But the most effective way of all is to simply use any of the instant banking options instead (we recommend interac), since it will work in conjunction with any bank and avoids any possible hassle of a transaction being declined. Alternatively, you could use an E-wallet, however they aren’t as widely accepted and will often charge fees when you choose to transfer or withdraw funds. A prepaid card is also another alternative, however, withdrawals will have to be sent via cheque.
Some banks are quite strict in that if they detect transactions were made for gambling purposes, they will request for you to close your account. This seems to be more prevalent with RBC and TDC.
While it is legal to play at an online casino within Canada, banks are having to abide by a US law (the UIGEA) since many banks have head branches in the US.
Regardless of which bank you are with, we recommend using Interac. It’s fast, there aren’t any fees and payments are processed directly through your bank account (no need to set up a 3rd party account). Alternatively, any of the instant banking methods listed above are suitable as well and can be used with almost any bank account.