Banking is a critical part of your online gaming experience regardless of whether you are a sports bettor or casino game player. No matter the online sportsbook or casino you choose to use in Canada, you have to be able to move money around.
Without the ability to deposit money into your account, you cannot bet on anything and the site cannot take its cut to stay in business. Similarly, if you can’t receive your hard-earned winnings, you’re not going to keep playing, and the site is going to lose all its customers (and likely get into regulatory trouble).
So, with that in mind, let’s discuss the banking methods that you may find as you peruse your online gaming options.
Debit or credit cards
The first and likely most common methods to deposit and withdraw money from an online sportsbook or casino are through your debit or credit cards. Simply put, the modern world runs on plastic, and gaming sites are, for the most part, online merchants like Amazon, eBay, or any other e-retailer.
So, if you use a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, you will find options to deposit and withdraw on most of Canada’s gaming sites. If you prefer to use your Maestro debit card or your American Express, you may find selected sites that accept transactions from those companies.
However, be aware that some financial institutions and issuing banks will decline requests to gambling merchants – particularly if you’re trying to use a credit card. It’s often a good idea to have a backup method in mind before you try a credit card. Here are the methods you can use:
- American Express
- Diners Club
Electronic wallets, or e-wallets, are an extremely popular vehicle for funding online gambling transactions. They essentially act as a way station or middle man between your primary financial institution and the online merchants you choose to frequent, gambling or otherwise.
Although the notion of an intermediary might seem nefarious, the truth of the matter is that there are several reasons for using an e-wallet. For one thing, you may have more options for depositing into an e-wallet account than you do via a direct infusion into your account. Electronic wallets can also provide a layer of insulation and security between direct access to your financial details and your chosen online sportsbook or casino.
Here are the e-wallets that you’re most likely to find on your chosen gaming sites in Canada:
- Click to Pay
Electronic cheques, or e-cheques, are a popular banking option because they are fast and, better yet, easy to understand. After all, we’ve all written out the paper version before. Granted, it may have been a while, but it’s in our memories.
E-cheques function the exact same way, except without the paper. Instead, the casino or sportsbook sends the information through a clearinghouse and transfers the money accordingly. Where a paper cheque may have taken days to clear, an e-cheque can have you playing within minutes. Here are the most common varieties of e-cheques:
- Instant eChecks
Online bank transfers
Online bank transfers or online bill pay has become a favourite way for many people to move money around, irrespective of where they’re moving it. Unsurprisingly, this preference extends to online gambling in Canada.
The most popular method of making these kinds of transfers in Canada is Interac, an interbank network that connects many of the country’s largest banks and various financial institutions. You will also find options for other online banking services, but they are not as plentiful as Interac. Here are the online bank transfer operators that you may find on Canadian online gambling sites:
Prepaid cards are another popular option for Canadians to use for their online casino and sportsbook transactions. Essentially, they act in an identical manner to gift cards.
However, one advantage that some of them offer is speed – particularly with regard to the cards that are branded for your chosen casino or book. A branded card will often yield the fastest transactions of any method, and will do so with very few restrictions or hurdles. Here are the most common brands of prepaid cards you’ll find eligible to use:
Electronic payment processors
Electronic payment processors are essentially stripped-down online banks, where they serve merely as the electronic equivalent of a safety deposit box. There is quite a bit of overlap between these methods and e-wallets, to be honest. We could probably move several of the options in that group to this one, and vice versa.
The biggest difference is that you may eliminate the middleman step when you use one of these processors to make a deposit or withdrawal. Although they can hold some cash for you, they primarily serve to facilitate your transaction to its natural conclusion. Here are the payment processors that you’ll find – in some form – with Canada’s gaming sites.
- Luxon Pay
Bank wire transfers
Lastly, some online casinos or sportsbooks in Canada may accept wire transfers from banks. Despite their somewhat-antiquated nature, some bettors still prefer to swear out a wire order and have the money sent through in this kind of service.
One caveat for using a wire transfer, however, is that they often come with higher minimums than the other methods. So, if you’re looking for a low-cost option, a wire transfer is probably not the right solution.
Banking options should be part of your site selection
Banking is the lifeblood of online gaming sites. They cannot exist without them. However, what is most important is that you find a roster of banking options with your chosen sites that work for your own financial situation.
It is incumbent upon you to check out the deposit and withdrawal options before you get too involved with a particular site. The last thing you want to do is put some of your money in limbo while you try to figure out a way to deposit it or get it back.
It is perfectly acceptable, therefore, to gauge a sportsbook or casino’s worth partly by virtue of its range of banking methods. Some sites – even some of the big names – are woefully anemic in their options, and you’re only setting yourself for a terrible hassle if you aren’t mindful of the situation with your cashier.