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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

The people who own and operate B.C. gambling facilities

Private sector service providers are key players in our made-in B.C. operating model. They own or lease gambling facilities like casinos and community gaming centres and maintain the facility operations on a day-to-day basis. They hire the staff you see at facilities, provide surveillance and security behind the scenes and operate to the standards we set out.

They enter into operational services agreements with BCLC and earn commissions based on gambling revenues. Currently, we have agreements in place with more than 20 service providers. They must operate in strict adherence to the rules and regulations set out by us and our provincial regulator, the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.

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

How service providers get paid

Service providers are paid a commission based on net gambling revenue for providing day-to-day services in casinos, community gaming centres and bingo halls. There are two different kinds of commissions: an operating commission for operating the facility and a facility development commission which provides incentive for service providers to develop high quality facilities.

Casino service providers are paid an operating commission based on net win (revenue after prizes are paid) from the facility. The commissions are 25 per cent on slot machine net win and 40 per cent on table game net win. Community gaming centre service providers are paid 25 per cent on slot machine net win and receive an operating commission from bingo as follows:

  • 60 per cent of bingo revenue net of prizes on the first $20,000 per week
  • 40 per cent of bingo revenue net of prizes on the next $60,000 per week
  • 25 per cent of bingo revenue net of prizes greater than $80,000 per week

Facility Development Commission (FDC)

Facility Development Commission (FDC) has helped make casinos in B.C. top-notch places to play and have fun. FDC has been in place since the Province first developed its casino operating model in 1997. It is intended as a way to incent service providers to invest in establishing, enhancing and maintaining facilities that provide an outstanding player experience. Like all commissions, FDC is earned.

FDC is earned based on 3% of net win (revenue after prizes) for casino games and based on 5% of bingo revenue net of prizes. The service provider is entitled to receive the FDC only after they have incurred qualifying expenditures to develop and maintain their facility. In other words, before they can earn the commission, they need to incur the costs of the project.

In 2012, we implemented updated standards, policies and procedures that enhance the framework around how these commissions are administered and paid. For example, before any major project begins, service providers must provide a detailed facility business plan for BCLC's approval. After a major project is completed it must also be reviewed by a third-party Professional Quantity Surveyor, who certifies that the project conforms to the business plan BCLC approved. We also have procedures for the review and approval of projects under $100,000 and have implemented a process for periodic audits.

Accelerated Facility Development Commission

Accelerated Facility Development Commission (AFDC) is additional FDC that is available to a service provider on a one time basis for a significant development/redevelopment project, which may, in some cases, be completed in several phases.

For casino projects AFDC is two percent of net win. For community gaming centres AFDC is two percent of the total facility net win, which includes slot machine net win and bingo revenue net of prizes. AFDC qualifying expenditures follow similar standards, policies and procedures to FDC.