PayPal was established in the 1990’s. Its first business model was processing payments for eBay, the world’s largest online auction site. The two companies became so synonymous they eventually merged before breaking up again in 2015. Paypal Holdings Inc currently trades under the ticker symbol PYPL.
Besides processing payments for online auctions, PayPal also moved into other markets.
This included online gambling sites. It was the first choice for U.S. players in the early 2000’s. Most online poker, casinos and sportsbooks accepted PayPal. The ease of funding a PayPal account made it convenient. Its brand name made players feel more comfortable using it compared to newcomers to the market.
PayPal left the online gaming business after it merged with eBay in 2003.
Using PayPal for online gambling in the U.S.
PayPal remained as eBay’s preferred payment processor after it dropped the online gaming business. It returned to the U.S. online gaming market in 2015.
There are some restrictions for PayPal transactions for Americans looking to use the eWallet for online gaming purposes. These types of accounts may only be funded using electronic funds or an existing balance. A transfer from another individual counts as an existing balance.
Funds in an American PayPal account that originated from the user’s credit or debit card may not be used to fund an account. This is due to restrictions that many bank card issuers have on gaming transactions, even ones that are specifically legal. U.S. players may withdraw from PayPal by electronic check, check and PayPal debit card.
Using PayPal for online gambling in the UK
The UK was the first market that PayPal returned to for online gaming payment processing.
This started in 2008 with Betfair. The number of sites that accept bets from UK players has exploded since. A PayPal online betting site in the United Kingdom must be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to accept the eWallet. Unlicensed sites cannot get approved by PayPal.
Players in the UK may fund a PayPal account using Visa, Mastercard, Solo, Switch, Delta, electronic funds transfers and an existing balance. Withdrawals are processed by check, electronic check and PayPal’s debit card.
Using PayPal for online gambling in Canada
PayPal is not available for online poker, casino or sportsbook transactions in Canada.
This is because gaming sites in Canada are not licensed and regulated by the government. That is a requirement for PayPal to process payments. PayPal is still available for transactions related to eBay purchases and other person-to-person transfers.
Benefits of using PayPal for online gaming transactions
Transfers are sent instantly to the merchant, including online gaming sites. Deposits made by PayPal rarely require a documentation check as PayPal already does that when creating an account.
Withdrawals are simple with PayPal. Some sites tack on a 2.9 percent fee for withdrawals, although some will cover this cost, depending on local regulations and company policy. Cash may be sent for free from a PayPal account to a bank. There is a small fee for a check or debit card withdrawal.
PayPal is the oldest eWallet. This experience shows in its security and software. PayPal security is quick to identify fraudulent logins and transactions. This protects players and their balances.
Drawbacks of using PayPal
The 2.9 percent fee for withdrawals in some jurisdictions is the number one complaint about PayPal. Countries where debit and credit cards are used may also carry a fee.
PayPal does not offer good customer service. One issue not related to online gaming is the high number of chargebacks eBay sellers report. PayPal rules on the side of the buyer far too often in the eyes of sellers.