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Playing to Win: How Prepaid is Raising the Stakes on Gaming and Gambling

During the 2023 CPPO Prepaid Symposium, the theme of the event was "innovation without limitations." Part of that innovation is enabling safe, secure and budget-friendly ways for consumers to use and access their money. Enter prepaid.

“Prepaid is the modern payments technology platform flourishing in Canada, driving consumer-friendly competition and providing the gateway for exciting new ways to bank, transact, get paid and grow inclusive access to financial services," Executive Director Jennifer Tramontana said at the event.

One of those access points in financial services is safe, secure and budget-friendly ways to manage and access funds for online gaming and gambling. Prepaid is often the payment vehicle behind these transactions.

Gaming and gambling are some of the hottest topics on the regulatory table, particularly in the iGaming environments of Ontario. But the challenge companies have in this industry is overcoming regulatory hurdles and ensuring they are working with partners that can help them navigate these challenges.

Prepaid has surged in popularity and satisfaction as Canadians embrace digital payment methods for new use cases in this industry, including digital-first accounts for transacting and saving and digital wallets for gaming and sports betting.

At the Symposium, a panel discussion dove into this very subject, sharing where can prepaid level up this conversation, and how companies can lean into this industry while overcoming regulatory hurdles.

Panelists included:

  • Laura Titherington, Senior Director of Business Development, InComm Payments

  • Krishin Autar, Senior Manager, Operations and Payments - Canada, PointsBet

  • Mark Smith, VP, Strategy and Business Development, InComm Payments

In terms of how to navigate who to work with in the gaming/gambling space in Canada — as it relates to payments — the group emphasized the importance of working with partners who understand the regulatory market, and companies that can work to reduce barriers to entry to ensure more customers are interacting in secure online gaming and gambling markets.

"There are multiple reasons why people want to use a prepaid card through a gambling operator," Autar said. He pointed toward the growing Canadian market that's garnering new use cases everyday thanks to more opportunities for companies as Ontario embraces the online gaming and gambling industry.

Autar gave a summary of Bill C-218 (passed by the Senate in 2021), also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, which allows provincial governments to determine when and how to conduct and manage single-event sports betting offerings within their borders. Ontario was the first province to allow operators to join the market.

One critical component in this industry are payment methods that support companies in launching products and services that help consumers access and spend their money through digital platforms securely and responsibly.

"Prepaid has long been a vehicle in this space," Titherington said. "The demand is there."

In April 2023, iGaming Ontario provided an update on the market, indicating strong growth has continued as Ontario has delivered roughly $35.6 billion in total wagers and approximately $1.4 billion in total gaming revenue.

"There's a lot of opportunities in this space," Smith said, particularly as it relates to building and growing loyalty and rewards programs. "We are constantly looking at how we can move money into the ecosystem, and how we can move money out of the ecosystem — and how prepaid products can support this. There's a great opportunity in this industry to innovate and support the many organizations in the ecosystem."

One of those opportunities is through general-purpose reloadable prepaid cards that allow for consumers to conduct digital transactions via a digital app or wallet that allows them to view and transfer funds as they see fit. Many of these apps allow users to set spending/transacting limits to enable a budget-friendly way to interact on online gaming and gambling environments.

The use cases for prepaid supporting the gaming and gambling market continues to grow as organizations continue to invest in new and innovative platforms that support consumers through operators that enable safe platforms that allow consumers to privately and responsibly budget and manage their money through regulated online gaming and gambling experiences.

The key to getting started is working with a regulated operator who can help organizations avoid pitfalls, navigate regulatory changes and also provide a safe, secure experience that was created to protect consumers as highlighted below:


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