Western Union is a money transfer service as old as dirt. The fees are generally higher than other forms of money transfers online, and not every Canadian online poker room accepts Western Union as a deposit method. For some customers, Western Union is the most secure payment transfer method they can manage. This is especially true of people who can’t use their credit cards as a deposit method or don’t want to open an e-wallet account.
Western Union is a safe and reliable way to transfer money to certain Canadian online poker rooms that customers may otherwise not have a good way of transferring funds to. Western Union is a traditional payment transfer method with a much longer history of doing business than many other common poker room account funding methods.
Let’s take a look at what it takes for a Canadian poker player to use Western Union, some sites that accept Western Union deposits, and a few other details about the process of transferring cash with Western Union and MoneyGram, another popular and more traditional money transfer method that often goes hand in hand with Western Union.
Requirements for Canadians to Use Western Union
Using Western Union to send money to your Canadian online poker site is really easy especially compared to more modern e-wallet transactions.
You can send money to your poker account with Western Union at a business that offers Western Union service (or a Western Union kiosk) or online or over the phone. Using the kiosk or a Western Union agent is much easier than signing up online or transferring money on the phone.
If you are planning to send $1,000 CAD or more, you’ll need to provide some government ID, your phone number, and fill out some other forms depending on where the payment is issued from.
Besides that, all you need to send and receive money is the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) that Western Union provides you, proof that you are at least 18 years old, and the cash necessary to fund your account and you can send your payment.
As for the fees, those vary based on your location, the geographical location of the site you’re sending the money to and the amount of your deposit. It isn’t uncommon for the transfer fee to represent between 2 and 5% of the total deposit, so a person transferring $2,000 CAD to an online poker site may end up paying $100-$200 easily. That’s the biggest downside of using Western Union to fund your Canadian-facing player account.
Canadian Western Union Online Poker Sites
Not all online Canadian poker rooms accept Western Union as a deposit method, so do your research before you slap down your change at the Western Union office. Here are our two favorite poker rooms that do business with Canadians and also accept Western Union as a deposit method.
Titan Poker opened its doors to poker players in 2005. Titan Poker is licensed in the gaming jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda. Titan Poker accepts Western Union deposits and offers Canadians a 200% first deposit match bonus worth up to $2000 in bonus cash.
Titan Poker is part of the iPoker network, and that comes with lots of soft competition and user-friendly Playtech-designed iPoker software. Two of the best features of Titan Poker are in gaming lobby: a wide array of search filters to make finding poker action easy, and live chat support. Much of Titan Poker’s competition is abandoning live chat, so it’s nice to see Titan still offering it as a customer support option.
888 Holdings is the parent company of 888 Poker. 888 Holdings has been in business since 1996, with 888 Poker opening in 2002 to provide online poker. 888 Poker accepts Western Union transfers, and their current first deposit match bonus offer of 100% up to $600 should help sweeten the deal.
888 Poker has the latest 3D graphics for poker players who like that sort of thing, a helpful beginner’s lobby for those of you who don’t have much online poker experience, and a convenient no-download option for the poker client, useful if you run a Mac or Linux machine. 888 Poker provides support for 19 languages, but only offers the following poker variants to their customers: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha hi-lo, 7-stud, or 7-stud hi-lo.
Western Union Deposits Security & Support
Western Union is a large company with offices all over the world and customer service experts who speak all the world’s most common languages. They have a huge network of support staff, offices, customer service options, and everything else that goes into a global money transfer company. You don’t have to worry much about the safety of your transfer, as long as you are dealing with a legitimate online poker site that caters to Canadian online poker players.
Canadian Poker & Western Union Deposit Laws
Canadian online poker is going about as well as American online poker was about six years ago. Rumors of nationwide bans, government loopholes to steal your player account, and poker site shutdowns turned out to be somewhat true, especially after April 15th of 2011, known in the industry as Black Friday. At that date, which was over 6 years ago now (even though it feels like yesterday to many poker fans) American poker players found most of their online poker accounts frozen and their action cut off. Canada is not quite as bad as post-UIGEA America, but it could be heading in that direction.
Poker players who like playing in bricks and mortar establishments have benefited from very liberal federal gambling laws that have meant a new life for Canadian casinos and provincial lotteries. Because Canadian law doesn’t cover or even talk about federal guidelines or any legal precedent for online poker, Canadian poker online is in a gray area.
The reason deposit methods for Canadian poker site are disappearing is thanks in a big way to the American government’s rough intimidation of companies like NETeller, PayPal, and FirePay that use to do business with Canadians but are now so scared of anyone from North America, they’d be hard-pressed to go anywhere near a hamburger and French fries.
As a growing number of Canadian poker sites start to allow credit card deposits, people who have easy access to credit cards that don’t mind transferring to poker sites no longer have to deal with the deposit method blues. That’s where Western Union and MoneyGram come in.
Western Union is one of the oldest money transfer services in the world, with offices in places you may never even have heard of. As Canadian poker players run out of ways to put money into their online poker accounts, they turn to more traditional deposit methods like Western Union and MoneyGram more and more.