British Columbia (BC) is the south-western part of Canada located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Astonishing nature and the rich history of this place will keep amused and entertained both the local people and the most experienced travelers. Furthermore, this place has one great advantage. In fact, one is able to participate in various games of fortune and gambling as in traditional as well as in online casinos.
As usually, our guide will help you to understand all the pitfalls of gambling in this province. You will be able to choose one of the best websites to spend your time with the highest level of comfort.
Help and support services for players:
1.1. The key law in the BC is the Gaming control act (GCA) that was adopted in order to allow the province create and hold gambling venues on its territory in accordance with the Federal Laws of Canada (more detailed information about gambling regulation in Canada).
In accordance with the GCA, the following forms of legal gambling are allowed in the BC:
1.2. Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPCPA) – don’t forget about your rights as a consumer, and remember that every casino is nothing but a service provider, which has to observe your legal rights.
Important information: the province established a special body to protect the rights of the consumers called Consumer Protection BC. This body serves as a regulating authority in all fields, except gambling. As a result, this body is not able to process complaints about the violations in the field of gambling (this is the area of the GPEB, which we are going to discuss a bit further). At the same time, one is able to address their issues to the Consumer Protection BC in case if their rights (BPCPA) were violated. One can use a special website to file a complaint against a violator.
Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch of The Ministry of Finance (GPEB) is a department within the local government responsible for the regulation of the gambling field in the province. This authority was established in 2002 in order to substitute the BC Gaming Commission.
The GPEB controls the issuance of all licenses and grants as well as registers companies and individuals in order to work in the field of gambling within the province.
In addition, the GPEB controls and supervises the process of gambling all around the province. As a result, one has to file all the complaints related to the games of fortune and online casinos to the GPEB.
Traditional gambling in the BC includes a wide range of gambling venues: casinos, bingo halls and community gaming centres (slot machines, bingo games, lotteries, table games and additional services, such as cafes and restaurants), race tracks and teletheatres (betting halls, where you can watch various sports on giant TVs). The majority of gambling venues are located right next to Vancouver, e.g. Coquitlam.
In the BC, the so-called ‘licenses’ can be issued only for a one-time event or a series of events (only related to various charitable and social programs and activities). There are four types of licenses: A, B, C, and D. The type of the license depends on the amount of money that the organizer wants to collect, as well as from the number of prizes and ticket prices.
One-year grants (can be issued only for non-commercial organizations working within the frames of charitable projects related to a specific area of the market);
State casinos (they don’t need licenses because their activity is governed by the law).
Registration is a form of license for private companies intended to allow them to cooperate with state or licensed casinos in order to provide services or equipment, as well as to work in the field of gambling.
One can use a special website to check the validity of the license.
In addition, the BC offers a service that allows checking the current status of legal entities and individuals registered in the field of gambling (suppliers or workers of the casinos and gambling houses).
The BC has its own online casino called ‘PlayNow’. This casino is managed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and is positioned by the local authorities as to the unique legal website for gambling activities in the province.
Types of gambling permitted in the gambling venues of the province (source GPEB Annual report 2017/2018).
At the same time, one is able to use a huge variety of other websites operated by foreign companies. We are going to talk about them below.
While in BC, one is able to use a wide range of gambling websites operated by licensees from foreign countries.
Important information: such operators and website are able to offer your more games and gambling types because they are not limited to the requirements and restrictions mentioned above. For example, one can easily find multiplayer games in foreign online casinos. In addition, you are free to play with people from all around the world, while getting more prizes because you are not limited to the frames of the province. This is simple logic: the more players the website has, the higher is the number of bets and prizes. One can easily check it by going to one of the most popular gambling websites.
Are such casinos legal in terms of the laws of Canada and British Columbia? They are in the “gray zone” of Canadian regulation – the laws do not stipulate that their activities are prohibited or allowed.
Over the years, the provincial authorities (like the federal authorities) have not taken any measures to ban private online operators and restrict access to their sites. Therefore, at the moment, these sites are not prohibited. In addition, there are illustrative practical examples, which speak in favor of the legality of foreign online operators.
In any case, participation in online gambling is not an offense on the part of the player.
Licenses: foreign operators must be licensed by a foreign jurisdiction in which gambling is legal. Most often these are licenses of smaller European states, for example Malta or the Isle of Man. A license obtained in the United Kingdom is recognized as authoritative one.
The legal status of both the Kahnawake license and casinos working under such licenses was never challenged by the local and federal authorities. As a result, one can participate in the activity of Kahnawake licensed venues without any issues.
Licenses: The Kahnawake has its own regulating authority called the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KWG). The KWG is responsible for the issuance of the licenses. At the same time, the KWG has to process all the complaints and disputes between the players and the casinos.
The detailed list of the licenses issued by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KWG) with the names of the companies and their websites can be found in a special section of their website.
More detailed information about the Kahnawake gambling, the KWG licenses and ways to check them can be found here.
Below one can find short instructions, which will help you to check the legal status of the casino. More detailed information about the process of casino checking as well as the main pitfalls and the most useful information can be found in our article here. Furthermore, while browsing our website, you can easily find a lot of useful information about the process of casino registration in different countries, as well as about the ways to check the validity of casinos in specific jurisdictions.
Check the license.
Check the deposit and withdrawal systems, including the terms of payment, accounts to store your funds, supported payment providers and protective measures.
Check the beneficiary of the website and its location (registration); the information about the company has to be published on the website (usually, it’s located right next to the license number). After that, we recommend checking the legal state and the existence of the company by using special services.
Check the ways to file complaints and settle disputes: the best casinos will offer you an alternative (faster) way of dispute resolution in order to avoid long legal wrangling.
Check the certification of the software performed by special testing companies.
Check the level of social responsibility of the casino: the best of them won’t squeeze your last money in order to leave ‘a desert’ after their activity. The most reliable casinos are simply obliged to limit your (or someone’s) access to the game or block it (the BC has its own Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program).
In addition, all the casinos are obliged to provide support for players and participate in various social and non-commercial projects related to the key problems of gambling. You shall trust only socially responsible casinos.
All the mentioned information has to be published on the website of the casino (in the majority of cases, it can be found in the footer or in the side menu) or in their Terms and Conditions.
Important information: we also recommend checking all the information offered at the website of the operator or the casino. Spend some time to check the validity of the license by using special registries offered by the license issuing jurisdictions.
Important information: while choosing a foreign casino, always check the registration country of the operator and the location of the company because all the disputes and issues will be solved in accordance with the laws of such jurisdictions.
In the case of the dispute, one can address the KWG within Canada, while in case of litigation, you will need to find other ways.
The BC offers the same range of payment solutions as casinos in Canada.
Important information: If you want to make a transaction for $10,000 or more, the operators have to request detailed information about the origin of your funds in order to comply with the anti-money laundering rules.
No taxation: your revenues and profits are non-taxable (except professional gamblers).
Online gambling is more than affordable and accessible in BC, so you will never lose your opportunity to play games of fortune. At the same time, you need to remember that the overall quality of the game depends on the reliability of the casino. Be wise and play responsibly.
In case if you need some help to choose the best casino, you can use the rating of the most reliable casinos with a wide range of astonishing features and the highest levels of security and protection.