In BC online casino sector is run by the British Columbia Lottery Commission, the first governmental body not only in Canada but in the whole North America that has been officially regulating online sports betting and casino gaming since 2010.
In Vancouver as well as in other places in BC there are also brick-and-mortar gambling houses but online casinos are becoming more and more popular due to their convenience and safety. Recent restrictions adopted by the local government to curb the money-laundering in land-based casinos could be seen as further strengthening this tendency. The new rules oblige the players to pass additional identity checks and provide a detailed description of their source of income if they want to spend more than CAD$10,000. However, there no such restrictions at the BCLC online casinos whose list is available at the PlayNow platform as well as at the BC online casinos supported by the offshore gambling companies who readily invite players from British Columbia by offering sumptuous welcome bonuses and a wide variety of casino games.
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Introduction to BC Online Gambling
Online casinos are becoming more popular not only in BC but also all around the world. All the traditional casino games and slots are now available online from any type of device. Nowadays just by using a mobile phone casino players are hitting big online jackpots without having to visit brick-and-mortar gambling houses.
If you live in BC province and want to try out new online gambling platform then definitely there should not be a lack of choice which website to choose since online casinos are officially operating here.
These are also the best live casinos in Canada that recently have started to operate in BC after the local gambling authorities decided to add this fantastic new online option to the various playing opportunities offered at their web platform. Thanks to new technologies the residents can now easily visit any BC live casino site, interact and chat with a live human croupier via ones favorite device provided one has a fast Internet connection.
However apart from the PlayNow platform which is the official gambling provider in BC online casinos from regulated offshore platforms are also a worthy option to consider for the residents of British Columbia since they offer more bonuses and a wider choice of games to play online. And if you are not from BC, Montreal casino games will give you an opportunity to enjoy gambling rush.
But you should be cautious enough not to become a problem gambler and not to start to chronically lose more money than you win. Take it into consideration that according to a recent research, the state-run online casino in BC makes 46% of their revenue from just 5% of their players.
Legal Gambling On PlayNow
Though catering to players from British Columbia, offshore websites are still remaining a ‘grey zone’ with undeclared rules. But, luckily, there’s an option to remain on the legal side of the fence: PlayNow, a website run by the province officials. Everyone 19 or older can freely access the PlayNow platform and indulge in online casino games, live casino games, lotteries, keno, poker, bingo, sports betting, instant games, scratch cards, and more.
Moreover, PlayNow runs a series of welcome offers, including a $20 casino sign-up bonus, a $20 live casino sign-up bonus, a $5 lotto sign-up bonus, a $20 sports sign-up bonus, as well as lottery, casino, poker, and bingo promotions. To become a part of all that extravaganza, you have to complete a 3-step registration process on the PlayNow website and, as being said, be at least 19 years old.
How to choose the best online casino in BC?
Since there is a vast variety of different online casino sites it is becoming more and more difficult to choose the one which will suit you best and will be safe enough to play at. And it’s completely understandable since there are so many things you need to pay attention to. Vancouver online casino looks like a perfect candidate for your next favorite, but how to make sure it is as good as it looks?
When it comes to safety in online gambling BC residents might either choose from local state-regulated BC casinos online or opt for an international provider who has the eCOGRA seal on its website. eCOGRA is the globally acknowledged expert body responsible for checking the safety-related issues of online BC gambling operators including those who provide online casino services to the residents of BC.
Another important point to consider when choosing the online casino if you live in British Columbia is to make sure that the gambling provider of your choice does offer a full-fledged client support in your language and check whether you can make toll free calls to get help with receiving your money or using bonuses. Of course, in case of an official casino online BC player services will satisfy all your requirements.
You should also find out what online payment methods will be available to you as the Canadian citizen. For the residents of BC as well as for gamblers from other provinces we usually recommend to opt for those online casinos that accept Interac. Since this is a local e-payment operator, you would not have to wait for weeks to get your winnings cashed.
If the variety of games at the BC online gambling website looks too modest and you want to try out some offshore casinos, make sure that it uses high-quality software from such companies as NetEnt, Microgaming or Playtech. For example, NetEnt has obtained an official license for supplying their products in British Columbia.
Of course, bonuses are still another crucial point to consider when choosing the online casino. While the officially regulated casinos do not offer any welcome bonuses, the offshore gambling houses can give even as much as CAD$500 for free if the visitor decides to start playing at their website. However, before accepting the bonus, carefully read its terms since very often there are limitations on how much money you can win and at what stage you can withdraw your winnings.
Online Gambling Laws in British Columbia
The Gaming Control Act is the legal document that regulates gambling in British Columbia covering lottery, horse racing, and casinos. The governmental body responsible for regulating the online gambling sector in this province is called the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC).
The first state-run online casinos in the province appeared in 2010 when the local government officially embraced them as one of the gambling options they offer to local residents. The BCLC online casino platform is called PlayNow. It operates since 2004 and apart from the residents of British Columbia is also open to Quebec online casino players. The BCLC annual income keeps increasing and has already reached CAD$1,34 billion.
It is clear that in the state-run online casino BC residents can freely play without transgressing any local laws after they reach the required age. Hoverer, when it comes to playing in the regulated offshore gambling platforms, there is no law which would prosecute the residents of British Columbia for doing that.
Local residents are definitely not allowed to keep an offshore online casino. These are also the offshore gambling operators that provide their services to the British Columbia residents that theoretically can be prosecuted if local government takes the interest when they come to visit this province.
Latest Updates On Legal Gambling – October 2020
The changes in the gaming legislation have been looming on the horizon since 2019, but as of October 2020, the main regulatory body is still the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB), which ensures the integrity of gambling companies and oversees the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), which in turn manages casinos, bingo halls, and lotteries. GBEP operates according to Canada's Criminal Code, the provincial Gaming Control Act, and the Gaming Control Regulation.
Speaking of the upcoming changes, British Columbia is planning to transfer the power from the GPEB to Independent Gambling Control Office (IGCO) sometime in 2021. The new watchdog will oversee everything related to gambling and horse racing, as well as be responsible for customer protection. The main goal of the change is to reduce the level of illegal gambling and money laundering.
However, as an online player from B.C., you are unlikely to feel any differences. If no new provisions on online gambling will be introduced, you will be free to access any international website just as you are free to do it now. It’s not illegal to gamble at international casinos, and the majority of the prohibitions of the past were claimed unconstitutional as ones promoting censorship.
Land-Based Casinos in BC
The blissfulness of playing from the comfort of your home is undeniable, but sometimes you want to share your experience, emotions, and glory of winning with other players. Whenever that desire arises in you, you can travel to one of the land-based casinos in British Columbia. There are over a dozen brick-and-mortar gaming venues scattered across British Columbia, and you can choose the one depending on your location and preferences. In our opinion, the top-5 places to visit are River Rock Casino Resort, St Eugene Golf Resort Casino, Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, Lake City Casino, and Elements Casino.
River Rock Casino Resort
The pioneer of the gaming industry in British Columbia, River Rock Casino Resort caters to over 10,000 daily visitors, offering all types of games except for bingo and exotic games. More than 1100 slot machines along with classic table games and wheel games represent all possible scenarios, styles, and features. Whether you love fruit slots or video slots, blackjack or baccarat, European roulette, or French roulette, you will find all that and then some at River Rock Casino Resort. And whenever you want to take a break from gaming, you can spend time at Marine Boardwalk offering a beautiful view of the marina, local theater with phantasmagoric shows, Spa & Jacuzzi, or one of the six restaurants with tasty foods and exquisite courses.
St Eugene Golf Resort Casino
There’s no better way to explore what St. Eugene has to offer than by paying a visit to Casino of the Rockies, an integral part of the ecosystem of golfing, gaming, and dining created by professionals from St Eugene Golf Resort Casino. Whether that is classic slot machines, table games, or brand-new titles that make you tick, you can find everything you can imagine at the gaming floor of St Eugene Golf Resort Casino.
Over 200 slots, electronic roulette, electronic blackjack, and electronic baccarat along with a full-service lottery center and four table games (blackjack, poker, roulette, and pool) are more than enough to choose from. And, of course, there are special offers for newcomers, regular players, and high-rollers.
Hard Rock Casino Vancouver
Whether you love hard rock, prefer pop music, or any other genre, you are equally welcome at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, an all-encompassing destination for unparalleled entertainment in Vancouver. In addition to 951 slot machines and quite a few table games (baccarat, roulette, blackjack, and pai gow), the casino features a 1,100+ seat theatre showcasing performances, comedy shows, and concerts, as well as a few restaurants with breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and night eats. No matter the budget and taste, there’s something for you to play and eat and unparalleled Hard Rock Casino Vancouver!
Lake City Casino
With two top-tier hotels nearby, Lake City Casino is a place to play & stay. Over 400 slots and quite a few table games scattered around the gaming floor feature both brand-new titles and popular ones like Rich Girl, American Original, Bonus Times, Wicked Winnings Lair, and more. The flexible range of denominators starts at 2 cents only and goes up to hundreds of dollars with the potential to trigger one of the four province-wide progressive jackpots (Gold, Silver, Nickel, and Copper) of up to $200,000!
Be it one of 63 penny machines that pay jackpots from $250 to $500, or mega machines, paying between $750 and $1,500, or any other game, you will be thrilled and awed at the never-ending parade of winnings at Lake City Casino. The ambiance here is truly unique, and you’ll spend hours playing even before you know it!
Home to unparalleled entertainment, gaming, and dining, Elements Casino unites over half a thousand slot machines and a variety of table games: roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and poker. Budget and taste-wise, denominators of all ranges and diverse designs provide you with more than enough room for choice. But that’s not all. Combining gaming and entertainment, the casino hosts free concerts from local musicians & cover bands and features an abundance of dining options: restaurants, buffets, and bars. On top of that, there’s live horse racing at Homestretch Reservation. Located in the very center of Cloverdale, Elements Casino attracts tourists and passers-by, providing a vast parking lot and accommodations for all budgets.
BC Online Casino FAQ
🍁 Who regulates gaming in British Columbia?
- In BC online gambling sector is regulated by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. It was founded in 1985. In 2004 it launched its web platform called PlayNow to provide lottery products online and since 2010 officially opened the first state-run online casino in Northern America.
🍁 What is the legal gambling age in BC?
- Unlike such provinces as Alberta where it is legal to gamble from 18, in British Columbia online casino one can play only after he or she reaches 19 years of age. You even are not allowed to enter the casino premises in this province until you reach the required age.
🍁 Does British Columbia offer a lottery?
- Yes, there is a lottery since 1969 when amendments to the Criminal Code were adopted authorizing the federal government and the provinces in Canada to operate the so-called “lottery schemes”.
🍁 Are winnings taxable in British Columbia?
- According to the Income Tax Act, online casino winnings are not taxable in Canada, including British Columbia. Only if gambling Is your major source of income you are eligible to pay taxes.
Disclaimer: Please note that we are not trying to provide an exhaustive legal advice on online casinos in British Columbia as we do not feel sufficiently qualified to do that. The following is our personal interpretation of current legislation. To get a precise clarification of laws and regulations adopted in British Columbia, please contact an attorney or local authorities.