Although it may not be Canada’s biggest city, Vancouver may be the country’s most recognizable destination for many people throughout the globe. The city and surrounding area have become one of the largest film production hubs in the world: numerous television shows and films have been filmed there, making Vancouver the stand-in for so many other North American cities in media, and the forests in the area have been used in countless productions to represent the wilderness from around the world and beyond. The city itself is also highly cosmopolitan, since around half of its citizens speak a language other than English as their native tongue.
Vancouver is also an ideal place for those who like gaming. There are several land-based casinos and other gambling establishments in the region, and a new big venue is on the horizon. British Columbia was the first jurisdiction in North America to provide regulated internet gaming to its residents.
Province and City Each Offer Numerous Gambling Options
Over the last several decades, British Columbia’s relationship with gambling has been difficult. When the federal government initially authorized lotteries, British Columbia was quick to join the bandwagon, along with many of its neighbors. The province joined Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in founding the Western Canada Lottery Foundation in 1974. This partnership lasted little over ten years when British Columbia chose to develop its own entity to govern its games: the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, also known as BCLC.
Through the BCLC, citizens may wager on a range of provincially sponsored games, including scratch cards, daily draws, and jackpot games. Players in British Columbia may also purchase tickets for national draws with much bigger rewards, such as Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max. The majority of these things may also be bought online, but we’ll discuss that in further detail when we discuss the online casino alternatives accessible to gamers on our site.
The BCLC regulates the proliferation of casinos across the province of British Columbia. The province’s first casino, a riverboat dubbed the Royal City Star that operated in Vancouver but has since shuttered, did not open until 1999. Nevertheless, despite the fact that neither the population nor the government has ever seemed to be particularly enthused about gambling development, British Columbia has become a relatively saturated market, with 17 casinos presently operating in the province. In addition, there are several more venues, such as slot parlors, racinos, and bingo halls, such that residents of the province are never more than an hour’s drive from a resort or other type of brick-and-mortar gambling.
Many of these casinos are easily accessible from Vancouver, since they are either located inside the city or in other Lower Mainland locations. The Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, the biggest casino in all of British Columbia, and the Edgewater Casino, a smaller facility near BC Place and Rogers Arena, are two examples.
Additionally, horse racing is highly popular in the Vancouver region, and one of the finest racetrack in British Columbia is located inside the city. The Hastings Racecourse has several Grade III events, notably the British Columbia Breeders’ Cup Derby, but not many important races. Despite the fact that the track almost shut down at the conclusion of the 2012 racing season, it continues to operate to this day, profiting from both gambling on the races and real-money slot machines offered in adjacent casinos.
BC Leads Online Compliance
It hasn’t always been the case that the majority of Canadians reside in regions where regulated internet gaming is permitted. In the early years of the Internet gaming sector, few nations or governments provided licensing or otherwise supervised play; it wasn’t until more recent times that this became the norm.
In this sense, however, the government of British Columbia was more forward-thinking than most other provinces, states, and nations, seizing the opportunity to regulate web-based gambling a little sooner than most others. In 2004, the BCLC created PlayNow.com, a website that at the time provided online lottery ticket sales, making it simpler than ever for players to participate in draws from their homes.