Enjoying a legalized, regulated market

Judging by the amounts changing hands, Ontarians are relishing the reality of the province’s regulated and legalized gambling options. The doors of the virtual casinos were thrown open on April 4th last year. The regulator gave the green light for licensed commercial operators to provide all kinds of gambling opportunities to residents and visitors alike.

Strong gambling culture

It should come as no surprise that Ontarians have grasped the chance to gamble online. Canada has a strong gambling culture; six in ten adults say they have placed a bet or played games of chance for money. Gambling, in some form or other, goes back to the country’s earliest days of human habitation. While First Nation people were not fashioning roulette wheels or slot machines, they played a game with sticks or bones called Slahal.

Bloodless war

Also known as bloodless war and the stick game, Slahal was played to settle arguments and territorial disputes as well as for fun. It was invented to replace war, and whoever won the bout won what was being fought over. It is still played today, and there has been a move to revive it. However, the European colonizers brought dice and cards to the country. Then gambling was outlawed for a while on moral grounds, but it never went away.

Spend is up

There are over nineteen point three million active online gambling accounts across the country. In its most recent report, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario reported the average monthly spend per active player in the province is CA$167. Ontarians have the benefit of being able to choose from thirty-six different licensed online operators running sixty-eight igaming websites. In the three months up to 31st December 2022, they bet CA$ 11.5 billion – almost double what was spent in the previous three months.

Win, win situation

A licenced and regulated market benefits both players and the province. Commercial operators must apply to the regulator to operate in Ontario. To get the permit, they must agree to a strict legal framework that protects players from potential gambling harms. This means that the websites have to offer safe gambling tools like deposit limits and self-exclusion. Should anything go wrong, they can turn to the regulator for help. The province also gets a cut of the gambling purse in the form of revenues rather than the profits all flowing out to offshore regulators.

How to choose

So how do players exchange their money for gambling chips in the virtual world, and which methods are most popular? For example, what is the difference between PayPal and iDebit casinos? When would you choose one over the other?

Once you have established that the casino platform has the games you want to play and has the correct licenses, you need to decide which payment method to use. Here are some of the options available to you.

iDebit Casinos

iDebit allows you to make secure, real-time payments at your casino without using a credit card. This fast way to pay funds to your casino account and bank-level security makes it a popular choice. Many Canadian banks and financial institutions have partnerships with iDebit, and therefore the option is integrated into many casino websites.

iDebit has the advantage that you are not sharing your financial information with the online casino – only between yourself and iDebt. Transactions happen almost instantaneously, so play can commence quickly. iDebit is a popular choice because it allows for anonymity. Bank statements only show that money has gone to an iDebit account rather than a specific casino. The player could be buying anything with the money, from art to gym supplies.

As with all things in life, there are some downsides too. iDebit does attract some fees. For example, there is a C$1.50 when making payments to the online casino and a C$2 when transferring money from your iDebit account to your bank account. In addition, some online casinos have a minimum amount that can be withdrawn using iDebit, meaning you can find yourself unable to claw back all your cash.

PayPal Casinos

PayPal is the original fintech platform that was designed to overcome the hurdles of moving money around on the internet. It has remained at the forefront of innovation and security, meaning it is the most popular method for depositing and withdrawing money at online casinos. Millions of people have a PayPal account, meaning millions choose to use it as their preferred payment option. PayPal work with all kinds of platforms, from the smaller entrepreneurial ones to the big-name established giants of the casino world.

There are quite a few benefits of using PayPal, and people know it is a fast, safe and easy-to-use platform. In addition, no financial information is shared with the casino. The only information you need to supply to create a transaction is an email address. To avoid delays, using the same email address to register at the casino as the one you use for your PayPal account is a good idea. In addition, deposits are swift, and withdrawals should be back in your PayPal account within forty-eight hours.

There is one other thing that makes PayPal popular, which is a little life hack. Many people like to use their Amex card for transactions; however, no online casinos in Canada accept this payment method. However, by linking an Amex card to your PayPal account, payments can be made this way.

On the downside, PayPal can levy fees for some customers, so do double-check. In addition, it can sometimes take up to five days for withdrawn funds to appear in the account. However, this is rare and has not stopped players from using this method.

Other payment methods are available

iDebit and PayPal are by no means the only choices of payment options; however, they are very popular. Online casinos also offer players Interac, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Paysafecard, Mastercard, Visa and eChecks. There are also other fintech solutions being introduced all the time. The trick to knowing it is reliable is checking that the online casino has the proper operating license.