What Canadian Banks Allow Online Gambling ?
Learn which Canadian banks allow online gambling and the deposit / withdrawal methods they accept.
Update May 4th, 2023: Canadian banks are becoming more and more strict with online gambling transactions – especially within Ontario, despite it being a regulated space – but there are some exceptions (see our list below of specific banks to avoid). 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 May 4, 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)
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 online gambling 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 online gambling 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.
[Are You In Ontario? Jump Ahead to our Ontario-Specific Section]
Big Five Banks of CA
Local Online Casinos
Int’l 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 Casino Deposits w/ 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 online gambling 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.
- Learn More: Gambling Online with a BMO Account in Canada
CIBC Updates Agreement – iGaming Transactions Continue
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 online gambling in Canada. Their definitions and disclosures give CIBC the right to decline any debit card payment related to online 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.)
- Learn More: Using a CIBC Bank Account for Online Gambling
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.
You will find an extended Canadian banking list here, to see if your credit and debit cards are supported.
RBC Online Gambling Deposits Restricted to Local Only
The Royal Bank of Canada will happily process your online gambling deposits, but only if they’re going to provincially authorized and regulated online casinos.
The RBC Personal Account User Agreement (updated August 2022) states:
“…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;”
- Learn More: How to Pay for Online Gambling with RBC Bank
Scotiabank Says ‘No’ to Online Gambling Abroad
The Bank of Nova Scotia, aka Scotiabank, will only facilitate online gambling 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.
Scotiabank outlines its stance in a variety of ways, including this statement, which is found in the very first paragraph of its membership notice, entitled General Information about Personal Accounts:
“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 gambling 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”.
Scotiabank Gift Cards and Prepaid Cards are also prohibited from use for online casino deposits. The Scotiabank Visa Prepaid Card Holder Agreement clearly states:
“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 Bank Internet Casino Deposits
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.
Learn More: Functional Methods to Pay for iGaming with TD Bank
Banks Make Exceptions for Ontario iGaming Market
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.
Accepted Canadian Bank Payment Methods
If you hold an account with any of the above-listed Canadian banks that allow online gambling transactions – 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 online gambling 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 online gambling-related fund transfers, you still have a few options. Of course, you could open an account with another bank that allows iGaming 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 online 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.
We suggest the following guide for more information:
Domestic vs. International Websites – What’s the Big Deal?
Online gambling can be a sore subject in Canada. Players love it, and many provinces encourage their citizens to participate at their respective, self-regulated iGaming websites. At the same time, those governments disdain the use of international online casinos. It’s not illegal, mind you, but it sure cuts into their provincial cash flow.
Since internet gambling isn’t illegal, you might assume that all Canadian banks support online gambling payments. That is not the case. Most financial institutions headquartered here in Canada – emphasis on most – have no problem facilitating online gambling deposits and withdrawals. They may, however, disprove of doing so with offshore operators. Then there are banks with headquarters to the south, operating under the regulation of our American neighbors. They’re the ones that have been throwing the biggest wrench into it for years.
Why Are Canadian Banks Wary of iGaming Transfers?
The problem started with a now-antiquated piece of US legislation known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or UIGEA. Enacted in late 2006, the UIGEA made it illegal for US banks to knowingly facilitate monetary transfers for international (i.e. illegal) online gambling websites. Simply put, the US government failed to enforce illegal online gambling, so it laid the blame, and threat of penalty, on its own banks.
As a result, many US-based credit card companies put a quick stop to it. They refused to process any payment in connection with online gambling, for fear of getting in trouble with the federal government. Unfortunately, even if you live in Canada, you won’t be able to use certain credit cards, such as a Chase-branded Visa, to deposit at an online casino. The transaction will be declined, leaving you searching for an alternative deposit method.
As you may know, American laws have changed in the last 15+ years. Several US states now offer legal, regulated online casino gambling, just like most provinces of Canada. You would expect this to alleviate the problem, but it hasn’t. With internet gambling still illegal in many US states, most financial companies would prefer to keep their blanket ban on iGaming payments, than risk facilitating an illegal transfer.
|In Short:||Sometimes, yes. Check with your carrier to find out.|
Some mobile carriers will require you to set-up auto-pay in order to use its pay by phone service. you can contact your carrier to find out, or try to make a deposit and see if it works. If necessary, setting up auto-pay is quick and painless. Just contact your carrier’s support and ask to set it up. Note that you’ll need a bank account or debit card to do so.
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About the Author
Adalene Lucas: 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.