Many provinces in Canada are looking to take over the regulation of online gambling, rather than entrusting the responsibility to offshore regulators. British Columbia was one of the first to launch its government-run online gambling website, and now the province has announced a major expansion of the existing network.
PlayNow.com is the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s online gambling website. It currently offers players the chance to play the lottery online. With the BCLC’s new expansion, however, visitors to the site will also be able to casino games and bingo. Players will be able to play online slots, blackjack, roulette and craps on the new website, and the BCLC hopes to add peer-to-peer poker in the Fall.
Currently, British Columbia residents spend more than $100 million gambling online, the majority of which goes to offshore operators. Last year, the government earned $34 million of that $100 million total. With the next expansion, the province could stand to double its revenue
"We want toensure that money gambled in B.C. stays in the province to benefit B.C.", says Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman.
It is a very interesting model for online casino operation. If successful, it could set an example for online casinos in the United States allowing individual states to benefit from online gambling.