British Columbia Gambling Up To $179 MillionPublished September 17, 2020 by Sol FH
British Columbia’s online gambling revenue has set a new record as its site reaches CAD$179 million.
Things were going well for the online gambling industry in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC), even before COVID-19 put a temporary end to land-based casinos. BC has had a reputation for its land-based gambling facilities for a long time but many players have taken their aspirations online over the last couple of years.
All land-based casinos were forced to close their operations in the middle of March due to the Coronavirus mandatory quarantine and social distancing procedures. Land-based operations had been in decline, as the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) issued its latest annual report. The BCLC reported that for the 12 months prior to March 31, they saw a decline of 2.2% from their fiscal year 2018-19 total. During the reported period, they generated revenue of CAD$2.53 billion.
BC casinos and slot machines also were in decline, with the latter reporting revenue of CAD$1.83 billion, while the slots and table games dropped 2.3% to CAD$1.3 billion and 8.1% to CAD$417 million, respectively. Casinos themselves fell 3.7%, while its net income decreased to CAD$929.3 million, or 5.5%.
The BCLC operates Playnow, its proprietary online gambling site, which unlike the land-based numbers, saw revenue increase by 19.5% to CAD$179 million. Better still, this was mostly before land-based operations were forced to shut down. Sports betting has been one of the biggest drivers of this new revenue growth, as sports are a very important part of Canadian culture. The BCLC revamped its sports betting platform and took major steps in improving live dealer solutions, registration of new players, and a major redesign of its mobile app.
Revenue jumped further when the BCLA approved an increased weekly deposit limit to CAD$100,000 from its previous limit of CAD$9,999. This was in an attempt to move high limit players from unregulated games and illegal gambling sites.