PayPal Poker Site Deposits in Canada

PayPal may not be the most convenient way of making payments online, considering the fees, wait times, and additional layer of customer service issues you encounter. If you’re a Canadian with a PayPal account and you open an online poker account, you may think PayPal is another way you can fund your poker gaming. Don’t get too excited.

As of this writing, PayPal does not allow Canadian customers to make deposits at any online casino. This rule doesn’t just apply to Canadians—Americans and citizens of other nations with gambling restrictions are also not allowed to use PayPal as a deposit method either. Why the restrictions on PayPal as a legit payment method for online poker play?

Remember that PayPal is an eBay property. Since eBay is a publicly-traded company and are the mercy of groups like stockholders, they have chosen not to have anything to do with gambling transactions.

PayPal Alternative #1 : Canadian Friendly Poker Sites with Instant eCheck Deposits 2013


Alternative #2: Casinos Accepting Citadel Direct Canada (Direct Bank Wire)


What are PayPal Poker Deposits?

Deposits made via PayPal to poker sites used to be a really easy way to transfer money back and forth between your account and your online poker funds. PayPal does still allow this sort of transaction from citizens from countries outside North America.

These types of poker deposits are now defunct, but there are many ways to get around the closure of PayPal to poker deposits. For starters, you could abandon your PayPal account in favor of a web wallet site that is friendly to online poker and casino deposits. We list alternatives to PayPal below, payment methods that will let you deposit to your poker account all you want.

Another PayPal poker deposit alternative is to quit playing poker. But if you’re anything like me, that’s not an option.

The final way to get around PayPal’s closing off of their services will be analyzed in the next paragraph. There is a nice legal loophole that (as of this writing) lets you put money in your online Canadian poker account by sending money from your PayPal account. The trick? There’s a third party involved.

How Canadians Can Still Use PayPal to Fund Online Poker

This idea came to me from my credit card company. I was lamenting my inability to use their card to directly fund my online poker account (in a lazy half-hearted attempt to convince this guy to let me deposit some cash at 888Poker) and the guy actually said: “Do what we do, use a third party.” I think it was a joke, this guy was being really friendly and even admitted to being an occasional online gambler himself, but what he didn’t know was that he’d turned on the light switch in my head.

I started to wonder if there was a service that PayPal would legally and easily send a payment to that could itself fund an online poker account legally. There had to be. It didn’t take long to find.

Prepaid credit cards are the simple answer to your PayPal woes. They still require a little research, since some brands of credit card won’t fund online poker (look at VISA’s most recent announcements on the subject for an idea of where the industry is headed), but while the loophole exists, you can legally fund your poker account with your PayPal account, just by purchasing one of the hundreds of Canadian prepaid credit cards out there on the market.

After you choose a prepaid provider, one with terms you like and that willingly makes deposits to online poker sites, you’ll need to set up the card and prepare to send money to it using PayPal. Our absolute favorite prepaid credit card for Canadians who want to fund poker accounts with PayPal is the BMO Mosaik Travel Mastercard; details are below in the “Best Canadian Prepaid Cards for PayPal Poker Deposits” section.

When the card is set up and you’re ready to work with PayPal, just try a simple money transfer from PayPal to that prepaid card account. This service is free for Canadians, and I’ve never had a (properly researched, poker-friendly) prepaid card turn down a deposit.

Best Canadian Prepaid Cards for PayPal Poker Deposits

BMO Mosaik Travel MasterCard

This reloadable card costs $9.95 to set up, but that one fee covers you for three years from the date of purchase, with no other fees along the way. It is really easy to put more money on your card if you don’t want to use PayPal—just add funds through your own bank’s online bill pay service. If you’re near a BMO branch, you can even walk in to the branch and deposit money. Having a big banking group like BMO behind the card makes it our favorite; if you have any issues with the card, BMO will help you through their traditional customer service communication methods.

ZoomPass Prepaid MasterCard

ZoomPass isn’t actually a prepaid card. It is called a “mobile money” system, a project of the various Canadian cell phone providers. ZoomPass is like a prepaid card for your mobile device, a reloadable card with no fees until you try to send money to other ZoomPass users or incur text messaging charges. ZoomPass hasn’t been a very popular money transfer client in its short life, but the card is actually a great deal and easy to use and can allow PayPal clients in Canada to fund their online poker account.

Vanilla MasterCard

Let’s get the worst thing about Vanilla out right at the start—their customer service sucks, the fees are high if you use it more than half a year, and it is expensive. That said, Vanilla MasterCard is one of the only prepaid Canadian cards that you can buy without any sort of ID or anything at all. Walk into a gas station or a big box store and pay a $4.95 fee and you can walk out with a Vanilla prepaid card branded MasterCard. It isn’t the best Canadian prepaid credit card for funding poker through PayPal, but it will work and it isn’t all that expensive when you consider what you’d pay with PayPal. Use the card up within 6 months and by a new one, otherwise you’ll be charged a $2.50/month fee for each month after the first 6. This is best as a temporary solution to your lack of a deposit method.

Canadian PayPal Alternatives for Online Poker Site Deposits

Since Canadians can’t use PayPal to fund poker accounts directly, let’s make use of PayPal to transfer your poker money to a third party to get us some poker chips.

But you don’t have to use the PayPal loophole to get your account funded at Canadian poker sites. Here are some other alternatives for people who want to make the switch from PayPal to a payment service that doesn’t mind making deposits at Canadian poker sites.

Canadian Poker Deposit Laws

Canadian online poker players have seen more and more setbacks in the Canadian online poker industry in recent years. Some poker sites have outright denied access to Canadian poker players for years, though a few are still open for Canadian poker play. Because of the threat of a national ban on online poker play in Canada, many sites are shutting down to new members but allowing old members to continue depositing cash.

Thankfully, even in light of daily movement toward a national ban in Canada, some poker sites do allow deposits to continue. Picking a deposit method that works for you will save you time and fees on a service you don’t like.

The most recommended deposit option for Canadian poker players is called Skrill. Skrill, once called Moneybookers, lets their users open an online account and fund it directly from their bank account, debit card, and most brands of credit cards. You can skip out on PayPal altogether and fund your account right from your bank with Skrill as a middleman. The requirements for Canadian customers include a one-time security check. After that you can make all the payments and deposits you want without additional fees or wait times. Most of the online Canadian poker sites still accepting wagers are willing to work with Skrill.

UseMyBank is similar to Skrill, using a “third party account” to move money between your bank account or credit/debit cards and your poker player account. Making a payment or deposit with UseMyBank is actually more secure than Skrill, because all the recipient sees is your email address.

There are plenty of other e-wallet services like Skrill and UseMyBank that some Canadian facing online poker sites will honor. To get the full list, check out a given Canadian poker site’s list of payment transfer methods. You’ll see names like Click2Pay and ePassporte, all which work very much the same way as the other two we talked about above.

Canadian online poker play is very strictly controlled, and industry experts say that there may never be a time when Canadian citizens will be able to move money straight from their credit cards to their chosen online poker site. That’s why alternatives like e-wallets and prepaid cards are still necessary to play poker online in Canada.