Overview of Gambling in British Columbia, Canada

British Colombia is the westernmost province with a 27,000 km coastline on the Pacific Ocean. The province is four times the size of Great Britain, with half of all British Colombians living in Metropolitan Vancouver. Here we take a look at gambling and land-based casinos in British Columbia.

Gambling Regulation in British Columbia

All gambling in British Columbia is regulated by The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB). Falling under their direct supervision are casinos, commercial bingo halls, lotteries and horse racing. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) is responsible for the management and conduct of commercial gambling. The only exception is horse racing. It's important to note that British Columbia gambling laws must comply with the regulatory framework set out in the Criminal Called of Canada. The minimum gambling age in British Columbia is 19 years and older.

Charitable Gaming events run by non-profits are permitted provided that they obtain a license from the GPEB. Permitted activities include bingos, social casinos, ticket raffles and bingos.

Pari-mutuel racing is also available in British Columbia, although it is regulated by the federal government. Aside from live horse race wagering, simulcast broadcasting of national, international and local races are permitted for pari-mutuel betting. Qualifying racetracks must still be licensed by the GPEB to ensure compliance with responsible gambling, advertising & marketing and security & surveillance standards.

Although the non-profit Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) was once responsible for administering the lottery in British Columbia, this has not been the case since 1985. The BCLC's lottery division is accountable for selling local and nationwide tickets, including Super 7, Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max (offered by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation).

Land-based casinos in British Columbia are provincially operated by the government and thus not commercial casinos. However, the BCLC can and does contract out the day-to-day management to independent third parties. Visitors to BC casinos can find a full suite of slot machines and casino games, including the most popular variants: poker, craps, baccarat, blackjack, sic bo and roulette. Gamblers can also find electronic table games and bingo.

The BCLC operates six bingo halls, 17 casinos (full-service), 19 slot machine & bingo community gaming centres. The province has just one First Nation casino located near Cranbrook, BC.

A British Columbia online casino is provided by the BCLC's PlayNow.com website. British Colombians and provincial visitors can purchase lottery tickets, play instant games, keno, poker tournaments, bingo, live casino, casino games and slots. The casino also offers sports betting on the outcome of 2+ events. At the present time, single-event sports betting is not legal in Canada. However, this is expected to change into 2021.

Cascades Casino Langley

Cascades Casino Langley has an excellent location in downtown Langley, BC. Patrons will want to take full advantage of the 24/7 gaming, including bingo (traditional and electronic), 1,000+ slot machines (including progressive & mystery jackpots) and table games.

Fans of poker will enjoy a range of poker variants: Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, 3 Card Poker and 4 Card Poker. Other table games include standard blackjack, Double Deck Blackjack, Free Bet Blackjack, roulette, Touch Bet Roulette, traditional baccarat, Squeeze Baccarat and Fortune Pai Gow.

There’s more to Cascades Casino Langley than just the casino:

  • It's an entertainment resort where visitors can find more than just gaming.

  • Visitors can take advantage of live entertainment and a dining experience at one of four restaurants: The Buffet, Glacier Bar, Atlas Steak + Fish and the Match Eatery & Public House.

  • A year-round pub voted the Best Patio in the Fraser Valley every year since opening.

A great perk of visiting the Cascades Casino Langley is the simplicity of becoming an Encore Rewards member for free. All you need to do is pay a quick visit to the guest service desk and provide a valid ID. Players Club rewards program has four membership levels: Diamond, Double Diamond, Triple Diamond and Elite. Players can collect points by playing at any community gaming centre or Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd-managed casinos. Points can lead to great rewards, including birthday offers, invites to special events & promos, discounts on food, hotel packages or entertainment tickets, and more.

River Rock Casino

River Rock Casino Resort is located in the coastal municipality of Richmond, BC, in Metropolitan Vancouver. It is managed by Great Canadian Gaming and offers event planning, accommodations, entertainment, dining and more!

  • When not playing, visitors who stay at the resort can take advantage of the pool, spa and other recreational or relaxing amenities.

  • The casino has High Limit - Privé Slots with $1 machines and VIP blackjack with bets starting from $50. High rollers may want to try their hand at No Limit Texas Hold 'em, where bets begin at $100.

  • Games are situated in the River Rock Poker Room, where entrants can also participate in off-track betting.

The selection of casino games at River Rock has something for everyone. Poker players will find variants, including Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, Texas Hold 'em, 4 Card Poker and Fortune Pai Gow. With 1,200 slot machines, River Rock Casino has a good selection of penny, quarter slot machines and more.

The selection also includes some video poker machines. Boasting "the largest progressive jackpots along with the most linked tables in the lower mainland," visitors will find a good selection of table games at the casino. These games include Texas Hold 'em, Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, 4 Card Poker, Fortune Pai Gow, baccarat, craps, a standard roulette, Touch Bet Roulette and blackjack.

Elements Casino Victoria

Elements Casino Victoria is located in the capital city of British Colombia on lower Vancouver Island.

Slot players can enjoy 770+ slot machines with bets from as little as $0.01 to as much as $5. Additionally, players can find electronic roulette and poker. Players who prefer table games will find a choice of 26: King's Bounty, blackjack, EZ Baccarat, Freebet Blackjack, roulette, Fortune Pai Gow, Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, Double Deck Blackjack, Four Card Poker, $1-$3 No Limit Hold 'em Poker and Fast Action Poker.

Aside from what we've just mentioned, Elements Casino Victoria has other noteworthy positives:

  • The Greater Victoria Area has a population of around 370,000, so when you're not gambling, check out the surrounding life.

  • Offers a dining experience, live performance 'Platinum Room' and 'Well Public House,' for drinks.

  • A members-only Prive tables room contains Squeeze Baccarat, Easy Squeeze Baccarat (having Dragon and Panda bonus bets) and 2 Mini Squeeze Baccarat tables (better banker odds but a 5% commission).

Even if you don't qualify for the Prive Table Room, you'll still be able to take advantage of Encore Rewards by playing slots and table games. Perks include exclusive offers, VIP contests, multi bonus points (for Double or Triple Diamond members), discounts on dining, bonus accelerators and more.

Grand Villa Casino

The Grand Villa Casino, like the Cascades Casino Langley, is managed by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd. It is located in Burnaby, BC and also forms part of Metropolitan Vancouver. The casino offers a standout selection of 1,330 slot and video slot machines in bet sizes ranging from $0.01 to $1.00. Some slots include progressive jackpots to make things more interesting. Poker game enthusiasts will find several variants: Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, Fortune Pai Gow, Fast Action Hold 'em and 3 & 4 Card Poker. There are also other table games like blackjack, Squeeze Baccarat, EZ Baccarat, roulette, Touch Bet Roulette and craps.

There are other reasons to visit Grand Villa Casino:

  • It offers luxurious VIP rooms with high limit baccarat & blackjack and high limit slots.

  • Visitors will find 24/7 gaming, free parking, and a free shuttle bus service.

  • Their rewards programme is available at all Gateway Casinos or Community Gaming Centres.

Encore Rewards is a four-tier membership: Diamond, Double Diamond, Triple Diamond, and Elite, with perks that grow as your tier grows. Double Diamond, Triple Diamond, and Elite Level players can receive 5%, 10% or 15 % in bonus points, respectively. All tiers can receive points convertible into rewards. This includes birthday offers, special event & promo invites, food discounts, exclusive contests and hotel packages discounts, and entertainment ticket discounts.

Starlight Casino New Westminster

Starlight Casino New Westminster is a Richmond, BC-based casino near Metropolitan Vancouver. It offers a wide selection of reel style and video slot machines.

Table games are part of the fun, including poker variants with different table minimums: $10 Fast Action Poker, $5 Four Card Poker, Fortune Asia Poker, $10 Ultimate Texas Hold 'em and $15 Fortune Pai Gow. Then there is a $5 blackjack, $25 Double Deck Blackjack, $1 roulette, $10 EZ Baccarat, craps and $15 Fortune Pai Gow. A VIP area that includes private salons is available for high-limit slot players in the Royal Room.

So what else is there to know about the Starlight Casino?

  • It is a short drive from Vancouver International Airport if you're from out of town. Downtown Richmond is also a short drive away if you want to combine your casino visit with some big city exploring.

  • Indulge your taste buds with 5 dining options: The Buffet, Kirin, Shang Noodle House, Match Eatery & Public House and The RedBar Lounge. Also, take advantage of free live entertainment!

  • The casino is also managed by Gateway Casinos, allowing players to collect points across all their casinos and community gaming centres.

Players Club points are earned simply by playing with rewards depending on your 4-level membership. Points can be converted into rewards such as entry into exclusive contests & events, entertainment discounts, food at select eateries, birthday offers and more. Double Diamond, Triple Diamond, and Elite Levels can even receive 5%, 10% or 15% monthly in bonus points, respectively.