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Skill & Knowledge

Learn how skill and knowledge factor into games of chance

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Finding Help

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Finding Help

If you find yourself gambling too much, or if it no longer feels like a game, there’s help if you need it.

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BCLC is one of the top employers in British Columbia.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for an answer?

Below you will find the answers to the most common BCLC and BCLC product questions. If you can't find what you are looking for, or if you have general feedback, email us and we will respond to your request.

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I have a question about how to self-exclude

To self-exclude from gambling facilities with slot machines, visit a casino's GameSense Info Centre and speak with a GameSense Advisor. Or ask any staff member at any casino, community gaming centre or commercial bingo hall for help.

To self-exclude from PlayNow.com, login to your account and access “Self-Exclusion” from within the “My Account” section. The screens will guide you through the process of completing your self-exclusion.

You can also visit the BCLC offices in Kamloops or Vancouver, call BCLC's Consumer Services at 1-866-815-0222, or visit GameSense.ca for further information.

Can I still play lottery games while self-excluded?

You are still able to purchase lottery products from BCLC retailers, excluding those at BC Casinos or community gaming centres. You will not be able to play lottery games on PlayNow.com.

Can a prize be claimed anonymously?

One of the conditions of receiving a prize is consenting to the release of your name and photo as the winner. BCLC publicizes wins because we want to demonstrate that players do win prizes. With this in mind, we do our best to accommodate the media and public interest in the story when a winner claims their prize, but we never provide a winner’s phone number or address. From time to time, winners will ask that their win not be publicized. While it is rare that we grant these requests, BCLC reviews them on a case-by-case basis.

How long will I be self-excluded and what are the self-exclusion options?

A player can choose to self-exclude for 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or 3 years.

In BC, there are three voluntary self-exclusion options to choose from. You can sign up for one, two, or all three options:

  • All gambling facilities with slot machines including casinos, community gaming centres, and the gaming floor of race tracks with slot machines.
  • All commercial bingo halls, community gaming centres and any gaming facility offering bingo; or
  • Gambling on PlayNow.com

If you are self-excluded from a gambling facility, you are not eligible to gamble on PlayNow.com for the duration of your exclusion. If you have an existing PlayNow.com account, your account will be closed.

What is the Vancouver office address and where can I get directions?


BCLC Marketing & Sales Office

2940 Virtual Way
Vancouver, BC V5M 0A6
Tel: (604) 215-0649

Get Directions

How do I claim my prize?

For information about claiming prizes please visit our claim a prize page

What language can be spoken at the card game tables?

As a rule accepted by all service providers, only English is spoken by dealers or dealer supervisors while on the gaming floor. However if there is a player who needs help or direction of a table game, dealers may use a different language provided the dealer supervisor understands that language and the dealer seeks permission from the dealer supervisor beforehand to use that language. Having said this, if the dealer is Asian and the dealer supervisor is Caucasian and an Asian patron needs direction or help with a table game, the dealer supervisor will inform the floor manager of this and an Asian staff usually from Guest Services will be brought in to assist the patron. At no time are dealers or dealer supervisors allowed to use a foreign language otherwise.

I have a question about minors claiming prizes

In British Columbia, the age of majority is nineteen years of age. BCLC may make payment of prizes on behalf of a minor to the Public Guardian and Trustee, a parent or a legal guardian depending on the age of the minor and the amount of the win.

A friend/loved one who is enrolled in the Voluntary Self-Exclusion program has been able to enter a casino and gamble. What should I do?

Please call BCLC Consumer Services at 1-866-815-0222. Agents are available daily from 7am to midnight to assist.

Where can I find more information about PlayNow.com?

For frequently asked questions, visit the Help section on PlayNow.com. If you're looking for in depth information about our games, visit the 'How to Play' pages specific to each game.

If you can't find the answers you're looking for, call our Consumer Services line in B.C. toll free at 1-866-815-0222.

Is it ok to tip staff at a casino?

Tips to gaming employees at B.C. casinos are permitted.

What is a Weekly Transfer-In Limit?

The Weekly Transfer-In Limit is the maximum amount that you wish to be able to transfer from your credit card or bank account into your PlayNow.com account during a seven day period.

Key facts about the Weekly Transfer-In Limit:

  • It is not an automatic transfer-in feature.
  • You can enter an amount in $1 increments up to the wallet balance limit of $9999. (example: $11, $15, $507).
  • Within any seven day period, you will only be able to transfer in up to the total amount which you selected.
  • You can decrease your Weekly Transfer-In Limit at any time in your player profile.
  • Any increases to your Weekly Transfer-In Limit will not come into affect for 24 hours.
What happens after I enter the Voluntary Self-Exclusion program?

BCLC encourages self-excluded players to self-ban from other gambling sites they visit. Upon completion of enrolment, you will be asked if you would like to speak to a counsellor. If you choose this option, one will contact you directly.

You are not eligible to win while self-excluded in accordance with the Rules and Regulations. So if you gamble, win a major prize and are identified as being enrolled in the program, BCLC will not pay the prize.

For information on how you can help restrict access to gambling websites, and what happens when you self-exclude please visit GameSense.ca

How much time do I have to claim a lottery prize?

Holders of winning lottery tickets, have up to one year from the draw date to claim their prize, unless otherwise announced by BCLC.

The one year time frame to claim a lottery prize does not include claims for prizes won on Instant tickets. Instant ticket prizes must be claimed prior to the expiry date as written on the ticket or as announced by BCLC. For more information on Instant ticket expiry dates please visit our Lotto website

What is the closest casino location to me, and what are their hours of operation?

There are seventeen B.C. casinos to choose from please visit our casino website to find the one closes to you and their hours of operation.

I have a complaint or concern pertaining to an incident that occurred at a local BCLC retailer, what should I do?

We ask that you please contact Consumer Services at our toll free number 1-866-815-0222 or email us to report any complaint or concern that you may have.

How are the lottery numbers drawn?

BCLC has stringent physical and procedural security in place to ensure the integrity of all draws.

Draws may be conducted by any method established by BCLC. The most common is through computerized draw technology, such as an Automated Draw Machine (ADM).

More details are available in this brochure, How Are Lottery Numbers Drawn?, or email Consumer Services to receive a copy.

How do I check my lottery ticket?

You may check your ticket on a Check a Ticket Terminal (CATT) which is located at every retailer in B.C. The CATT will tell you the exact dollar amount of any winnings on a ticket. To complete the validation you must take your signed ticket to the retailer.

I am interested in working at BCLC

Any currently available job opportunities are posted in the Careers Section of BCLC Corporate website

Resumes must be submitted online through our Careers current opportunities page and cannot be accepted otherwise.

How do slot machines work?

A computer program (called an RNG, or Random Number Generator) ensures a random outcome on each play. For more information about how slot machines work, visit GameSense.ca and watch our informative video.

When is PlayNow.com available?

Games on PlayNow.com can be purchased during the following time periods seven days a week:

Lottery, Keno, Sports Action: 6 a.m. - 4:08 a.m. (approximate)

Pacific Hold'Em Poker: Buy tickets (4:45 a.m. - 2:06 a.m.), Validate tickets (6:00 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.), Draws occur (11:06 a.m. - 2:06 a.m.)

eBingo: Single Player games are available every day starting at approximately 4:09 a.m. and close at approximately 4:00 a.m. the next day. Stardust opens for sales at approximately 7:00 a.m. and closes at approximately 12:00 a.m. West Coast opens for sale at approximately 7:04 a.m. and closes at approximately 12:00 a.m. 9PM Bingo Hour opens for sale at approximately 8:52 p.m. and closes at approximately 9:52 p.m. nightly.

Casino games: 24 hours a day

Please note that some mornings PlayNow.com may not be available due to system upgrades and/or scheduled maintenance. Please try again later or if you require assistance call Consumer Services at 1-866-815-0222.

I have received spam emails that appear to be from BCLC

Please be assured that the prize notification you have received was not sent by BCLC and that BCLC is in no way associated with the sender.

As an agent of the Crown, BCLC is authorized to market and distribute lottery tickets within the province of British Columbia only. BCLC only pays a prize to the holder of a winning lottery ticket. All major winners ($10,000+) must claim in person at one of our main prize payout locations.

In Canada, there are no fees on lotteries for insurance, processing, handling, or customs.

BCLC advises that you do not send any funds via cash, cheque, or wire transfers. You may wish to bring your concerns to your local police department and/or the attention of:

PHONE BUSTERS (The Canadian Anti-fraud Call Centre)

Toll Free:1-888-495-8501
Overseas and Local:
 1-705-495-8501
Toll Free Fax Number:
 1-888-654-9426
Fax Number
 (Overseas and Local): 1-705-494-4008

Mailing Address:

Box 686 North Bay, Ontario P1B 8J8
E-mail:
 info@phonebusters.com

Why can't I play on PlayNow.com when I am travelling outside B.C.?

BCLC is authorized to market and distribute games within the province of British Columbia only. At this time, registered players may only purchase games when physically located in BC.

Where do the lottery draws take place?

Lotto 6/49 and LOTTO MAX and DAILY GRAND draws are conducted by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation in Toronto. You can watch videos of the Lotto 6/49 and LOTTO MAX draws taking place on our Lotto! website. BC/49, Extra, Keno, Pacific Hold'Em Poker and BC 50/50 draws are conducted at our Kamloops office.

Why do I have to sign my ticket before I validate it?

Signing the back of your ticket provides greater protection for both the player and retailer by confirming ticket ownership prior to validation or redemption. The ticket must be signed before it can be validated.

Why can BCLC sell lottery products over the Internet?

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, only the Province or its Agent can conduct and manage gaming on or through a computer.

The Government of B.C. has given BCLC the authority to operate on or through a computer, including through the Internet any lottery scheme which it has been authorized to conduct and manage.

What commitments does BCLC make to its Internet players?

PlayNow.com is a state-of-the-art online environment. BCLC's Internet Gaming Code of Conduct & Responsible Play is available in full at bclc.com.

In short, a player can trust that we:

Respect privacy: Inform players why we are collecting personal information and how that information will be used. A player's right to privacy is protected under the B.C. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Restrict play to adults: To play, a player must be nineteen years of age or older. That's the law.

Set weekly limit: There is a set maximum weekly limit on the amount a player may fund their wallet account.

Only allow B.C. residents to play: A player must be physically located in British Columbia at the time of game purchase.

Help keep it fun: PlayNow.com uses a wide variety of industry-leading responsible play strategies to help minimize problem behaviour

Are fair and honest: The integrity and security of our games offered through the Internet will be as high as that for all of our other operations.

How do I claim a prize won on a lottery ticket bought in another province?

Lottery winnings must be claimed from the lottery jurisdiction that sold the ticket. Please contact the lottery jurisdiction that the ticket was purchased from for further details, contact information appears on the back of the ticket.

I have a freedom of information request

BCLC is an open and transparent Crown corporation and makes many records publicly available.

If you have a question about BCLC, you can make a request for information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. You'll need to make a request under the Act only if the information you're looking for isn't routinely available. More information on submitting a request may be found here.

What are the current deals/promotions for the different casinos?

Please visit our Casino website to find out more information about what deals and promotions the casinos are currently offering.

I have an advertising complaint or inquiry

Complaints: 

To meet BCLC's objective of generating net income for the public good we use various techniques, including advertising, to build awareness of our lottery games. We know that all advertisements will not appeal to all audiences, but BCLC advertising aims to catch the player's attention in a light-hearted manner.

Before any advertisement is released, BCLC must ensure its advertising meets advertising and marketing standards for the BC Gambling Industry and meets advertising standards for Canada.

Inquiries: To ensure unbiased and competitive review of the opportunities, please contact our media Agency of Record (ie the agency that handles all our media buying), OMD, at 604-642-6835 and they can ask for Angela Dong. OMD is aware of our target groups, our various advertising strategies and objectives, and our budgets, and therefore is in the best position to assess the suitability of your proposal on behalf of all our different advertising needs.

I think someone was using my PlayNow.com account to purchase games without my knowledge. What should I do?

If you think someone was using your PlayNow.com account without your knowledge, immediately contact Consumer Services at 1-866-815-0222.

What is the return to player on slot machines?

On average, more than 92 per cent of the accumulated credits played on B.C. slot machines over the lifetime of the game is returned to the player as prizes. It does not mean that you will leave with 92% of the money you started with.

How can I block my child's access to online gambling sites?

There are many web content-filtering and parental control products available on the internet on both a ‘paid’ and ‘free’ basis. A simple search in your internet browser will provide you with a variety of providers, options and information on these tools.

Try searching using keywords such as:

  • “Content Filtering Software”
  • “Parental Control” or
  • “Internet Blocking Software”

Whether you choose a paid or free version of this software, do your research and find the tool that’s right for you.

What do I do if I have a complaint or a concern regarding a recent incident at BCLC Casino Location?

You can report any complaint or concern by contacting Consumer Services toll free at 1-866-815-0222; agents are available from 7:00 a.m. to midnight daily or you can email us.

Can I purchase a Slot Machine?

BCLC is a Crown corporation and the agent of government responsible to conduct, manage and operate commercial gaming in B.C. BCLC does not sell or lease gaming equipment.

You may be interested to learn that the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) has regulatory oversight over all gaming in the province. This includes ensuring the integrity of gaming, gaming industry companies, people and equipment. You may wish to contact them directly through their website for more information regarding slot machines.

Can I let my spouse, friends, coworkers, or child play using my account and password?

When registering you agreed to be responsible for ensuring that only you can use your account and password. In general, you should not keep funds in your PlayNow.com Account if you do not intend to redeem them for purchases within a reasonable amount of time. If you feel your account has been compromised, immediately contact Consumer Services at 1-866-815-0222 for assistance.

I have a game idea or suggestion

BCLC employs development teams who are responsible for creating a variety of innovative gaming products and promotions that appeal to the entertainment and gaming preferences of British Columbians. From time to time, we may also develop gaming products and promotions after consultation or collaboration with other government gaming jurisdictions.

BCLC cannot accept or consider proprietary information, ideas or proposals from the general public.

What if I change my mind? Can I end a self-exclusion early?

No, you cannot modify, revoke, withdraw or rescind your self-exclusion agreement before midnight on the expiry date.

How long do I have to purchase my Lotto 6/49, BC/49, Extra & LOTTO MAX ticket?

Sales are cut off at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time on draw days.

A friend/loved one of mine gambles too much. Can I enrol them in the Voluntary Self-Exclusion program?

No. Only the person themselves can enrol in the Voluntary Self-Exclusion program. However, if you have concerns about someone you know, you may wish to speak to the 24 hour Problem Gambling Help Line at 1-888-795-6111 for free, confidential help and support.

How are the different casino games played?

Please visit our Casino website for more information on the different games offered at casino's.

Where can I find lottery draw results?

Draw results are available by calling our toll free number at 1-866-815-0222 and choosing option 1, or at BCLC lottery retailers, on our lotto website, and in various daily and weekly newspapers.

What denominations of slot machines are available to play at B.C. Casinos?

You can choose from 1¢, 2¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20 slots. Check with your local casino for information about the slot machines offered in each facility.

How can I renew my self-exclusion?

You may extend your self-exclusion by attending either a casino, community gaming center, or a BCLC office. If this is not possible, please call BCLC Consumer Services at 1-866-815-0222.

How do I play the different lottery games offered by BCLC?

Visit our lotto website for information about the different games offered and how they are played.

How do you know a player is at least aged 19 and in the province of B.C. when they access BCLC games over the Internet?

We have invested significant safeguards, authentication processes and security measures to ensure the integrity of all our games. An individual must register and create a player account before play is enabled. To do this, the player must provide credit card information that will be sent electronically to one of Canada’s major credit bureaus. This third-party validation verifies both age and residency.

The purchase of lottery products can only occur while the player is physically located in British Columbia. and it is a violation of the PlayNow.com Player Agreement to attempt to purchase if outside of the province.

What happens to unclaimed lottery prizes?

Unclaimed lottery prizes are those prizes that are not successfully claimed prior to the lottery ticket's expiration (see "How much time do I have to claim a lottery prize?" question above). Unclaimed prizes from national games, e.g. LOTTO 6/49 and LOTTO MAX, are returned to players through future bonus games or promotions. These funds are held separately from British Columbia-only games and are administered by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation.

Unclaimed prizes from games operated solely by BCLC are accounted for annually as part of BCLC's net income and provided to the provincial government to benefit the people of British Columbia.

If I have more questions about problem gambling, where can I get more information?

At any time, you can call the 24 hour Problem Gambling Help Line at 1-888-795-6111 for free, confidential help and support.

More helpful links can be found at GameSense.ca finding help.

BCLC Consumer Services can also assist with questions regarding our Voluntary Self-Exclusion program and can be reached at 1-866-815-0222.

I have a gaming license or grant request

A strong relationship with the community means a lot to us. It's more than about being a good corporate citizen; it's something that is a part of who we are, because we live here too. Close to 6,000 charitable and community organizations benefitted from $135 million in gaming grants distributed by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.

There are three options that the government makes available to eligible charitable and community organizations:

  • Licensed Gaming: where you hold a gaming event as a fund raiser.
  • Bingo Hall Affiliation: where you receive a portion of bingo hall proceeds in return for fulfilling bingo hall duties.
  • Direct Access Program: where you receive a grant directly from the government for specific goals.

For more information on licensed gaming or applying for a government gaming grant, please visit the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch Web site.

They can also be reached by telephone through Enquiry BC, the Provincial Government information line, at 1-800-663-7867. Please ask the operator to transfer you to the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.

I am visiting B.C. can I purchase BCLC lottery products?

BCLC is authorized to market and distribute lottery tickets within B.C. only.

If you are 19 years of age or older and are visiting our province, you may purchase our lottery products.

Where can I get more information about responsible gambling?

GameSense.ca — to learn about how gambling works, and tools and resources to help keep gambling fun.

GameSense Info Centres (GSIC's) - interactive kiosks located on or near the gaming floor in all BC casinos and community gaming centres. At GSICs, you will find information and resources to help you make informed decisions if you play.

GameSense Advisors — staff on site at the casino GSICs, trained to answer your questions on topics including how games work, odds of winning and losing, and myths about gambling.

 

Can lottery tickets be cancelled?

A ticket can only be cancelled on the same day it is issued and at the same retail outlet.

Tickets produced on draw day, before the draw, can only be cancelled before the draw break (the exception is Keno Advance Buy tickets, which may be cancelled after the first draw but before the second draw).

Sports Action tickets must be cancelled before the cut-off time of the earliest game chosen.

Pacific Hold'em Poker tickets cannot be cancelled.

What happens if I try to enter a casino or gaming facility while self-excluded?

If you enter a casino or the gaming area while self-excluded and are identified, security will be alerted and you will be asked to leave. In accordance with the BC Gaming Control Act, you may also be fined up to $5,000.

You can visit other areas within the building such as hotels, show theatres, restaurants, lounges, and meeting rooms as long as these are accessible from an entrance separate from the gaming floor. Patrons who have self-excluded cannot enter the gaming floor.

If I win a casino jackpot while self-excluded will I receive my prize?

You are not eligible to win while in the Voluntary Self-Exclusion program, in accordance with the Rules and Regulations. So if you gamble, win a major prize and are identified as self-excluded, BCLC will not pay the prize.

I want to know more about kids and gambling. Where can I find some information?

Visit GameSense.ca to learn more, including tips for starting the conversation with kids about gambling.  

I am interested in doing business with BCLC

Retailer prospect

A copy of the informational package can be downloaded here

The next step would be to call Consumer Services at 1-866-815-0222 or send an email to consumerservices@bclc.com expressing your interest in becoming a lottery retailer. Please include your first and last name, your business name, address, and phone number.

Retailer Stores Group

Download a copy of the informational package and application form, which includes details on how to submit the complete application form

Once the application is received, you will receive a confirmation letter by fax/email.

Suppliers — BC Bid and Non BC Bid

Procurement is the acquisition of goods and/or services for the direct use of corporations generally via a contract.

Procurement may involve a bid; if a bid has been solicited, please go to BCLC Corporate - Doing Business with Us.

The Procurement department provides corporate services specific to procurement initiatives including bid competition management, sourcing, contract negotiation, and expediting and import/export customer management.

The Procurement Communications Protocol applies to all projects involving the procurement of goods or services.

Can I give my friend/family member a chip while at a card table, or while in the casino?

We do not recommend giving your chips away to anyone while at the table or while in the casino. We ask that you please keep a hold of your own chips and cash out prior to leaving the casino.

What are the tax implications of lottery, casino, bingo or eGaming prizes won in B.C.?

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. BCLC recommends consulting a tax advisor about the specific tax implications of a particular prize to a prize winner.

What happens if I'm a BC Gold Encore member and I self-exclude?

If you are a BC Gold Encore member, your account will be deactivated and your points will be redeemed for you for cash.

What are BCLC's safeguards and controls for responsible play on PlayNow.com?

BCLC has safeguards and controls throughout the PlayNow site. These include:

Weekly Transfer-In Limit: Maximum transfer amount by a player into their account each week is set at $9,999

Session log: Time and amount spent available at all times

Purchase history: Tickets purchased and amount spent for the past 52 weeks

Age control: 19+ and data verification using one of Canada's major credit bureaus.


Contact Customer Support

If you have general questions or feedback, you can:

Provincial Customer Support Centre Hours:

Daily 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. Pacific Time