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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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Service Providers

Private sector service providers own and operate gambling facilities on behalf of BCLC.  They own or lease gambling facilities like casinos and community gaming centres across B.C. and maintain the facility operations on a day-to-day basis. They hire the staff who work at facilities, provide surveillance and security behind the scenes, and operate to the standards BCLC sets out.

  • Service providers must:
  • Provide and maintain facilities
  • Follow BCLC gambling standards, policies and procedures
  • Provide and operate surveillance equipment
  • Manage slot machines, table games and bingo games
  • Provide accounting and financial management
  • Comply with provincial and federal laws regulating commercial gambling
  • Participate in compliance reviews and audits

Service providers enter into operational services agreements with BCLC and earn commissions based on gambling revenues. They must operate in strict adherence to BCLC’s rules and regulations, and in compliance with the provincial regulator, the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.

Operational Services Agreement

As the Crown corporation responsible for managing gambling in British Columbia, BCLC determines where casinos and community gaming centres are located, and contracts with private-sector companies to build and operate the facility. These private sector service providers earn commissions similar to revenue-sharing as a financial incentive for their investments in operating and growing the business.

In November 2017, BCLC updated its operational services agreement (OSA) for casino and community gaming services, setting the course for greater accountability, long-term private-sector investment and sustained revenues to the Province and communities. The new OSA is a 20 year agreement, and BCLC will begin signing the 20 year OSA agreements with service providers in due course.

The terms of the OSA require service providers to submit annual business plans, including commitments to capital and operating investments in properties over the term of their contract to support growth and new amenities. A critical component includes a commitment to responsible gambling practices.

In addition, the OSA contains enhanced accountability measures that strengthen BCLC’s oversight in the areas of compliance and security, including escalation mechanisms and progressive disciplinary measures.

In return for these commitments, service providers earn a five per cent (based on net win from gambling) Facility Investment Commission (FIC) which replaces the original three percent Facility Development Commission (FDC) and two percent Accelerated Facility Development Commission (AFDC) programs established in 1997.