The province of British Columbia is full of die hard sports bettors, as is the rest of Canada. The British Columbia Lottery and Gaming Corporation, also known as the BCLC regulates land-based casinos and online sports betting options across western Canada. But more than ever, sports bettors are turning to popular online alternatives which have a reputation for offering better value and service.
In addition to lottery kiosks, British Columbia has a few major casino/sportsbook resorts located throughout the province, with the biggest surrounding the General Vancouver area. Most land-based sportsbooks focus heavily on NHL and MLB action, as well as the NFL.
Popular Online Betting Options in British Columbia
Any BC based bettors looking for great alternatives to the provincial options offered in British Columbia will instantly recognize the below, highly reputable online sportsbooks.
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British Columbia’s Online Sports Betting Site: PlayNow.com
British Columbians 19 years or older can enjoy PlayNow.com, the BCLC’s online gaming operation. Despite having more of a focus on casino, poker and lottery operations, there is a sportsbook.
In order to play, you do need to register for an account. You will need to provide personal details, confirm their identity with credit card details (Visa / Mastercard only) and set weekly transfer maximums from credit cards or bank accounts.
PlayNow.com services are not available to members while they are physically outside of the province of British Columbia. Withdrawals are sent via direct deposit, however applicable taxes do apply. As always, that’s one thing to consider anytime you play with a government body; you will pay taxes on all winnings regardless of the amount.
To be sure, there are far worse options for online sports gaming in BC than PlayNow.com, however do remember that there is the caveat of government oversight, taxes on all winnings and a few inconvenient restrictions such as the need for a credit card and the need to be within BC’s borders.
BCLC’s PlayNow.com Betting Site Features
In a “tale of the tape” PlayNow.com puts up a good fight, but ultimately gets KO’ed by all the other online sportsbook options available to British Columbians.
Sports Action lists Oddsets, Point Spreads and Over/Unders in addition to a limited number of Prop bets on major North American sports and American College football. You can select straight bets or parlays (“Go For” in their terms) but there are no teasers, special teasers and you cannot buy points like you can in most online sportsbooks.
While offshore online sportsbooks focus on the customer experience and offering player options, what you see is what you get with PlayNow.com: the betting interface is clunky, you’re limited in events you can wager on, all payouts are subject to provincial taxes (not such a good payline now is it?), and you won’t receive as many or as large bonuses or promotions as compared to offshore betting options.