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).
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.
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.
For more information on Scotia 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.
CIBC reserves the right to not process gambling transactions, as seen in their credit card agreement 3.i which states “Prohibited Use of Card. CIBC may block transactions that it can identify as internet gambling.” However, most transactions go through without a problem and there are other ways to access your CIBC funds for online gambling as we’ll see below.
The RBC credit card agreement also states that they can prevent transactions connected to Internet gambling. However, many of the methods discussed here will enable use of this card through a third party service.
For more information on RBC payment options 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;
For more information on TD Bank payment options click here.
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.
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.
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.