BC, Canada Sports Betting Sites 2021
British Columbia is poised to launch single-sports betting the moment that Bill C-218 becomes law and is in force. British Columbia sports betting 2021 isn't out of the question.
Passed by the Senate of Canada, Bill C-218 has legalized single-sports betting across Canada. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation, through its PlayNow.com website, is positioned to provide single-event bets to players within days of legalization, as the digital infrastructure is already in place.
PlayNow.com is British Columbia’s only regulated online and mobile gambling website, offering lottery, eCasino games (slots, table, poker, Live Casino), bingo and sports betting. PlayNow.com is the fastest-growing channel of BCLC’ s business, with continuous year-over-year growth. The BCLC has also indicated that they are considering how best to expand single-game sports betting offerings to existing land-based gaming sites in the province.
Read on to learn more about British Columbia's best sportsbooks, bonus offers and how to sign up for the best BC gambling sites.
Bookies.com reviews and ranks every legal online sportsbook. Below is our list of the best betting sites that are expected to be available in the BC sports betting market.
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Why Bet at Legal Online BC Sports Betting Sites?
The BCLC-regulated sports betting sites will require a government licence to operate in the province. That means they will need to follow all the provincial and federal laws governing single-sports betting, or risk losing their gambling licence. BC bettors can rest assured that their money will be safe and their action will be honoured at these sites.
Are Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available?
Unique among Canadian provinces, the British Columbia BCLC offers a mobile app for its PlayNow.com site. It is downloadable to both Android and iOS devices. By comparison, in Quebec, it's not even legal to place a wager online.
This familiarity with mobile apps in regard to BCLC sports betting should enable the transition to single-sports betting and the addition of sports betting sites offering their own betting apps to be a relatively seamless scenario. Since the British Columbia Lottery Corporation already operates an app, everyone will be well-versed in how a betting app works.
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Bonuses & Promotions at BC Sports Betting Sites
Likewise, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation is way ahead of the curve when it comes to bonus and promotional offers. Online gambling BC provides welcome bonus offers of $20 in free play for both BCLC sports betting and casino action. As well, they even offer a $5 token for players who choose to sign up and acquire their lottery products online. When new sites launch, expect incredibly lucrative welcome bonuses, ranging from 100% deposit matches to risk-free bets, as well as free bet promotions, odds boosts and more.
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BC Land-Based Sportsbooks & Locations
Expect all the leading US-based sports betting sites to be casting their eyes toward BC. As Canada's second-most populous province, there's a lucrative market to be served. As well, many BC bettors who cross the border to wager at legal American sportsbooks will be familiar with the top American brands.
DraftKings is poised to move quickly into the BC market. The American sports betting and daily fantasy sports giant is already working with federal and provincial government officials. They want to get their ducks in a row so that approval of their licences will happen in short order.
Like the Boston-based DraftKings, FanDuel, headquartered out of New York, also seamlessly made the move from DFS powerhouse into the sportsbook business when it was legalized in the USA in 2018. They are also poised to make a major move into Canada, including the BC market. FanDuel already has DFS customers in Canada. As well, Paddy Power Betfair - now Flutter Entertainment and owner of FanDuel - were the original technology suppliers for BCLC's PlayNow website.
They're known best for their easy to clear signup bonus. BetRivers might not be as popular a brand as some of their competitors, but they've certainly held their own in the American market. They have earned a reputation as a trusted site that delivers a quality product.
888Sport was launched in 1997. The company is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. Currently, 888Sport is a popular site for Canadians, although they access the U.K. or EU version. That familiarity might work in favour of this operator as 888Sport Canada establishes its brand within the regulated Canadian market.
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A trusted brand in the gaming industry since the early 1980s, MGM launched Roar Digital when the US market opened, creating BetMGM as the company's signature online sports betting brand. It is well-positioned to enter the Canadian market. BetMGM is an official sports betting partner of the NHL and recently hired Wayne Gretzky as a brand ambassador.
Originally a regional line of betting shops when the company was created in the mid-1970s, Bet365 has grown into a massive worldwide online sports betting colossus. The UK-based site has made some minor inroads into the US market. Bet365 CA already operates in the unregulated online market in Canada through their UK site. That should help them make the switch to the regulated side of the industry.
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William Hill Sportsbook
A huge player in the US market, William Hill operates more sports betting sites south of the border than any sportsbook. They've been in the sports betting game since 1934. Willam Hill's UK website already gives the company a presence in the unregulated Canadian market.
Sport Nation Sportsbook
Sport Nation is viewed as a site that is ideal for the new player, so that could make them an appealing entity in the inaugural BC market. They're a site known for ease of use and for supplying a comprehensive FAQ section. This UK and Irish-based company might a sleeper to watch for in Canada.
Karamba was born as an online casino in 2005. It wasn't until just prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup that they made the move into the sports betting market. They've gained a reputation for their vast betting markets, trustworthiness and reliability. Licenced in Malta, like Sport Nation, Karamba could be a site that sneaks in there and captures a share of the BC sports betting market.
With over 4 million users of the company's sports media app, theScore should be poised to make a . . . pardon the pun . . . big score in the Canadian sports betting industry. Already schooled in the ways of online and mobile sports betting through its theScore Bet app in the USA, Canada is theScore's home turf. It will use that to its advantage.
Canadian Companies Interested in the BC Sports Betting Market
Canadian telecommunications giants Rogers and Bell Media control the country's airwaves, mobile markets and internet. With that technology already in place, why wouldn't they want to move into the world of regulated online sports betting?
Rogers: A strong supporter of Bill C-218, Rogers, owners of 24-hour sports TV network Sportsnet, as well as the NHL TV rights in Canada and the Toronto Blue Jays, has quietly been hiring people with backgrounds in the betting industry. They claim their interest is purely from the fan engagement standpoint. The Vancouver Canucks, the most popular British Columbia professional sports team, play at Rogers Arena.
Bell: Industry insiders are of the opinion that Bell is a company with an ideal infrastructure to move into a position of power in the sports betting industry. Besides their telecommunication holdings, Bell also is co-owner with Rogers of MLSE, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, FC Toronto, the Toronto Argonauts, the Scotiabank Centre, Leafs TV, NBA TV Canada and GOL TV Canada. The company has said little publicly about whether there's an appetite for a betting venture but is supportive of the change in the law.
Woodbine: Canada's major player in the horse racing industry, Woodbine officials see how top American racetracks like the Meadowlands and Churchill Downs have moved into the sports betting game south of the border. CEO Jim Lawson has indicated that Woodbine also would have an interest in expanding access to horse racing throughout the Canadian market.
British Columbia Sports Betting Law
Under the current gaming laws in British Columbia, single-event sports betting is illegal. This is resulting in BC sports bettors placing their bets on unregulated, grey-market websites or in casinos across the border in Washington State, where wagering on single games is permitted by law.
The only sports bets permitted in BC are those requiring a "parlay" - meaning players must wager on the outcome of at least two different events. The player wins if all events are correct. That will change once Bill C-218 is put into action. When it comes to gambling age, British Columbia allows those 19 years or older to place a bet. However, they must be physically present in BC to do any online wagering.
Single Sporting Event Wagers
The Senate of Canada voted in favor of passing Bill C-218, which will legalize betting on single games and change the gaming laws in British Columbia. In 2019, five professional sports leagues signed a united letter addressed to the Canadian government, expressing support for single-event betting. BC already has the infrastructure in place to be able to launch online wagering on single games within days of the go-ahead being given by the ruling federal Liberal government.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in BC, Canada?
Yes, it is. PlayNow.com, owned by BCLC, is an online gambling website in British Columbia. Regulated by the government along with all lottery and casino gambling in the province, it is the only legal method in terms of how to gamble in British Columbia. Players can bet on sports (via parlay wagering) and play casino, live casino, poker and bingo online 24 hours a day.
Proline British Columbia
BCLC Sports Action, launched in B.C. in 1991, is the province's version of BC Proline, the Canada-wide sports lottery. It continues to be a popular option for bettors at retail outlets.
The BCLC launched the PlayNow online sportsbook in 2012 to provide BC sports bettors a more comparable online betting experience and a more viable option for those BC sports bettors who are currently risking their money with illegal or unregulated internet sportsbooks.
However, since this form of sports betting only provides parlay wagering, it skews the odds in favour of the house. As far as how to gamble on sports in British Columbia, it isn't a great option for bettors.
Who Regulates Sports Betting in BC?
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) oversees all sports betting in the province. The BCLC will continue to fill that role as single-sports betting is enabled in the province. The BCLC also operates 16 casinos and 17 community gaming centres across British Columbia. It also offers lottery products through more than 3,500 lottery retailers, including more than 660 hospitality locations across BC.
How to Sign up and Make Your First Sports Bet
To sign up for a BC online sportsbook account, some personal information will be required. This will include a player's name, address, telephone number and email address. Identity verification will be necessary to confirm date of birth and gender. This information is sent electronically to one of Canada's major credit bureaus to confirm a player is 19, the minimum gambling age British Columbia permits.
Players will need to create a user name and password and supply answers to security questions. A form of deposit method must be established. Among the funding options accepted under the gaming laws in British Columbia are American Express, Visa, Mastercard, interac e-transfer, PayPal, WebCash and online bill payment.
To place a bet, players begin by searching the sports home page for featured bets. Finding one they like, by clicking on the odds, it's added to the player's betslip. Once all bets have been added, the bettor clicks on the place bets button. One final chance to review is offered. By clicking confirm, the bet is made.
How We Have Chosen the Best BC Sports Betting Sites
Only the most reliable and reputable British Columbia gambling sites are featured by bookies.com Each of the best sportsbooks in British Columbia has been studiously reviewed for quality, trustworthiness, ease of use and other key factors to ensure that only the best in online gambling British Columbia make the cut. That means an enjoyable, safe and hopefully profitable experience for BC residents. Here are the primary aspects of online operators reviewed by Bookies.com.
When gambling in British Columbia, Canada, the last thing a player wants to be dealing with are delays. If a betting site strives to be considered as British Columbia's best sportsbook, it must be fast to load when bettors click on their site, and it must deliver the odds promptly.
The Site’s Reputation
No matter the industry, being able to count on who you're doing business with is vital to establishing a long-term relationship. The top BC gambling sites are reliable, safe and secure. They live up to their promises.
In the virtual world, customer service is a vital component to establishing a client base. When partaking in online gambling in British Columbia, a player can't physically see the people operating the betting site. That's why on those rare occasions when problems arise, the best British Columbia sports betting sites will make online customer help available 24/7 to get the situation resolved.
The best British Columbia online sports betting sites will be sleek and smooth and easy to navigate. The menu will be simple to follow, ensuring that the sport the bettor is seeking to wager is a quick find. Of course, a good user experience should also teach new bettors about a betting strategy, the different types of bets, and how to calculate odds, for example. At our recommended BC sportsbooks, this information, and more will be available.
Mobile apps should mirror a British Columbia betting site's online sportsbook. Everything that is offered via desktop or laptop computer should be all there on the mobile site. Navigating the site with a mobile device should be quick and smooth.
Betting Promos and Offers
Players who will be betting in British Columbia will seek out sportsbooks that offer lucrative promos. The leading BC betting sites will provide players with enticing bonus and promotional offers. Those offers will be easily located on the site's menu so that players can access them with minimal effort.
Available Sports to Bet On
The top betting sites will offer action on all British Columbia sports teams. Markets will be provided for all the popular sports in British Columbia, as well as the leading international events.
The best British Columbia online gaming sites are the ones that provide competitive betting odds and deliver them in a prompt fashion to enable bettors the time to weigh their options. There will be numerous betting lines offered on all the British Columbia professional sports teams.
Variety is the spice of life and that's also true when it comes to funding an online betting account. Players want there to be a wide array of payment methods available. As well, the best British Columbia sports betting sites will provide easy and fast options when players seek to withdraw funds from their account.
Types of Sports Bets Offered in British Columbia
At PlayNow.com, the betting lines offered on BCLC sports wagering include moneyline, puck line, spread, total, props, futures, parlays, winning margin and correct score. There are also numerous live betting options. Certain betting options are exclusive to Sports Action, the retail version of BCLC sports betting. These include BCLC Toto, which is a pools wager, and sports action oddset, which is a product that offers the choice between two variations of play. When new sites launch, expect a vast array of sports bets to be offered.
What Sports Leagues Can I Bet On in BC?
The litany of sports markets offered by the gaming laws in British Columbia is awe-inspiring. Bettors will find all the major North American sports that a top BC betting site would be expected to deliver. However, players can also wager on minor-league baseball, esports, pro wrestling, politics and even Nathan's hot dog eating contest.
Betting On NHL
The NHL is king in Canada, so naturally, the hockey betting options are seemingly endless. All the anticipated game lines are there, but there are also markets on the first goalscorer and anytime goal scorers. Players can wager on dozens of individual player props for each game. They're also offering NHL futures markets on the Stanley Cup and individual award winners.
Betting On NBA
The Vancouver Grizzlies may be no more, but there's still a significant following for the NBA when it comes to basketball betting in British Columbia. There are moneylines, totals, spreads and alternate totals and spreads. As well, they offer quarters and half spreads, totals and winning margins and an array of player props.
Betting On Soccer
The Vancouver Whitecaps are a soccer tradition in the city that extends back to the 1970s. Soccer has always been a popular sport in BC. The Canadian national team often sets up shop and plays many international matches in the province. Soccer betting options go beyond North America to the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America, with both club and international competitions.
Betting On MLB
Baseball betting in BC features moneyline, spread and totals. There are lines on each team's run total. Also available are alternate moneyline and total wagers, and sixth and seventh inning moneyline, spread and total wagering.
Betting On Lacrosse
At one time hugely popular in British Columbia, professional sports teams in lacrosse were prominent at the turn of the 20th century. BC returned to the world of pro lacrosse in 2014. The Vancouver Warriors joined the National Lacrosse League.
Betting On Other Sports
BC sports fans often flock south of the border to take in the NFL games of the Seattle Seahawks. The NFL is a big factor in British Columbia sports betting. As well, the BC Lions of the CFL are a major club for online sports betting in the summer and fall. BC maintains strong roots to its British past. That makes traditionally British sports such as cricket and rugby league and union popular with BCLC sports betting. UFC/MMA, golf and auto racing are also big with sports betting in British Columbia.
Popular Sporting Events to Bet On
The Stanley Cup will always be the most frequently bet on sports event in BC. Other major sporting events that draw interest among the province's sports bettors are the Grey Cup, Super Bowl, FIFA World Cup, Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports are legal to play in Canada and all the top DFS sites operate in BC. DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo Fantasy and Monkey Knife Fight all accept Canadian customers from BC. The Monkey Knife Fight connection could prove intriguing as betting on single games moves forward. American betting site Bally's acquired Monkey Knife Fight in January 2021. That will give Bally's access to a Canadian customer base if they opt to set up shop BC and other provinces.
Betting on Horse Racing
There are five horse racing tracks in British Columbia, two of which are currently offering live racing. There is thoroughbred racing at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver. Harness racing cards are held at Fraser Downs Racetrack in Surrey.
Five thousand licensed owners, jockeys, drivers, trainers, grooms and exercise persons participate in approximately 125 days of live racing in the province each year. BC horse racing also offers simulcast wagering from around the world and operates teletheatres throughout the province.
Top 4 BC Sports Teams to Bet On
There's a rich sporting history in BC. The Vancouver Millionaires brought the Stanley Cup to the province in 1915. Ten years later, the Victoria Cougars were the last team from outside the NHL to hoist Lord Stanley's mug aloft.
The Canucks are the most popular sports team in BC. They joined the NHL as an expansion franchise in 1970. The Canucks have played in three Stanley Cup finals in 1982, 1994 and 2011. However, they lost all three series, twice going down in seven games.
When they won the 1964 Grey Cup, the Lions were the first pro team to bring a major title to BC since Victoria's 1925 Stanley Cup win. Inaugurated in 1954, the CFL Lions are the oldest active pro sports franchise in BC. They've played in 10 Grey Cups, winning six of them.
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC were the 17th team to enter Major League Soccer when they joined the league in 2011. In 2012, they became the first Canadian team to qualify for the MLS playoffs. A previous version of the Whitecaps played in the NASL. The current club is perhaps best known as the first pro team of Canadian international Alphonso Davies, who won a UEFA Champions League title with Bayern Munich in 2020.
Vancouver gained a National Lacrosse League franchise when the Everett, Washington team relocated to BC. In 2018 the team was purchased and rebranded by Canucks Sports & Entertainment, owners of the NHL Canucks. From 2014-18, they played in Langley, BC and were known as the Vancouver Stealth.
BC Sports Betting History
A history of sports betting in British Columbia:
1991: The BCLC launched the Sports Action sports betting lottery product at lottery retailers, offering the only form of sports betting that’s currently legal in Canada: parlay wagering. Parlays can be anywhere from 2-6 legs, but all legs must come in for a bet to cash.
2004: The BCLC took Sports Action online.
2012: Sports Action was replaced as the BCLC's online entity by PlayNow Sports. PlayNow Sports offers many more betting markets and betting lines. Parlays can stretch from 2-20 legs.
2021: The Senate of Canada voted in favour of Bill C-218, legalizing single-game sports betting in the country.
British Columbia Online Casinos
BC bettors can rest assured that all the leading online casino and poker sites will be welcome in the province. That's because all of these forms of gambling, as well as online keno, bingo and even a live casino option, are part of BC betting site PlayNow.com's repertoire of gaming offerings. PlayNow includes online slots, poker, baccarat, roulette and blackjack. The live casino offers blackjack, baccarat, roulette and Texas Hold'em.
GameSense is a program administered by the BCLC to help keep gambling a safe, fun source of entertainment. It provides resources to help people identify if they or someone they know may have lost control of their gambling. It also explains how the BCLC Voluntary Self-Exclusion program works and how it can be an important first step in helping people make better gambling decisions. All top online sportsbooks also offer robust sections and resources to promote responsible gaming.
BC Sports Betting FAQs
Can You Bet on Sports in BC?
Yes. Through the BCLC, retail sports betting is available through Sports Action. Online sports betting is also offered at PlayNow.com. Soon you will be able to bet on a host of legal, regulated betting sites.
Is Online Gambling Legal in BC?
Yes. BC offers online betting on sports, casino games, poker, bingo and keno.
What is the Legal Age to Place a Sports Bet in BC?
Yes. In fact, mobile sports betting is already offered through PlayNow.com. Private operators, like 888Sport Canada should be accessible in the very near future.
Can I Visit a BC Casino to Bet on Sports?
Yes. Access to Sports Action wagering is provided at all BC casinos.
Can I Bet on American Sports in Canada?
Certainly. Betting lines on all the prominent American-based leagues - the NFL, NBA, MLS and MLB - are provided for wagering purposes.
What is the Most Popular Type of Bet in BC?
Currently, parlays are the most popular bet in BC. That's because until single sports betting is launched, it's the only type of sports wager permitted.
Can I bet on Super Bowl in British Columbia?
Yes. Super Bowl Sunday is annually one of the biggest betting days handled by the BCLC.
Will BC Sports Betting Be Taxed?
In General, Canadian tax authorities do not treat lottery, casino, bingo and eGaming prizes as taxable income, as they are considered to be windfalls. However, tax implications may arise, for example, if a prize is paid as an annuity or taken out of province/country.