Learn which Canadian banks allow gambling and the deposit / withdrawal methods they accept.
Update December 15th, 2023: Canadian banks are becoming more and more strict with gambling transactions – especially within Ontario, despite it being a regulated space – but there are some exceptions (see our list of specific Canadian banks that allow online gambling below). To deposit easily and safely in Canada, www.JackpotCity.com is a licensed iGaming casino that is compatible with deposits from BMO and CIBC, and all of their provincial branches.
What Canadian Banks Allow Online Gaming ? (Updated December 15th, 2023)
✅ Bank of Montreal (BMO)
❌ Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
✅ Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
❌ Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
❌ Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)
(✅= payments allowed to local & international sites) (❌ = payments restricted – some local payments allowed; no international websites)
[Are You In Ontario? Jump Ahead to our Ontario-Specific Section]
To answer this question fully, we must first look at Canadian financial institutions with base operations located here in the True North. It’s okay if the card issuer has additional offices in the US, so long as the main office is headquartered on Canadian soil. Five major financial institutions comprise this list. Known as the ‘Big Five Banks of Canada’, they encompass the five institutions featured in our list above.
This may not seem like a lot of banking options, but I assure you, it is. They comprise thousands upon thousands of branches all across the country. Even BMO – the smallest among them – has over 900 branches across Canada, with more than 7 million customers in its ledger.
Of these Big Five, however, only two Canadian Banks allow iGaming payments to/from both local and international casino websites. Those progressive institutions are the Bank of Montreal (BMO) and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).
RBC, Scotiabank, and TD Bank, on the other hand, expressly state in their terms that international internet gambling transactions ‘will be’, or at least ‘may be’, declined. They will transact deposits to provincially regulated operations, but not the overseas variety.
This table defines the short of it, noting which of the Big Five Banks of Canada support payments to local (provincially regulated) online casinos, and international online casinos.
Next up, we’ll take a quick look at the current, textual and contractual evidence provided by each of these banks, as provided in the cardholder and/or account holder terms and conditions. We’ll start with…
Canadian Banks That Allow Online Gambling With Offshore Operators
As previously determined, only two of Canada’s Big Five Banks – BMO and CIBC – are perfectly willing to process online casino payments for their members, even at internationally regulated gambling websites. They believe that what you do with your money is, in effect, your own business.
Here’s what they have to say about the matter.
BMO Relates Gaming with Cash-Like Transactions
BMO associates casino gaming payments, locally or internationally, with “cash-like transactions”. Here’s what a multitude of their account / cardholder agreement documents state:
“cash-like transactions mean transactions involving the purchase of items that are similar to and/or can be converted into cash. Cash-like transactions include but are not limited to: wire transfers, money orders, travellers cheques, casino gaming chips and gaming transactions (including betting, off-track betting and race track wagers), securities, government owned lottery tickets, court costs (including alimony, child support), fines, bail, bond payments and tax payments”.
Beyond this definition, BMO does not make any mention of it. There are no restrictions on cash-like transactions or gambling, online or otherwise.
A few year back, CIBC chose to eliminate the mention of online/internet gambling in its user agreements, which left the doors wide open to local and international payments. That changed in June of 2022 when new language was added. CIBC altered the verbiage surrounding iGaming transactions by redefining “Cash-like Transactions“.
The current definition of reads:
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.)
Why It Matters…
That definition alters the meaning of CIBC’s account/cardholder agreements, but only where they relate to “Debit Card” purchases. CIBC explicitly restricts the use of its debit card for gambling, online or otherwise, in its CIBC Personal Deposit Account Agreement, with this clause under Eligible Visa Debit Purchases:
“…Point of sale purchases made in Canada and “Cash-Like Transactions” are not considered to be an Eligible Visa Debit purchase… For more information, consult with a CIBC banking representative to determine whether any given Visa Debit transaction is eligible for the Offer…”
Furthermore, Section 7 of the Agreement states:
7. Provisions for CIBC Advantage Debit Card Only … g) 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.
But CIBC Gambling Deposits Still Work (Usually)
Yes, CIBC is still on our list of eligible banks for iGaming in Canada. Their definitions and disclosures give CIBC the right to decline any debit card payment related to real money gambling. It doesn’t mean that all payments will be declined. The success rate of CIBC deposits is actually quite high; if not by debit card, then by other means, such as online banking (Interac, iDebit, InstaDebit, etc.)
Big Five Banks that Don’t Allow Online Gambling Outside Canada
RBC, Scotiabank, and TD all state that gaming purchases may be declined. We’ve taken a microscope to each of their T&Cs to show what they will and won’t (or might not) allow. This information is current as of May 2023.
THE CONDENSED VERSION
What the below context boils down to is this. Members of RBC, Bank of Nova Scotia, and TD who reside in a province where iGaming is locally regulated can use their bank accounts to fund gaming at those locally legal and regulated websites. BC and Manitoba residents can make payments to Playnow.com. Those in Quebec can transfer funds to/from Espacejeux.com. Ontarians can fund any iGO-licensed gaming account, etc., etc… But if any RBC/Scotiabank/TD account holder, anywhere in Canada, attempts to use their account to fund an international online casino, the payment will (most likely) be declined.
“…we reserve the right to prevent your 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 which are offered through a lawfully established provincially run lottery corporation in Canada;”
The Bank of Nova Scotia, aka Scotiabank, will only facilitate payments in which the deposit is going to one of Canada’s provincially regulated iGaming websites. Payments to/from an international online casino are not supported.
“We reserve the right to prevent use of your account without notifying you in advance if we suspect illegal, unauthorized or fraudulent use of the account, including transactions relating to illegal internet gambling.”
For clarification, online betting is not “illegal” in Canada. However, this clause applies because when the activity occurs with an operator located outside of Canada, it is considered “unauthorized”.
“Only online gambling transactions conducted at gaming sites owned and operated by Provincial/Territorial Governments/agencies can be authorized. All other online gambling transactions will be declined.”
Like RBC, payments to locally regulated gambling sites are accepted, but offshore online casino payments are off limits.
TD Canada Trust – the personal banking division of TD Bank that remains headquartered in Canada – has multiple user and cardholder agreement documents that state internet gambling transactions may get declined. Its rules state:
“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.”
While some payments do make it through, don’t be surprised if your online casino deposits are rejected by TD Bank, even if you’ve had success depositing in the past.
Things are a little different in Ontario, these days. Provincial leaders took steps to expand into a competitive market with strict regulation and licensing. That market went live in April 2022, and is a primary force behind Canadian banks amending their agreements in relation to gambling transactions.
BMO and CIBC already permit iGaming payments. Each of the remaining Big Five have language in their terms permitting transactions to local and iGaming.
RBC restrictions exclude: “…internet/online gambling related transactions which are offered through a lawfully established provincially run lottery corporation in Canada”.
Scotiabank only excludes: “…illegal, unauthorized or fraudulent…transactions relating to illegal internet gambling”.
TD similarly excludes: “…illegal, unauthorized or fraudulent use of the Account…relating to Internet gambling”.
Accepted Canadian Bank Payment Methods
If you hold an account with any of the above-listed Canadian banks that allow internet wagering – BMO or CIBC – you have several handy options for making payments. These include credit/debit cards, eChecks, and/or other EFT-style payment options, such as bank transfers, the e-Transfer service named Interac, Trustly, and online banking in general.
Each of these banks can issue Visa credit cards to their account holders. Visa cards are acceptable forms of payment at most online casinos, so feel free to use them for deposits. Likewise, Visa debit cards are available to all account holders, and are also eligible for use at most iGaming sites.
eCheck / EFT deposits are the equivalent of writing a paper cheque but without the paper and pen. They work by entering the bank’s name, transit number, and institution number, along with your bank account number; all things found on your paper cheques. Again, the payments are instant, but you cannot use them for withdrawals.
Bank transfers are another popular form of deposit. Plus, you can often use them to facilitate withdrawals. The biggest problem with a bank transfer is that it may come with a sizable fee. You’ll need to ask your bank about that. And when it comes to withdrawals, there may be rather high ‘minimum cashout’ requirements, sometimes running as high as $500+. Be sure to check the online casino’s cashier policies to confirm that information.
Alternative Payments for Non-iGaming Banks
If you’re a member of RBC, Scotiabank, TD Bank, or any other North American financial institution that doesn’t take kindly to gaming-related fund transfers, you still have a few options. Of course, you could open an account with any of the Canadian banks that allow online gambling payments, but that’s really not necessary. Here’s a list of alternative payment methods you can use, even if your bank doesn’t allow casino deposits.
InstaDebit / iDebit
InstaDebit and iDebit payments are a great way to fund your online casino account through just about any Canadian bank, without having to worry about declination. These are trusted third-party processing entities that ensure the money gets where it needs to go – without telling your bank where it’s going to, or coming from.
Web Wallets / eWallets
Web Wallets like MuchBetter and Apple Pay are another good alternative to direct banking. With a web wallet, you can upload funds from your bank, then transfer those funds to the online casino. When you request a withdrawal, you’ll send the money right back into the eWallet. From there, you can transfer it back into your bank. It will take a few extra days to move all that money around, and yes, there are fees for using some of their services, but you can’t beat eWallets for reliability.
Cryptocurrency is another option that’s becoming more and more popular in the global internet gambling community. With the introduction of crypto wallets (hardware and software) and the stability that comes with virtual currency, casinos such as these are able to appeal to a wider audience. Crypto includes a wide range of digital coins (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Tether, etc.) Dealing in crypto is different than traditional forms of money.
is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.