The on/off availability of land-based casinos during various lockdowns has meant that many Canadian casino fans are now playing online instead and most are thoroughly enjoying the experience.
However, for some of you the online experience is marred by the pressing problems of trying to find legitimate online casinos that accept bank transfer payments, as well as the fact that a number of Canadian banks won’t pay them.
As this was a subject that has come onto our radar with increasing frequency, we decided to check out the state of play and to track down some solutions for you.
In Canada, online gambling, including playing at online casinos, is completely legal and has been since 1996.
Canada is also very generous in that it does not require its residents to pay any type of tax on either sports betting or casino winnings, unless you choose to declare yourself as a professional gambler that is.
Why does this payment problem exist?
When we really started looking into this issue we found that here are actually several potential answers to that question.
As we are sure you know, there are nine provinces and one territory that make up Canada and each has its own gambling laws, which are radically different. Several provinces operate their own gambling sites, like Play Now and the Atlantic Lottery.
At the end of the day, whilst almost anything goes in Quebec or Ontario, if you live in the Yukon Territory, then there is just the tiny ‘Diamond Tooth Gertie’s’ casino and very little else.
Along with the gambling laws, the powers that be can also prevent the use of certain payment methods where gambling sites are concerned. In Alberta you are free to use your credit or debit card to gamble, but on Prince Edward Island card payments to gambling sites are banned.
Banks also have their own policies where online gambling is concerned, so even when a casino accepts bank transfer as a funding method, your bank might still block the payment.
The toughest of the anti-gambling banking institutions use specialist software and manual methods to scrutinise transactions and successfully block around 50 - 70% of payments destined for online gambling sites. “If in doubt, throw it out”, would be one way to describe their policy.
Alternatives for Canadian Casino Fans
There are currently only two services that will guarantee that your casino deposits will not be intercepted and that can also be used to withdraw from your online casino account:
Bank wire is different to a bank transfer, so it is a slower and more tedious process. First you will need to arrange the transaction with your bank and pay for the privilege of completing it. Transactions usually have a substantial minimum of $75 - $100 and the money may take anything from 2 – 10 days to arrive with the recipient.
Instadebit is a relatively new service, but one that is certain to become increasingly popular with Canadian casinos and their customers. The service acts as an ‘intermediary’ between your bank and your betting site, but you do not need to load the account as you would with an ewallet.
All of the major Canadian banks support this service; all you have to do is to link your existing bank account to your Instadebit account. Payments and withdrawals are very fast, but both incur a $2 transaction fee and at present, there are only a handful of online casinos that offer Instadebit as a funding option, but that is likely to change.
There are a number of other services you could use to make a successful casino deposit, but which do not process withdrawals, including:
- American Express
Another very viable solution is using Bitcoin, provided you feel comfortable with the crypto wallet processes and are able to find an online casino that offers it as a funding source.
At the end of the day…
Of course there is more to choosing an online casino than the ways you can fund your account. Once you have overcome that problem, it’s time to have fun and we wish you all the very best Canadian luck!