British Columbia Online Gambling Legislation

Prior to the year 1969, according to the Criminal Code of Canada, gambling was not allowed in the country, the exceptions being horse race wagering and some types of lotteries. Then, in 1985, the federal government took the decision of leaving each individualised territory or province in charge of specific gambling rules and regulations, and this paved the way for operations to begin in certain legalised land based casinos.

Online Gambling in Canada for Each Province

The federal government has allocated each territory and province of Canada with some jurisdiction of legal gambling for their respective regions. For the legalities of online gambling to be applicable in each province, gamblers are required to reside in that particular province and also to be physically present there at the time of making their online gambling deposits.

Online Gambling in BC

In 2010, BC became the first to offer online gambling in North America. The minimum age of legal gambling in British Columbia is 19 years. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and online casino site (roulette, poker, blackjack, slots, sports wagering, the lottery, craps, and bingo) are internet gambling websites that are government sanctioned and legal. 

Regulatory Authority for British Columbia

All gaming in BC is regulated by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch which takes responsibility of ensuring the integrity of companies, equipment, and people in the gaming industry. It is also responsible for investigating wrongdoings and allegations.

This mandate is inclusive of the regulatory oversight of BCLC which manages casinos, commercial bingo halls, and lotteries. The regulatory oversight of this mandate also extends out to British Columbia’s horse racing industry, licensed gaming events, and all gaming workers and service providers. The Branch is also responsible for managing the distribution of all gaming funds that are received by organisations, along with the management of responsible gaming programs.

The mandate of the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch is carried out under the following:

BC’s Legal Gambling Online Website – PlayNow

PlayNow.com, which is operated by BCLC, employs the highest levels of standard and maintains firm regulatory controls in order to provide all British Columbians with an online gambling platform where they can place their trust in.

PlayNow.com is the only licensed website that is operated for British Columbians in specific. All of the gaming profits generated via PlayNow.com remains in BC to support several charitable, community, and provincial programs.

Accounts of registered players can be accessed at any time to either withdraw or deposit funds so that they can enjoy new possibilities of gaming promotions. Through PlayNow.com, BCLC has been offering gambling options to play online games since the year 2004.

BCLC Gambling Regulations and Rules

Gambling rules and regulations have been established by BCLC for certain games or types of players. These rules extend out to the categories of general gaming and lotteries, bingo and sports, and can be accessed here.