Gambling in British Columbia
British Columbia is a western province and is home to over $ 4.7 million Canadians. Its gambling business covers all major niches popular in the country, including sports betting, lottery draws and bingo gaming. As for casinos, locals have two options in this regard: visit one of the atmospheric land-based establishments or open a gaming profile on an online platform.
British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) manages all mentioned gambling activities. It began operations in 1985, and its staff includes about 900 employees today. The corporation operates the gambling sector from its headquarters in Kamloops, but besides that, BCLC has an additional office in Vancouver. The organization distributes its efforts among three business lines: lottery, casino and eGaming. It owns the popular PlayNow gambling platform, which covers slot gameplay, lottery draws and variable sports betting.
The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch supervises the province’s gambling activities. This regulatory body is responsible for all aspects of fair gaming and investigating all potential violations by casinos, racetracks, licensed gambling events, etc.
Even though the province considers 19-year-olds to be legal gamblers only, you also have an opportunity to place some bets if you have reached the age of 18. The fact is that British Columbia allows 18-year-olds to register at overseas online casinos if their age requirements allow it. And since the province does not prohibit offshore gambling platforms from operating in the Canadian market, you can place your first bets one year earlier than residents who prefer to play offline.
Online Casinos Available in British Columbia
The province provides residents who want to spend some time in an online casino two ways: choose a gambling establishment licensed by the Canadian monitoring jurisdiction Kahnawake Gaming Commission or register on a trusted overseas site. Those choosing the first option recommend Quatro Casino and Grand Mondial Casino. But if you would like to create an account on a licensed offshore site, Energy Casino, with its exclusive loyalty program will not disappoint you.
Our casino ranking covers dozens of reputable gambling platforms that suit British Columbians, and you can sort them according to many different criteria. This catalogue provides you with a whole entertainment world with thousands of thematic video slots, an abundance of card games, bingo projects and non-standard titles.
In fact, any gambler living in the province can enjoy the projects of all leading software studios. Online casinos operating in British Columbia enter into partnerships with industry giants such as Pragmatic Play, IGT and SG Gaming. Therefore, local players can test hit slot titles like DaVinci Diamonds, Red Hot Tamales and Elvis Lives.
It is also worth noting that the online casinos mentioned above have been operating on the Canadian market for a long time, which means that they have optimized their sites for local gamblers. After registering at a reputable casino, British Columbians can count on 24/7 support in English and French. In addition, they will be able to use convenient Canadian payment systems like Interac to top up their bankroll and withdraw winnings fast.
Where Should You Go to Place Some Online Sports Bets?
British Columbia does not restrict its residents in terms of sports betting. Its home BCLC-operated PlayNow platform monitors numerous sports and hundreds of sports leagues from around the globe. Whether you are into esports, baseball, soccer, golf, or basketball, this site has thousands of events for you every day. Moreover, it also allows you to follow special events like Emmy awards or political elections and predict the winners.
If you assume that PlayNow is the only betting option available in the province, this is not the case. British Columbia provides bettors with the perfect alternative in the form of offshore sites. These overseas platforms will allow you to track even more sports markets and get better odds on many occasions.
It is also worth noting that if an offshore betting platform accepts Canadian players, it can provide them with a convenient transaction system. Typically, these sites allow bettors to make top-ups through multiple payment services, and many of these options are excellent for Canadians.
The Province’s Horse Racing Industry
British Columbia will delight horse racing admirers with both frequent live events and simulcasts. This niche has been growing incredibly fast lately, and it generates over $200 million every year. An interesting fact is that residents bet on simulcasting events mainly, while real horse racing covers a quarter of all bets only. The industry provides more than 7,000 employees with regular income and impacts the province’s economy greatly.
The region is home to five racetracks that are based in different cities and invite visitors to live events for over 120 days annually. Since Fraser Downs Racetrack in Surrey hosts standardbred races only, it is fair to say that British Columbia specializes in thoroughbred horse racing.
The Hastings Racecourse located in Vancouver is one of Canada’s most successful and oldest racetracks. Just imagine it began to entertain guests with live horse races before the early 20th century, in 1889, and has flourished to this day. It plans to host more than 600,000 visitors in 2021, showing them both live horse races and tens of thousands of simulcasted events from the world’s most prestigious racetracks.
What Gambling Niches Does British Columbia Lottery Corporation Cover?
This corporation has been operating in the Canadian gambling market for over 35 years and owns numerous gaming products. It runs the most popular and lucrative Canadian lotteries like Lotto Max and Daily Grind, accumulating over $1 billion annually.
The second corporational branch offers entertainment to casino customers. BCLC manages 17 land-based gambling establishments that offer visitors a full range of services, including slot gameplay and gaming tables with qualified dealers and pit bosses. In addition, the corporation has already opened 19 gaming zones with hundreds of “one-armed bandits” and bingo terminals. Besides that, BCLC operates 6 full-fledged bingo venues.
The corporation also covers the online gambling sector through its PlayNow platform. This site combines all the essential elements of a modern online casino with extensive betting options.
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Frequently asked questions
What age does British Columbia consider legal to gambling?
The province’s legal gambling age is 19.
Which provincial jurisdiction is responsible for all gambling activity?
The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch is the main regulatory body.
Does the province have its own legal online casino?
Yes. You can access the casino gameplay at PlayNow.com.
How many horse racing tracks are there in British Columbia?
There are 5 such tracks in the province.