A Gambler’s Guide to PayPal’s Blocking Spree: Could YOU Be Next?

PayPal LogoPayPal has recently hit headlines, after blocking several high-profile accounts. Amongst the now-blocked users are far-right activists and anti-fa organizations, including the prolific English Defense League leader, Tommy Robinson.1

Of course, the grounds on which these users were banned probably won't apply to many people. PayPal has told the press that the bans were instigated due to the fact that these users were using the platform to ‘incite hate and violence'. That being said, the bans have brought PayPal's user policy under scrutiny.

If the service can use their discretion to block users at any time, who could be next?

In today's blog post we'll be exploring PayPal's user policy in a little more depth and, specifically, how it impacts online and mobile gamblers. Read on to learn more about:

  • PayPal's rules towards online gambling
  • How to make sure your PayPal account doesn't get blocked
  • How to check if a PayPal casino is operating legally

What is PayPal's Gambling Policy?

In order to avoid getting your account blocked as a mobile gambler, you first need to pay attention to PayPal's gambling policy. This discusses all the instances in which gambling is allowed via the platform.

Below we've highlighted the most important points to consider.

Is Gambling Legal in Your Jurisdiction?

Europe Gambling The main point to consider is whether or not gambling is legal in your country. If it's not, like in the US, then PayPal reserve the right to block your account if they suspect you are making transactions which are gambling related. These include:

  • Sending or receiving casino payments (using PayPal to deposit/withdraw)
  • Paying gambling debts
  • Placing bets of any type (including bets on games of chance, casino games, sports betting, horse racing betting, person-to-person betting, lotteries)

To avoid your account being blocked for these reasons, simply ensure that gambling is permitted where you are. This is very important to consider if you are travelling or on holiday too.

Are You of Legal Age?

This point is fairly straightforward. To gamble legally within the UK (and most other countries) you have to be aged 18 or over. What's more, to open up a PayPal account, you need to be 18 too.

Whilst this all seems like common sense, it may be worth figuring out when you first opened up your PayPal account too. Many users have reported that whilst PayPal allowed them to open up an account when they were under 18 year of age, the service has since blocked their accounts.

This has happened to people ten years after they first created their account, so to be on the safe side, check this out and then close down any accounts which were made before you were of age.

Are You Playing at a PayPal Verified Casino?

PayPal Verified StampThe main thing PayPal focusses on is the merchants themselves. This means that as a player, you should be relatively safe so long as your playing at a mobile casino which has been verified by PayPal.

PayPal only permits gambling site operators to use their services in places where online gambling is legalized and regulated. If a gambling site wants PayPal's approval, they need to prove that to PayPal that they have the required software to prevent players from countries where gambling is illegal from depositing.

As such, PayPal will only ever be offered as a depositing and withdrawing method at online casinos which PayPal has approved.

How to Check If Your Casino is Operating Legally

If you're ever in doubt when making a deposit at PayPal casinos, simply check whether or not the site has the right licenses for your jurisdiction first. For UK players, this means that the casino needs to be licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.

If the site does boast the right license, then you can rest in peace that it is offering PayPal deposits legally. There are also some red-flags you can look out for:

  • Never deposit at a casino which is asking you to pay in a currency which isn't the currency of your jurisdiction.
  • Always make sure your deposits are being made via a secure connection (look for the padlock symbol in the URL bar)
  • Make sure your deposits are being made via PayPal's interface. Never deposit at a casino which requests you make a PayPal transfer outside of the site.

How to Avoid Your PayPal Account Being Blocked

Aside from making sure you aren't breaking PayPal's gambling policy, there are also certain things you can do to ensure your account isn't blocked in error.

Minimise the chances of your PayPal account being frozen by:

1. Keeping Your Account Up to Date

PayPal Account on Phone

Always keep your PayPal account up to date. This means changing the information if you move address, change phone numbers, emails or bank accounts.

If you do change any of these things without updating your account, PayPal may become suspicious. In these instances, your account could be blocked for up to 180 days.

2. Keep PayPal Informed

Essentially, to keep PayPal happy, you simply need to keep them informed. This is because PayPal accounts are flagged due to inconsistencies. So, whether you're travelling abroad or using PayPal for something new, it's best to keep them in the loop.

For instance, if you're expecting to make much larger transactions than usual, contact the PayPal team beforehand.

3. Withdraw Your Balance Often

If you follow all of the tips mentioned above and adhere to PayPal's user policy, then you shouldn't run into any problems. However, if you are concerned by PayPal's recent blocking spree, the best thing to do is to withdraw your PayPal balance regularly.

If your PayPal account gets blocked, you also lose access to any money which is sitting in the account. So, by withdrawing often, you are ensuring that you have hold of all your funds should anything go wrong.