Sunday, February 11, 2007

Want To Play Online In Canada? Here's How-

I've read quite a lot of threads on message boards about becoming a Canadian citizen in order to play poker online (in Canada). It's not worth the time and trouble. Here are a few reasons:

-You will need a need a work/study visa OR a temporary worker permit.
-You will have tons of paperwork and fees. Getting an SIN is important for banking and getting your paperwork processed.
-It's expensive and could take many months.

However, it's easy to visit Canada. If you were going to spend a long weekend in Vegas, it's almost just as easy to spend that weekend in Niagara Falls (or the Canadian destination of choice). You could visit, play live poker AND online poker, then return home and repeat the process next month/quarter/whatever. Here's what you will need:

- A US passport. You don't need a passport to enter Canada but you do to re-enter the USA.
-Make sure the hotel/rental you stay at has Internet access! IP issues now solved.
-Open a mailbox at a UPS store to obtain a Canadian mailing address. This should run about $80 USD/year. If you want to go all out get a prepaid cell phone while in Canada. (This should also run about $80 USD/year.)

Now you have a full Canadian address you can use to play poker. The only issues remaining should revolve around funding and withdrawing from poker sites. For those of you fixated on Neteller - get over it. Quickly. Many non-US Neteller customers are experiencing problems so stay far away.

I would fund your new accounts with prepaid credit cards. Most Canadian prepaids should not have any problems (that some US prepaids have encountered). You might be able to register your prepaid to your new address which would help tremendously in signing up for an ewallet. Also, some Canadian prepaids should be eligible for withdrawals from some poker sites. Do your research.

Cash outs will range from paper checks to ewallets to player transfers. (Although I think the player transfer is coming to a swift end because of the 'laundering' angle.) Don't carry cash or checks across the border. Wire or mail funds to a USA address before leaving. Returning to the USA is much more complex than leaving because of Homeland Security (terrorism threats) and illegal immigration.

One final thought - it's much easier to cross the border via public transportation than traveling by private car. If you do travel by car, don't cross the border alone. You will get extra scrutiny. (I know this from personal experience.)

As a former bonus whore, I would be salivating at the thought of running through the myriad of bonuses and rakeback every month. But I realize that playing online in Canada is not a viable solution for most (myself included). But for those medium/high rollers who made decent money online, this might be your workaround.

(ETA: Under NO circumstances am I recommending you break any law or deceive US & Canadian governments. Follow the laws of both lands. Declare your income on tax returns and deduct all travel expenses.)

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