British Columbia

In British Columbia, the laws surrounding online gambling are relatively permissive, with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation having exclusive rights to offer online gaming. Overseas casinos, along with sports betting platforms and bingo sites, welcome participants who meet the minimum legal age requirement of 19, although some may require individuals to be at least 21.

The maximum number of casinos in British Columbia permitted by law is 22.

  • 15 casinos
  • 2 racetrack casinos
  • 6 bingo facilities
  • 19 Community Gaming Centers

PlayNow.com was launched in July 2010 and is available for British Columbia residents only.

The online platform offers:

  • Lottery
  • Sports betting
  • Slots
  • Bingo
  • Table games – Blackjack, Sic Bo, Craps and Roulette

In 2012, the BCLC entered into a partnership with Loto-Quebec to offer online poker.

British Columbia Online Casinos

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Online Gambling

  • Offshore online casinos accept players from British Columbia.
  • The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), an agent of the government), is the only state regulated online onshore operator and operates through the PlayNow.com platform.
  • The BCLC holds monopoly over offline and online lottery products, sports betting and gaming products.

Legalislation

  • Online operators are neither explicitly prohibited or permitted.
  • Provincial law prohibits unlicensed onshore operators from operating within the market.
  • Local governments determine the type and scope of gaming within their territories.
  • Horse race betting is commercially operated at racetracks and permitted for licensed operators.
  • Community Gaming Centers are permitted to offer slots and bingo products, but not table games.
  • Charitable or religious organisations may apply for and receive licenses to operate charitable gaming.

Minimum Legal Gambling Age

The gambling age is 19

Taxation

  • The surplus generated from all BCLC activity, including PlayNow.com is circulated to support communities, Provincial programs and charities.
  • Casino revenue is taxed through sharing agreements with local governments that host casinos. 10% of the net income generated from these casinos is paid to the host local governments.

Regulatory Bodies

  • The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch
  • Ministry of Finance
  • BCLC is responsible for the oversight and management of casino activity in British Columbia.

Key Legislation

  • Gaming Control Act
  • Gaming Control Regulations
  • The Canadian Criminal Code, Part VII.