Exchanging Currency in Canadian Casinos

Casino, Montreal, Quebec
Yves Marcoux Getty Images

If you plan to play in Canadian Casinos you must use Canadian money. They do not accept currency from the United States (or any other Country) at the tables or in the slot machines. Therefore it will be necessary for you exchange your currency into Canadian money if you want to play in the casino. You don’t have to worry about exchanging your money before you visit as the casinos because you can exchange currency in the casino before you play. Here are a few things you should consider before exchanging your currency in the Canadian casinos.

Converting to Canadian Currency

I visited the Windsor casino in Ontario for a weekend and wanted to convert some of my United States money into Canadian currency so I could play at the tables. I knew from a previous visit to Casino Niagara a few years ago that I could convert my money at the main casino cage. As I was walking through the casino I noticed a kiosk in the middle of the casino floor with a sign saying the conversion was 1.25. This means you receive $1.25 in Canadian money for every US dollar. Instead of converting my money at this kiosk I decided to go to the main cage.

When I got the casino’s main cage I gave them $300 in United States currency and received $372 in Canadian money. I had been paid at a rate of 1.24. I questioned the exchange rate noting that the kiosk had a sign saying the exchange rate was 1.25. I was told that it was different at the kiosk. So I found out that within the same building the rate of exchange was different. The next time I will make sure to check around before converting my money.

Converting Back

When you convert your currency back from Canadian to United States dollars the rate of exchange is 1.28. This means you will be paid one US dollar for every $1.28 Canadian. Since I got paid 1.24 when I converted to Canadian dollars but had to pay 1.28 to convert back to United States dollars, I was charged about 3% exchange my money back.

Convert as You Go 

Since it will cost you to convert your money back I recommend that you convert only the money as you need it. You can use this to help you manage your money when you gamble in the casino. If you are going to sit down for a gambling session you should decide ahead of time how much you want to risk for the session and only convert that much money. If you run out you will be forced to walk away from the table or machine in order to get more money. I will be a good time to take a break.

Do Not Deposit Money in The Casino Cage

Some players like to deposit money in the casino cage when they visit the casino instead of applying for credit. This lets then keep this money secure but also allows them to write a maker at the table against their own money. If you plan on doing this at a Canadian casino you should check their policy first. On fellow from our group deposited money in the cage at the Windsor casino. He never wrote a maker against the money during his visit. When he went to retrieve his money at the end of the stay he found that he had been charged a conversion rate. It cost him $80 to keep his money in the cage although he never used it. When he inquired about the charge he was told when he deposited his money it was converted to Canadian dollars and when he took it out it was converted back to US dollars and he was charged for the conversion. He asked to speak with a supervisor who told him this was the policy at the Windsor Casino. This was not posted anywhere and since he did not ask up front there was nothing he could do about it.

I think this is a rip off and I advise you to check the policy BEFORE you deposit money in the cage at the other Canadian casinos.

Use Your Credit Card for Other Expenses

I always warn people to leave the credit cards home when they gamble. I still advise that you should never use your credit card to take a cash advance. However if you visit the Canadian casinos (or anywhere else in Canada), I recommend that you use your credit card for all other non gambling expenses. This includes paying for your hotel, food or any other purchases you make in Canada. The credit card companies are able to negotiate the best rate of exchange. This means that if you charge you purchases you will usually find that it is less than the quoted exchange rate. Since you will be charging your purchases there is no need to convert a lot of excess money that you would need to convert back at the end of your stay. You will save the three percent you would have to pay to convert your money back.

Until Next time remember:
Luck comes and goes.....Knowledge Stays Forever.