22 Nov

Hit or Miss Payments with Amex Casino Deposits in Canada

Review of Amex Casinos Canada and Best Alternative Payment Methods for Players met with Rejection in 2023.

Amex Casinos CanadaNo mater what the situation, none of us like rejection. It’s a terrible feeling. It leaves us with a sense of inadequacy, as if we’re not good enough, not intelligent enough, not rich or worthy enough. I’m not just talking about relationships or loan applications, either. For many online casino players, attempting to use a credit card to make a deposit can be a difficult thing.

Years ago, American Express (AmEx) casino deposits were extremely popular. Thanks to laws in certain jurisdictions—particularly in the USA—Amex deposits are now among the most commonly rejected. Not just for US players, either; for Canadians as well.

The problem has become so widespread that many online casino operators, even the largest, most reputable ones, have stopped advertising AmEx as a viable payment option. Some casinos do still list this popular credit card, but even then, there’s every chance a player’s deposit won’t go through.

AmEx Casinos Canada 2023

Casinos in Canada Age LimitAccording to my own research, over the last three years, the number of online gambling destinations that accept Canadian players and promote AmEx as an eligible banking option has dropped over 30%, from about 50 to just 31. What I’ve also noticed, unfortunately, is that so many of them carry a licence from places like Kahnawake, Costa Rica, Curacao, or Panama.

Kahnawake Casinos: For the moment, Canadian players are more than welcome to play at sites regulated in Kahnawake. It’s an esteemed gambling commission with a long-standing reputation for enforcing regulatory compliance. It is among the world’s oldest iGaming regulators, dating back to June 1996. However, it’s located on the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, Canada. Current legal stipulations state that no online gambling service that’s not authorized by a Canadian government is allowed to accept Canadian players, if it has a physical presence in Canada.

Since Kahnawake is a sovereign, tribal nation, there’s been no legal challenge in the court system; at least, not yet. Kahnawake is technically still a part of Canada, so it could become a legal issue at any moment. Until then, the websites are a viable option for depositing with AmEx – if the payment goes through, that is.

South American Casinos: As for Costa Rica, Curacao, and Panama, and other South American licensures, regulation is sketchy at best. These governments don’t actually do anything in terms of regulating their online gambling licence holders. An operator could be perfectly honest, or reprehensibly corrupt. The truth is, they won’t get in trouble for fraudulent or illegal activity, should they go that route. For this reason, licences from these jurisdictions are generally acquired by operators that want to access black markets, like the USA. They certainly aren’t all bad, but the lack of regulation makes it hard for me to trust or recommend them.

Why AmEx Casino Deposits are Often Denied

No Amex Casino DepositsIf you’re able to deposit with AmEx, and the payment is successful, great! It does happen. It’s just not common anymore. AmEx began backpedaling from the online gambling industry when the US passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in late 2006.

This law made it illegal for US financial institutions to facilitate payments for online gambling services. In fact, the threat of prosecution weighed so heavily, even after some US states regulated online casinos, AmEx still refused to participate in those jurisdictions.

The company doesn’t willingly process payments for Canadian customers, either. (By willingly, I mean if AmEx knows it’s an online gambling site, they will decline the payment.) It’s not because online gambling is illegal in Canada – it’s not. The problem is that American Express headquarters are in New York. Therefore, even though the service is rendering outside the country, the processing of gambling payments is still occurring, to some extent, on US soil.

It’s also worth noting that AmEx does not allow card holders to use the service at land-based casinos. According to the Canadian version of the American Express Reward Card Cardholder Agreement:

The card cannot be used for recurring billing, such as utilities and subscriptions, at casinos, for cash or cash equivalents or for transactions requiring a pre-authorization for less than the full value of the transaction (such as some car rental and cruise line transactions), or for any other transactions, merchants and/or merchant industries that we may determine.

Alternative Payment Methods to AmEx

As I said, there’s nothing wrong with trying to make an Amex deposit at Canadian casinos. If, however, that payment is declined, there are some good alternatives you can try.

Visa credit/debit card deposits are available at 99% of all online casino websites. Like AmEx, some of Visa’s offices are in the US, so there is a chance—albeit much slimmer—that a Visa deposit could also be met with rejection. The same applies to MasterCard credit/debit cards, although the rejection rate is notably higher than Visa.

Prepaid cards are another good option. A prepaid Visa gift card works just like a credit/debit card, but since it’s prepaid, they don’t get scrutinized or declined like credit cards. Just make sure that the terms allow you to make international purchases.

Web Wallets like MuchBetter are also worth considering. These are extremely secure online payment processors that work similar to an online bank. You can fund your web wallet with any credit/debit card (including AmEx) or bank account, then use those funds to make deposits at online casinos. You can also cash out winnings to a web wallet, then transfer those funds back to your bank.

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