B.C. Lottery Looks To Online Gaming For The Future

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) was in the news a few years ago for being the first to offer legalized and regulated online gambling not only in Canada, but in the whole of North America. BCLC has just announced its financial results for the year 2014/15, the highlight of which is the delivery of a record net income of $1.25 billion to the province of British Columbia. This is the ninth year running that BCLC has paid more than $1 billion to the province. These funds go a long way in supporting communities, health care and education.

The contribution of BCLC’s online gaming operations to this payout is seemingly insignificant because this endeavour is relatively very recent and is in the infancy stage of the product life cycle. Out of the total revenue of $2.9 billion, only $0.1 billion came from online gaming, whereas the balance came from the lottery and casino operations. But it was pointed out in the accompanying Annual Service Plan Report that the lottery and casino operations have reached maturity and the revenue streams from these have flattened out. Also the land casino operations are dependent on revenue from overseas tourists betting at high limit tables. This is a high risk business which can vanish with an adverse change in currency exchange rates. So the focus for the future will be on online gaming, which showed a 20% increase in revenue over last year.

The report also highlighted the latest online gaming initiative of BCLC. The first live venue sports betting pilot in the Canadian province was launched at Starlight Casino operating in partnership with the PlayNow.com Sportsbook. This will give customers a dynamic sportsbook experience on one of the largest video walls installed within British Columbia. PlayNow.com will contribute with a tailor-made, high-definition betting content display. The live betting facility will run across multiple sports with real-time price, screen and content changes. BCLC Vice President for eGaming Rhonda Garvey said, “This is a brand new and innovative way to engage our players in an interactive and fun atmosphere where they can enjoy all the amenities of a sports lounge, along with the excitement of live sports action betting.”

One of the projects that BCLC had started was the facility distribution strategy, which aims at providing a casino or community gaming facility within a 30-minute drive to all British Columbia adults. This is now 90% complete. The corporation continues to invest in responsible gambling initiatives and in gambling research.

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