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. But, it’s best not to get too excited.

PayPal does not allow Canadian customers to make deposits at any online poker site. This rule doesn’t just apply to Canadians—Americans and citizens of other nations with gambling restrictions are also (in general) not allowed to use PayPal as a deposit method either.

However, Paypal will function with poker sites in certain locales (outside of Canada). For example in Europe: in France, Italy, UK, and Greece. The service is also available in select USA states as well which coincide with regulation on a local level.

Why the restrictions on PayPal as a legit payment method for online poker play?

PayPal is a publicly-traded company and at the mercy of stockholders, they have chosen not to have anything to do with gambling transactions in non-regulated markets.

Note: we are seeing some Paypal usage in Ontario, but at online casinos, not “poker sites” proper. For example, Paypal is available at all these casinos:

  1. Caesars Casino Ontario
  2. BetMGM Casino Ontario
  3. BetRivers Casino Ontario
  4. DraftKings Casino Ontario

You can find a full list list of all Paypal supported casinos in Ontario here.

And No, Paypal is not Available at 888 Poker in Canada.

It’s true that 888 does offer Paypal in select locales outside of Canada. However, if you use a VPN set to Canada and check the homepage for you will see:

Canadian deposit option screen at 888 poker

If you click on “and more”, it lists these payment options (exhaustive)

  • VISA cards
  • ApplePay
  • INTERAC® e-Transfer
  • MuchBetter
  • MasterCard cards
  • Paysafecard

We did the work for you. Bottom line, there is no Paypal at 888 in Canada. So let’s study some alternatives.

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

Canadian-friendly poker sites sometimes accept instant eCheck deposits. This method allows you to transfer funds directly from your bank account to your poker account without the need for a third-party service. Currently it seems PokerStars is the only Canadian poker brand to offer this.

Best Alternative #2:  Apple Pay Poker Sites

Another alternative is using Apple Pay, which facilitates direct deposits from your Apple Pay e-wallet. This method is secure and widely accepted by Canadian poker sites such as 888 and others, as long as they have a presence in the legal ON market.

What are PayPal Poker Deposits?

10 years ago, deposits made via PayPal to poker sites used to be really easy. These types of poker deposits are now defunct, but there are many ways to get around the closure of PayPal to poker deposits.

First, check where you live. PayPal does still allow this sort of transaction from regulated provinces/states and locales within North America.

If your region is not supported, you could abandon your PayPal account in favor of a web wallet site that is friendly to online poker and casino deposits. We list some other alternatives to PayPal below, payment methods that will let you deposit to your poker account all you want:

Other Great Paypal Alternatives for Poker In Canada

  • Muchbetter
  • Instadebit
  • Idebit
  • Skrill
  • Direct Bank Transfer
  • eCheck

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

The last and final way to get around PayPal closing off of their services will be analyzed in the next paragraph. There is a nice legal loophole that 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. He was being really friendly and even admitted to being an occasional online gambler himself. But what he didn’t know was that he’d switched on a light in my head.

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

The Answer

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 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 favorite prepaid cards for Canadians who want to fund poker accounts are typically from BMO, which is one of the banks that allows iGaming deposits.

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. I’ve never had a (properly researched, poker-friendly) prepaid card turn down a deposit.

Best Canadian Prepaid Cards for PayPal Poker Deposits

Vanilla MasterCard

Let’s get the worst things about Vanilla out of the way—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 ID. Walk into a gas station or a big box store, pay a $4.95 fee, and you can walk out with a Vanilla prepaid card.

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.

Paysafecard (Which you purchase with Paypal)

Paysafecard is another popular prepaid card option for Canadians. It can be purchased at various retail locations, including convenience stores, gas stations, and supermarkets. Paysafecard allows you to make secure online transactions without the need for a bank account or credit card. You simply buy a Paysafecard voucher with a specific amount and use the unique 16-digit PIN to make deposits to your online poker account. This method is highly secure and anonymous, making it a preferred choice for many online gamblers. Paysafecard is widely accepted at numerous online poker sites, providing a straightforward and reliable way to fund your account.

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. However a few are still open for Canadian poker play, it depends on the laws from province to province.

With of the threat of a national ban on online poker play in Canada, many sites are shutting down to new members. However, they are still allowing old members to continue depositing cash.

A generally 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, or credit card. You can skip on PayPal altogether and fund your account right from your bank with Skrill. 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.

Why Use MuchBetter Instead of Paypal to Deposit at Canadian Poker Sites ?

MuchBetter is emerging as one of the best new deposit methods for Canadian poker players in 2024. This mobile eWallet application offers an instant, secure, and easy way to fund your online poker account. Here’s why we like it so much:

  1. Ease of Use: MuchBetter is designed with user convenience in mind. The app is intuitive and straightforward, making it easy for users to navigate and complete transactions quickly.
  2. Security: MuchBetter employs advanced security measures, including device pairing, touch ID, and dynamic security codes. All of this ensures that your transactions are safe and secure.
  3. Instant Deposits: One of the key advantages of MuchBetter is the speed of transactions. Deposits are processed instantly (faster than Paypal), allowing you to start playing without delay.
  4. Low Fees: MuchBetter offers competitive fees compared to other eWallet services, making it a cost-effective option for funding your poker account. The fees in Paypal have been described as outrageous.
  5. Rewards Program: MuchBetter has a unique rewards program where users can earn points for transactions, which can be redeemed for various prizes and benefits. This seems to be on par with Paypal who also has a rewards program of sorts through Reward Points.


Canadian online poker play is strictly controlled, and direct paypal deposits to poker sites are unlikely to be allowed in the near future. You may see it coming in Ontario first. In the meantime, alternatives like e-wallets and prepaid cards remain essential for playing poker online in Canada.


  • Donna Dorsa

    Donna Dorsa is a veteran practitioner of the linguistic arts. As an independent writing and editing professional, she's spent more than 15 years researching and playing an active role in the world's ever-evolving iGaming industry. The daughter of a novelist and electrical engineer, her passions include creative literature, mathematics, game theory, and sitting around the table with her family for a good old-fashioned card or board game. In her spare time she runs a 3D printer business from home. Here is her Patreon. You can read her bio on Muckrack and find her socials on our meet the team page.

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