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British Columbia’s Gambling History

Like the rest of Canada, gambling in British Columbia was banned until 1970, when the Canadian government decided that the provinces should create and promote gambling laws. With lotteries and bingo halls popping up everywhere, Canada was moving to make gambling a part of its culture.

The first land-based casino in British Columbia wasn’t opened until 1999, but in 1986 there were community halls, restaurants, and more where people could gamble at slots or bingo games. Many of the casinos are located in the Vancouver area, giving residents and visitors ample access to gaming entertainment.

Today, British Columbia has 35 gambling venues that range from full-fledged casinos to community centers and restaurants with slots, table games, sports betting, and more. Canada has come a long way since Richard III banned gambling in 1338. Perhaps he is rolling over in his grave at the mere thought of gambling in Canada.

BCLC

The BCLC, British Columbia Lottery Commission, regulates all gaming in British Columbia, including lotteries and slots at restaurants and concert venues. The BCLC overseas gaming operations, monitors equipment, and helps casinos supervise their day-to-day activities across British Columbia. Of the 35 gambling establishments, 18 are casinos, with two located at race tracks and 17 being community gaming centers.

To open a casino in British Columbia, everything must go through the BCLC. There is a formal approval process to get a casino approved for implementation, which starts with market research and public interest. After a gaming proposal is created and community input is received, final approval is signed. As you can see, British Columbia takes its gambling services very seriously.

Online Gambling in British Columbia

In addition to the 35 gambling sites around British Columbia, online gambling is a major source of entertainment throughout this province. Many people gamble at international casinos online via their computers or mobile devices and win daily money.

The difference between British Columbia and other provinces is the BCLC created British Columbia’s own online gambling casino in 2004 called PlayNow. It is owned and operated by BCLC and is the only legal online gambling site in British Columbia.

PlayNow features slots, table games, sports betting, live casinos, poker, and bingo. It offers Canadians a way to play online at a trusted casino close to home. While overseas online casinos are legit, BCLC wanted to provide a way to bring money to British Columbia rather than countries overseas.

Online Casino Features

When you decide to play at PlayNow or another online casino, there are specific criteria to look for before you invest your hard-earned money in a casino. Things like:

  • Valid license through a government agency to ensure regulation of laws and fair play
  • Quick and secure ways to deposit and withdraw money
  • Variety of games provided by credible software gaming corporations like NetEnt, BetSoft, QuickSpin, Playtech, and more.
  • Bonus offers like welcome and no-deposit offers that include free spins or a match percentage of your deposit
  • Exceptional customer service in the event of a casino mishap or if you need a timeout on your account
  • Encryption like SSL, secure sockets layer protects against hackers getting your personal or banking information.

Online casinos should feature all of these attributes to keep you safe while you are entertained with gaming. You should always be reassured no one will steal your information or the casino cheat you out of money.

The BCLC takes a hard stance on unfair gambling and tests casinos often to ensure they are within the laws and regulations required. You can be sure that any casinos in British Columbia or the online PlayNow casino have excellent RTP (return to player) percentages and random number generators to keep winnings unplanned and fair to all customers.

Mobile-Friendly Casinos

Best Canadian Mobile Casinos | Viabonus

Being mobile-friendly is another vital factor for online casinos, but we felt it needed a separate section to itself. We do so much on our mobile devices and it’s nice to have our gaming right at our fingertips too. Mobile-friendly casinos give you the option of downloading an app to play or simply playing via your browser.

Most online casinos have a mobile-friendly option that works well with devices like iPhones, android phones, iPads, and other tablets. If being able to gamble on the go is one of your main priorities, make sure you check with the online casino to ensure your device is compatible with their mobile-friendly options.

 

FAQ - British Columbia Casinos

British Columbia is well-known for having the only online casino option available in Canada. The BCLC owns and regulates the online casino called PlayNow. It offers sports betting, slots, table games, live casinos, and more.

British Columbia features 35 casinos that range from land-based casinos to centers and restaurants that have slots and other games to win money like bingo.

The BCLC, British Columbia Lottery Commission, regulates and monitors casino equipment for all of the land-based and online casinos in British Columbia. This organization prides itself in promoting healthy gambling options for everyone.

Yes. The BCLC offers a range of opportunities for gamblers to seek help if they suspect they have a gambling problem. A voluntary self-exclusion process allows gamblers to exclude themselves from all casinos, bingo halls, or the online casinos PlayNow. The exclusion time can be six months, one year, two years, or three years.

In addition to self-exclusion, programs like GameSense show people how to gamble in all kinds of casino games. It helps people to make the correct choices when their money is on the line.

 

Unlike British Columbia’s neighbour Alberta, gamblers must be 19, not 18, before legally gambling in a casino.

the author

Cam Hookey

Author

the author

Cam is a writer and entrpreneur that has a keen interest in iGaming and Web3 technology. His passion lies in bridging the gap between new technology and unwary consumers. Along with his team of passionate writers and clients, Cam seeks to shed light on upcoming tech ideas and the implications they have on various industries.