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How Gambling Works

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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 | GameSense

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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Thanks to our players, billions of dollars have supported communities and help B.C. grow.

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Our Role

BCLC is a Crown Corporation

BCLC is a Crown Corporation, owned by the Province of British Columbia. It was established to meet the requirements of the Criminal Code of Canada, and balance the need for revenue generations with a commitment to social responsibility and integrity.

In 1998, the Province added casino gambling to this mandate and made us responsible for the operation of the casino industry in British Columbia.

BCLC is regulated by the Province's Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.

Operating B.C.'s Gambling Industry

We set and oversee operating standards, policies and procedures for all gambling facilities, including security and surveillance. We have investigators and compliance officers who monitor our private sector service providers to ensure they conform to policies and procedures, to legislation, regulations and federal anti-money laundering laws. And we are continuously improving our security systems, procedures and employee training programs.

Not only does BCLC manage the overall gambling marketplace but we also determine future demand for gaming through marketplace assessments. These assessments show us where future facilities could be developed or how existing facilities might be re-developed to fit the marketplace.

Our Service Providers

BCLC's casino gambling model is unique and one of the most profitable in Canada. We're responsible for managing and operating gambling and do so in co-operation with private sector service providers. The products that are sold to you, the people who deal the cards in the casino or who call out bingo numbers work for service providers who are contracted by BCLC to provide facility operational services on our behalf. Service providers either own or lease the facilities and maintain these operations. They hire the staff, provide surveillance and security, and day-to-day operations.

Every service provider must be registered by our regulator, the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch. They sign operating agreements with BCLC and receive commissions based on the gambling revenue the facilities generate.

Responsible Gambling and Social Responsibility

Being socially responsible as a corporation means being mindful about how our business impacts communities. We believe one essential element in gambling-related social responsibility is educating players about responsible gambling.

Our responsible gambling initiatives help people learn more about the odds, how games are played and how they can set limits for themselves.

We want to keep gambling fun for everyone and are truly committed in this area. We spend about $2 million annually for responsible gambling programs and work together with the Province to deliver a responsible gambling strategy.

Here are some of the features of our programs:

Training

  • 14,000 employees who work on the gambling floor are trained to recognize and respond to problem gambling behaviour and to offer responsible gambling information
  • All B.C. casinos have trained responsible gambling advisors

Resources

  • Interactive responsible gambling GameSense Information Centres in all casinos and community gaming centres

Research

  • We conduct research on responsible gambling and our programs. We also review responsible gambling programs, such as GameSense Information Centres, so we can continuously improve what we have to offer.