British Columbia Online Casino
When it comes to Canada, each of its provinces has something unique to offer. However, some provinces just have more things to offer than others do. That is certainly the case with British Columbia, the third-largest Canadian province.
British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada. However, it did not receive its province status until 1871.
Economic prosperity and human nature meant residents of British Columbia were always interested in gambling. The provincial Gaming Control Act governs gambling in B.C. Enforcement of the act, as well as regulation of gambling in the state, is done by the BCLC.
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation originally handled only lotteries. However, as the state continued to legalize gambling, the BCLC’s mandate expanded.
Alongside lotteries, it also handles sports betting, real casinos, and online casinos. Currently, British Columbia only has one licensed online casino.
Readers from British Columbia can use this page as a guide for all things related to online gambling. On this page, we will list the very best online casinos for people from this province.
This page also lists all regulations that apply in this province. If you plan to start playing online casinos, this place is the perfect place to start.
Top Online Casinos for British Columbia February 2023
Residents of B.C. will be happy to hear they have plenty of Canadian online casinos they can pick. All the websites listed here accept casino members from British Columbia.
We selected this website based on the quality of their games, their promotions, and several other important metrics.
What is Driving British Columbians to Swap to Online Casinos?
Every week, it seems we hear about more and more real money casinos popping up. This trend is global but has also been present in British Columbia too. It can seem intimidating to make the swap at first.
However, numerous advantages make the swap worth the trouble. If you want to try online casinos, you can look forward to the following goodies that you do not get otherwise.
For many players, there is no replacing brick-and-mortar casinos. We can certainly understand that mindset. The experience of visiting and playing in a real casino is undeniably great.
However, not everyone will want to visit a physical location. For such players, the privacy offered by online casinos is paramount.
You can play from your home via phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. This helps players keep their privacy. Not to mention saving on travel costs to and from the casino!
That said, you should not expect complete privacy from online casinos either. Websites do not accept everyone signing up. They also have rules they must follow regarding money laundering and preventing underage players.
Because of that, you will need to give a website plenty of information about yourself. This includes your full name, birthday, and address.
You also have to verify that information by sending a document that confirms your existing details. The exact details vary between online casinos.
Ease to play
You just sit down, grab your favourite device, and start playing! After registering an account, the only prerequisites you need are an internet connection and money in your bank account.
Additionally, the rise of the live casino also means you no longer lose on the immersion factor. If that is not a priority, plenty of other releases are also around.
Having said that, that kind of convenience can be damaging. Being able to play online casinos all the time can be addicting. Every respectable website has responsible gaming limitations that casino members can set for themselves.
Almost all websites allow you to set daily, weekly, and monthly deposit limits. Additionally, you can even activate self-exclusion.
Self-exclusion prevents you from playing in that online casino for a limited time. Casinos cannot breach self-exclusion rules without getting into trouble.
Casinos that accept British Columbians usually compete for a global audience. As such, almost all of them have some downright incredible promotions.
The harsh competition offshore casinos face means casino bonuses are frequent and lucrative no matter where you play. The best websites offer a variety of free spins, cashback, and deposit match promotions.
For dedicated players, a loyalty program is also available. It grants additional promotions as a reward for sticking to that particular online casino.
No matter how great a bonus is, you need to keep an eye on the rules that accompany it. These promotional terms and conditions ensure both players and operators play fair.
Some rules are rather straightforward, such as casino wagering requirements. Meanwhile, other rules can be rather shady.
That is why it is essential to read the bonus T&C, no matter how boring it might seem. If you want to skip this step, we recommend choosing one of the online casinos we gave a five-star rating.
Offshore online casinos accept players from everywhere in Canada, including British Columbia. As such, these websites usually have support for Canadian dollars and payment methods from our country.
Currently Interac casinos are the most popular. If you do not have access to Interac for whatever reason, your regular credit/debit card will work fine. Usually, only Visa and MasterCard cards can be used to make deposits and withdrawals.
E-wallets have the advantage of being one of the fastest payment methods. That said, e-wallets also have their fees you have to consider.
Cryptocurrencies exist in a similar boat. Among cryptocurrencies, the most popular ones by far are Bitcoin casinos. That said, crypto support is still limited in online casinos.
Customer service exists to help players with any problems and to answer any questions you might have. You can reach out to support staff in several ways.
The most common way to contact customer service is via live chat. You open a chatbox and talk to support staff until your issue is solved. Another common way to contact customer service is through e-mail.
While slower than live chat, it remains a reliable contact method. Finally, some websites give you the option to contact customer service by phone. Double-check that the number is not international, or you might have to pay high fees.
How Does British Columbia Regulate Casinos
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation regulates all British Columbia online casinos. This province-run corporation handles more than just online casinos, however.
It sets the rules for brick-and-mortar casinos, lotteries, and sports betting too. Online gambling is not a new concept in the province.
Indeed, B.C. residents were able to play online lotteries all the way back from 2004 at the PlayNow online casino.
Over the years, the website expanded to cover casino games, bingo, and sports betting. This is the only online casino in British Columbia that is entirely legal to play in.
Meanwhile, offshore websites exist in a legal grey area. The province prohibits promoting gambling services to Canadians without provincial authorization.
However, the law does not restrict playing in online casinos outside of Canada. While operators of said casinos can be fined if they violate B.C.’s basic gambling laws, players break no rules by playing there.
The Gaming Control Act even gives the province an option to license offshore websites in the future. That said, we do not see this happening anytime soon. After all, why would the BCLC accept competition to their PlayNow website?
Our research of British Columbia’s tax laws does not indicate any deviations from federal law. Of course, we are not lawyers or attorneys. We recommend double-checking this information with one just to be safe.
However, Canada’s federal law says that gambling is not a constant source of income for the player. As it is not income gained from employment, property, or other viable sources, it cannot be taxed.
This applies to online casinos, as well as horseracing, sports betting, lotteries, and other games of chance.
One thing to keep in mind is that you have to declare any interest you earn on those winnings. Canadians have to fill out a T5 form to declare interest, which is taxable, unlike your winnings.
The BCLC is responsible for ensuring all gambling in British Columbia is handled properly. We have no issues with the corporation itself.
Currently, the only online casino licensed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation is PlayNow. The website is run by the BCLC themselves.
All revenue from PlayNow Casino goes into supporting healthcare, education, and community programs across B.C. In 2019/2020, BCLC generated $1.3 billion in net income for the province.
Currently, the province receives the lion’s share of all online gambling funds directly. As such, we do not see British Columbia’s regulatory body issuing additional licenses anytime soon.
Of course, things might change at some point. As we already mentioned, B.C.’s Gaming Control Act does allow the province to issue licenses.
That opens the door for the BCLC to license offshore operators at some point. Until that happens, every online casino except for PlayNow exists in a gray area for B.C. residents.
Getting Help with Responsible Gambling in British Columbia
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation is tasked with more than just running online casinos. It is also responsible for ensuring all responsible gambling and self-exclusion programs are handled properly.
A solid amount of the funds raised by the BCLC goes into these programs. One of them is GameSense, which plays an important role in educating players.
It teaches casino members how gambling works, how winning odds are calculated, and helps dispel common gambling myths. GameSense also guides players to find support and recognize signs of problematic gambling.
Once you understand you have an issue, you can start solving the problem through the BCLC’s responsible gambling programs. The most effective of which is voluntary self-exclusion.
When signing up for self-exclusion, players can exclude themselves from one or more types of gambling.
Gambling facilities with slot machines, commercial bingo halls, and gaming centres, and online gambling on PlayNow.com can all be limited. Self-exclusion begins as soon as you enroll in the program.
Enrolling in a self-exclusion program is a permanent decision. Once you sign up, you cannot stop your participation early or cancel your voluntary self-exclusion.
Upon signing up for the program, you can choose how long the program will last. You can set self-exclusion to last six months, one year, two years, and three years.
Self-excluding from a gambling facility with slot machines or a commercial bingo hall means you cannot open a PlayNow account.
Extra effort is put into ensuring players in voluntary self-exclusion honour their commitment. Self-excluded players are automatically ineligible for jackpot wins.
Additionally, your information and photo will be shared with security and surveillance staff at gambling facilities across British Columbia.
Attempting to enter a gambling facility during self-exclusion means security will remove you from your premises. Players may also be charged with an offence, and they may be fined up to $5,000.
Once you enrol in the program, you can consent to be contacted by a gambling support professional. This is done at no cost to the participant.
Additionally, players can contact the B.C. Gambling Support Line at 1-888-795-6111 for free and confidential support. The support line is available in several languages and can help you with problem gambling counselling and debt/financial counselling.
All of these programs apply to gambling regulated by the BCLC. Offshore casinos that are not regulated by them will not know players are self-excluded in their home province. Because of that, the responsibility of self-excluding or limiting your deposits in online casinos falls to you.
Which offshore casinos accept players from British Columbia?There is nothing about British Columbia’s Gaming Control Act to prevent players from registering and playing in offshore casinos. If a website accepts Canadian casino members, it accepts B.C. residents.
What is the legal gambling age in British Columbia?Only players who are older than 19 are allowed to gamble in British Columbia. This limitation also applies to offshore casinos.
Do residents of British Columbia need to pay tax on online winning?B.C does not have any specific tax laws that override Canadian federal law. As such, winnings from online casinos are not taxable. Interest earned from said winnings are taxable and must be declared.
Is it legal as a resident of British Columbia to gamble online?If you want to stay in the clear fully, the only online casino you can play in is BCLC’s PlayNow Casino. That said, playing in offshore casinos is permitted technically but exists in a legal gray area.