When looking at the payment options players can use at an online casino, most want a method that’s simple to use, enables deposits and withdrawals to be made quickly, and is widely accepted.
It’s important to know that with the majority of payment methods, when you add funds to your casino account they’re generally available to play with straight away, but that getting hold of your money when you make a withdrawal can be much slower.
Not only do you have to factor in the ‘pending’ time of between 24-72 hours that most casinos apply to a withdrawal request, but there is often additional processing time by your bank or financial institution as well. It’s important to know which payment methods not only let you make deposits quickly, but let you get your hands on your money quickly as well.
Read below our detailed guide to the casino payment methods that are available at our recommended sites.
Universal – Credit cards are almost universally accepted at our listed casinos. Visa cards are the most widely used, although a majority also accept MasterCard (for deposits at least). There are some rare instances of sites accepting American Express and Diner’s Club, but not many.
MasterCard – While you generally won’t have any issues using a Visa credit or debit card to make both deposits and withdrawals, this is not the case with MasterCard. A growing number of online casinos don’t allow withdrawals to MasterCard, and so our advice is that if you have an alternative you should use it so as to avoid having to make withdrawals via a bank cheque (the slowest way of receiving your money).
Popular – Because they are secure, fast, free to set up and widely accepted at online casinos, e-wallets have become the most popular payment method at our recommended sites, with Skrill, Neteller and EcoPayz the most widely used.
Fast – Deposits into your casino account using an e-wallet are generally instantaneous, and they are also the fastest method for withdrawals as well. Once a casino’s pending time is complete and the payment processed, funds are usually accessible in your e-wallet straight away.
Secure – Another reason for their popularity is that e-wallets are a secure way of doing business online. You don’t have to share any of your financial information directly with the casino as your e-wallet acts as a middle man, so your vital personal details are not sitting on the server of the casino, a target for hackers.
Growing – It’s surprising that the world’s biggest name in online payment systems is not also the biggest in casino payments, but this is a result of the Wire Act in the US in 2009 when the company pulled out of online gaming altogether. However, they have in recent times re-entered the market, and while Canadian casinos are not universally accepting PayPal, its presence is growing.
Easy – Setting up a PayPal account is free and easy to do (all that’s required is an email address), and adding cash is also simple. There is also the added advantage that using PayPal is extremely secure and there is almost no processing time – as soon as you withdraw your funds from your casino account, they’re available in PayPal. However, when you then move cash from PayPal to your bank account, this can take between 24-72 hours.
Straightforward – A bank wire (sometimes called a direct bank transfer) allows you to move money directly from your bank account into your online casino account. Although it’s straightforward to do, and is generally accepted as payment method at the sites we recommend, it is nevertheless one of the slowest methods of transferring funds. It is also important to note that not all casinos allow you to make withdrawals via bank wire.
Slow – It can take up to 72 hours for money that you deposit to be available to play with in your casino account. When it comes to withdrawals, it can sometimes take up to ten working days between making a request and finally getting hold of your cash. It should also be noted that any payments/withdrawals you make using a bank wire will appear on your monthly statements.
Pre-paid Debit Cards
Pre-paid debit and virtual cards are a popular payment method at our recommended sites, where they are almost universally accepted. Using a pre-paid or virtual card means that you are not drawing on credit but using your own funds, with the card acting as an intermediary between you and the casino. There are several versions of these cards that are widely accepted.
Instadebit – a name most Canadians will know, and is convenient for a number of reasons. Despite acting in the same way as a check or debit card (i.e., no line of credit), it’s not necessary to pre-load your Instadebit card before transferring funds to your casino account. Instead, it is linked directly to your Canadian bank account, with the amount you can transfer depending on the transaction limit that you establish. Setting up an Instadebit account is free, although you do pay transaction charges – $1.95 when you add funds, $2.00 when you withdraw.
PaySafe Card – This is a pre-paid card and so you need to load money onto it before you can make a deposit into your casino account. Despite the fact that a PaySafe Card gives you extra security, because you are not sharing your banking details with the casino, there is a significant disadvantage in that you are not able to make withdrawals; if you use this method to deposit funds, withdrawals have to be made via bank check.
EntroPay – A virtual Visa card, it is almost universally accepted at Canadian casinos and can be used for both deposits and withdrawals, and transactions both ways are usually instantaneous. There is no charge to set up an account, and you can add funds to your EntroPay cards using different methods, although this does incur transaction fees; 4.95% when using a credit card, 3.95% via direct bank transfer.
Payment Methods at Our Recommended Casinos
If you use any of the payment methods above, you will have no problem operating an account at our recommended casinos, as they are almost universally accepted (with the exception of PayPal, which is still only available at a limited number of sites).
Checklist – When selecting the payment method that works best for you, the following checklist is a useful way of assessing their relative merits:
- Is it important to have your funds available quickly when you make a withdrawal? If so, an e-wallet like Skrill, Neteller or EcoPayz, or a pre-paid EntroPay virtual Visa card is the best option.
- If you are concerned about security, then any method that doesn’t require the casino to keep your financial details is recommended. E-wallets, pre-paid and virtual cards, and PayPal are popular choices in this respect.
- Would you prefer that online casino transactions don’t appear on your bank statements? If so, then you should opt for any method where there is a ‘middle man’ between your bank and the casino, and avoid using credit cards or bank wire transfers.
- For those who like to keep a close eye on their spending, any method that doesn’t involve a line of credit, or requires you to load funds before you can transfer them to your casino account, is probably the answer. In this case, go for an e-wallet or a pre-paid card.