Getting to the Bottom of PayPal’s Gambling Policy

08th August5 min read

Welcome back to our Guide to PayPal! In our quest for definitive wisdom regarding PayPal Casino Sites, we've unearthed a potential game changer. It seems that whilst PayPal market their payment protection services and buyer's insurance as their USP, this doesn't stretch to cover mobile and online gambling.

So today we want to get to the bottom of PayPal's mystery gambling clause, investigate what it means to players and find out how it could affect your choice when deciding on a banking method. Intrigued? Read on to see what we've discovered...

The Clause

When you sign up to PayPal and tick the Terms and Conditions box, you are signing the PayPal User Agreement contract. Within this are the rights you hold in case a problem arises, and (something many PayPal customers may be familiar with) the highly advertised Buyer Protection policy. This is the bit you've probably heard about – PayPal offer an insurance to all customers, in case something goes wrong with the other party. However, what is less talked about is the fact that this policy does not extend to cover online casinos users.

You may be reimbursed under PayPal Buyer Protection for a problem with a purchase only if all of the following requirements are met: Your purchase is an eligible purchase, purchases of most goods and services are eligible (including travel tickets, intangible items such as rights of access to digital content and other licences), except for purchases of the following... ...any wager (whether by way of backing or laying against any outcome or otherwise) and any other opportunity to benefit from a gambling activity (if you are purchasing as a UK resident user of PayPal). This means that if you are using your PayPal account to deposit at casinos, you're not covered by PayPal's policy.

 We see this as a huge blow to PayPal's appeal as a depositing method. That means there is no protection if you've deposited at a less than savoury casino and that they will refuse to help you retrieve your money.

Why Does the Clause Exist?

It seems that PayPal only really likes to protect tangible objects. Whilst last year, they did extend their policy to digital content, travel tickets and licenses, they still seem unsure of their position in other instances. For example, alongside gambling, they will not offer protection for 'items equivalent to cash', which includes gift cards or any money put onto a pre-paid card.  This is a huge disappointment too. In a time where we are constantly debating the future of mobile payments, to not value cash deposits in the same way as purchasing products seems like a step backwards.

Why Does the Clause Exist? In terms of gambling payments themselves, it appears PayPal have added this clause after a series of claims where players have lost money in casinos and then tried to reclaim it using PayPal's Buyer Protection policy. It looks like PayPal have no plans to remove the clause. In fact, it's likely it will only become more stringently applied.

Early 2015, PayPal released these changes to it's acceptable use policy: Activities involving gambling, gaming and/or any other activity with an entry fee and a prize, including, but not limited to casino games, sports betting, horse or greyhound racing, fantasy sports, lottery tickets, other ventures that facilitate gambling, games of skill (whether or not legally defined as gambling) and sweepstakes, if the operator and customers are located exclusively in jurisdictions where such activities are permitted by law.

Whilst, as part of the Acceptable Use Policy, this specific clause is in relation to what casinos must have pre-approved by PayPal before they can offer the service, it is entirely likely, based on these changes, that PayPal will be tightening and clarifying it's Buyer Protection policy for gambling too.

What Does this Mean for Players?

The Clause Could Disappoint A Lot Of Customers[/caption] In our eyes, this policy is definitely something all players need to be aware of if they are choosing PayPal as their depositing method. A lack of buyer's protection doesn't make PayPal any less secure than other depositing methods, as the majority of casino depositing methods do not offer any protection in case something goes wrong either.

However, the others aren't selling their brand on their security features. The main problem here is that PayPal's marketing is misleading; people will choose this depositing method based on the assumption that PayPal have a great Buyer's Protection scheme, as it's what they push continually in their advertising campaigns. But, as the clause isn't referred to anywhere else on their website, many customers will miss the small print.

What Other Options are there?

Like we said, most depositing methods don't offer any sort of purchase protection. Credit and Debit Cards Have Some Payment Protection However there are two certain ways of ensuring your deposit is protected:

  • If you deposit using a credit card, there is a Section 75 Law that protects your purchase/deposit if it over £100. This is possibly one of the best forms of Buyer Protection policy out there, as it is actually required by UK law.
  • Any payments made by VISA, VISA Electron, Maestro and Mastercard are protected by a policy called Chargeback. This includes, debit cards, pre-paid cards (Like the Ukash or Paysafecard cards) and purchases made with credit card which are under £100. Chargeback, however, is at the discretion of the card companies themselves and is not legally obligatory. This means it's not as iron-clad as Section 75.


You Need to Weigh Up the Pros & Cons before making a decision. As with all hard decisions in life, (marriage, moving house, leaving the sofa..) it's really a case of weighing up the pros and cons. It's disappointing that PayPal, a service that sings and dances about it's security, have hidden this clause away, but weighed up against other methods it seems a lot less shocking. Lucky for you, in the next article in our Guide to PayPal, we'll be debating the advantages and disadvantages of PayPal, so stay tuned!

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