Canadian Banks and Online Gambling Transactions

Published: 21 May 2020

Written by: BryanL

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Not all Canadian banks process deposits intended for offshore-based online casinos.  Know where local banks stand when it comes to these transactions to make your deposits and withdrawals hassle-free.  

Knowing how to best get your money into and your winnings out of an online casino can save you time and money when the time comes to transacting.  While pretty much all of us possess a valid bank account, some Canadian banks are not that enthusiastic when it comes to processing gambling transactions.

Big Five Canadian Banks and Online Gambling Payments

Here’s the list of the big five Canadian banks and their view of online gambling transactions.

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

As the oldest financial institution in Canada, BMO supports all wagering transactions, which it treats as standard cash transactions.  According to the BMO credit card agreement, “Cash-like transactions mean transactions involving the purchase of items directly convertible into cash including wire transfers, money orders, travellers’ cheques, gaming transactions (including betting, off-track betting, racetrack wagers, casino gaming chips and lottery tickets).”

Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

Scotiabank follows a more regulated approach when it comes to online gambling transactions.  As a result, only transactions between players and certain local online gambling providers are allowed.  These include online casinos operated by a Crown Corporation, like Quebec’s EspaceJeux, Ontario’s PlayOLG and British Columbia’s PlayNow.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

CIBC’s policies are a bit of a grey area when it comes to online gambling transactions.  According to its rules and regulations, it has the right to block any transactions that it can identify as internet gambling.  Nonetheless, even though this rule exists on paper, most online wagering transactions are allowed to go through without any glitches.   

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

RBC is the bank with the most extensive coverage across Canada.  As with CIBC, the bank’s credit card agreement holds a clause that states that the bank can restrict internet gambling transactions using RBC cards.  However, using RBC credit card through a third-party payment service like e-wallets clears any obstacles to transacting with online casinos.    

Toronto Dominion Bank (TD Bank)

TD Bank has a strict approach when it comes to online gambling transactions.  Ever since 2013, it has proactively sought out and blocked a large number of credit card deposit requests with online casinos.  Nonetheless, it does allow other forms of payment methods for its account holders.   

Alternative Online Casino Payment Methods

To side-line any possible restrictions imposed by your bank regarding direct transactions with an online casino, an alternative payment method can be used. 

E-Wallets May Be the Better Option for Canadians

E-wallets are the most popular alternative payment method in Canada when it comes to online casino transactions.  This is a popular method since all the transactions are processed relatively swiftly.  However, since it functions as a third-party account, the withdrawals are subject to specific fees.

E-wallets depend on funding, so regular top-ups are required.  When you have sufficient money in your e-wallet, you can make a deposit at your preferred online casino.  Reversely, casinos can also pay out your winnings back into your e-wallet, and these transactions often tend to be instantaneous.  Once your winnings are deposited into your e-wallet, you can use them for other online purchases or reroute them back into your bank account for other types of transactions.  

Popular e-wallets in Canada that can be used at online casinos include Interac, iDebit, EcoPayz, Webmoney and MuchBetter.

Prepaid Cards

Another alternative payment method is prepaid cards.  These cards can be obtained and topped up at a large number of convenience stores, such as the 7-Eleven.  After that, you can use them at pretty much any online casino.  However, note that you won’t be able to withdraw your winnings back onto this card.  In such an instance, you can request the casino to issue you with a cheque sent via registered mail, which you can later deposit into your bank account.  Also, prepaid cards have a top-up limit of CA$500, which might not be ideal for big players.

While most Canadian banks follow specific regulations regarding online gambling transactions, loopholes in the system do exist. Making use of e-wallets and prepaid cards is one way of avoiding the tedious system restrictions.  Make sure that you familiarise yourself with your bank’s transaction policies before you hit the reels next time.

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