What Is the Current Status Of Online Gambling In British Columbia

The legality of gambling in Canada is a gray area. However, you are unlikely to be arrested for playing a poker game in your home. In spite of that, gambling is tough to manoeuvre in the country. For one, there is no comprehensive law by the Federal government on gambling in Canada. The responsibility of who can gamble is largely the responsibility of the provincial governments.

Taxation Laws in British Columbia

No federal taxes are collected from online gamblers. However, the gambling companies have to pay a certain amount to the federal government. It is the only tax, which the gambling industry faces. Despite this tax, they do not concern themselves with any oversight roles. However, British Columbia does collect certain taxes from players. The players who list their profession as gambling have to pay tax. The reason is that this is considered their form of employment. However, players who have other jobs and do this occasionally do not pay any tax. It makes gambling in British Columbia even more lucrative. With enough patience, one may potentially hit a big win for which they do not need to pay anything. Gambling is considered one’s profession when there is no other formal employment, and the winnings are regular and major.

Gaming Law Enforcement

British Columbia is one of the provinces where gambling is allowed. However, there are still many hurdles to be watched out for if one intends to gamble online. The authorities have some strict guidelines on how gambling takes place. For one, only the government is allowed to run a gambling site. Although this may seem unfair, it is what the legislature of the province has agreed upon. The site only offers a few options. However, these options have greatly increased in the past few years.

If one were to attempt to run an online site in the province, they would probably be arrested. There is already legal precedence where a site owner has been arrested for running a site based in Canada. However, there is a weakness in this law. No gambler caught gambling on the site was arraigned before court. It appears the provincial government of British Columbia has no interest in doing that. In addition, it is worth noting the sentence issued was not particularly harsh. It would indicate that there is no major interest to regulate online gambling and other types of gambling.

In fact, on-site gambling is allowed in the province. However, the province is very huge. Besides that, some of the onsite gambling halls are inaccessible. For instance, during the winter months, it might be dangerous to venture out late in the night to go gamble. British Columbia has some very harsh weather during the winter months.
Online gambling on foreign sites is also quite legal. It is a major loophole, which all residents who like gambling in British Columbia should utilize. As of now, gambling in Canada is worth about forty billion dollars. Thus, it would be quite difficult for the government not to have noticed such activity. However, the provincial governments and the federal governments have not taken any measures to stop it. If they wanted, all the online sites working within Canada could easily be blocked. British Columbia has the capabilities to stop this in a moment if they needed to do it. It would thus appear there is a silent acceptance of online gambling of foreign-based sites. If one chooses to gamble on these foreign sites, they should only gamble on trusted sites. Since the sites are based outside Canada, any wrongdoing would be quite difficult to prosecute.
Sports’ betting is another major issue in British Columbia. In fact, it is banned in most places around the world. The reason is that some countries feel it might influence the outcomes of sports competitions. Thus, the government of the province only allows gambling on sports competitions online on its site. However, if one loves betting on live events, they can attend horse races and place their bets there.
The government’s site is only available to citizens of the province. There are only a few interprovincial agreements that cover people from outside. It would be wise to stay out of the province’s site if one is not in British Columbia.

Who Regulates the Online Activity?

The government of British Columbia has set up its gambling site. It encourages everyone to gamble only on that site. The reasoning behind it is that one is more likely to get an honest deal if they use the government-regulated site. However, there do seem to be a bit of self-promotion going on. One disadvantage of the government site is that bonuses are very few. The major reason may be that they do not have any competition. If one plays on international gambling sites, they stand a chance to win major bonuses. These bonuses could be as high as 300% of what one places. Thus, they might be worth considering.
The international gaming commission regulates foreign gambling sites. It ensures that all the sites are working in fairness. The regulation is of a higher standard since it meets internationally set standards. Thus, they may be worth visiting. However, if one feels like the site is shady; it would be wise to pull out their money. Most sites also offer players a demo game. In such a game, one does not lose any money. The player gets to gain experience and improve their chances of making big wins in future.


There are many advantages to gambling online in British Columbia. For one, there is the potential to bump up one’s income considerably. In addition, one does not have to spend any money on food or fuel. Online gambling is also an excellent way to kill time while potentially earning money. Most games found online are quite fun to play. There are also more games on offer than with physical gambling sites. The site only requires a creative programmer to come up with as many games as they would like.

Written by: Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson has been reporting for Blog.ca for more than 8 years. He studied journalism at UGC and has published two books on how journalism influences the world.


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