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Differences Between BCLC Online Casino and Offshore Casino Sites

About a decade ago, British Columbia Lottery Commission (BCLC) made it possible for British Columbia residents to enjoy lotteries and different casino games on their official gambling website. However, at present days, there are various Canadian gaming operators that cater to BC players as well as to all Canadians, in general. If you are from the westernmost province of Canada, you have a wide choice of casino platforms and games. This post will tell you about all of them.

International Casino Sites for BC Players

Captain Spins

$1,200 + 260 FS

Welcome Bonus


$500 + 200 FS

Welcome Bonus


$400/1BTC + 180 FS

Welcome Bonus


$350 + 50 free spins

Welcome Bonus


1.5 BTC + 77 FS

Welcome Bonus


$300 + 100 FS

Welcome Bonus


$1,500 + 111 FS

Welcome Bonus



Welcome Bonus

Yukon Gold


Welcome Bonus


$3,000 / 5 BTC + 225 FS

Welcome Bonus

This is only a portion of online casinos that accept BC players. On our website, you can find many different BC casino sites. Just open the casino reviews page to see all the options.

Click on the “Play Now” button next to the preferred casino to visit the official casino website.

International online casinos are registered offshore. Usually, they are based in such countries as Malta, the UK, Curacao, Costa Rica, and so on. Offshore gaming operators are licensed and regulated by local authorities. These licenses allow them to provide gaming services to Canada and many other countries in the world.

So if you are choosing between a BCLC online casino and an international gambling platform, the choice is only up to you. Both options are legal in British Columbia.

What is BCLC?

British Columbia Lottery Commission is a corporation that offers a range of gaming options on the territory of British Columbia. These include lottery tickets, casino establishments, and betting sites. Accordingly, BCLC consists of three main units: Lottery, Casino, and eGaming.


If you like scratching off lottery tickets, this is your dream place. The lottery division of BCLC includes Lotto Max products, Daily Grand, Lotto 6/49, and some specific BC lottery products such as Keno, the Extra, Sports Action, BC49, Scratch & Win tickets.

Lottery cards are available at local retailers, pharmacies, grocery stores, and gas stations.


Brick-and-mortar casinos in British Columbia are regulated by BCLC. There are 17 full-service casino establishments, 19 gaming centers that offer only slots and bingo games, and 6 bingo halls in the province. If you live near one of the local 17 casinos, you can visit them to play slot machines, table games such as poker, blackjack, craps, baccarat, roulette, pai-gow, and sic-bo. Besides, they offer some electronic table games and bingo.

So if you like the real casino atmosphere and it’s important for you to visit these public places, just find the nearest casino and get ready for the night! However, before you go, we recommend you make sure it’s open. Due to the pandemic, many public places in BC are closed.

Online casino

BCLC also offers online gambling services through a platform called PlayNow.com. This site allows you to buy tickets for national and regional lotteries. So you don’t have to go to the local store to buy tickets.

Besides, PlayNow.com offers to play online casino games, including slots, poker, and bingo. Plus, BC residents can use this site to place bets on sports, both pari-mutuel and single-event bets. Recently, BCLC has added various sports like MMA to the betting selection on their official platform.

Of course, the PlayNow platform is the only regulated gambling site in British Columbia. However, it doesn’t mean that all other online casinos are illegal. Betting sites that we review on CasinoBest.ca are legit and safe. As we said, because they are officially based in other countries like Malta and Curacao and are regulated by the local gambling commissions, offshore gaming platforms are legal in Canada too.

BCLC cannot regulate international websites and their work as they are regulated by other governments. This is why both the BCLC online casino and offshore sites are equally legal in the province.

How BCLC Online casino Differs from Offshore Casinos

Although both types of casinos offer online games, they differ from each other. Below, we’ll break down the biggest pros and cons of BCLC online casino and offshore casino sites.

BCLC’s PlayNow Casino

PlayNow casino is a nice platform that offers a range of gaming options starting from lottery tickets to poker and bingo rooms. Here’s the variety of games:

  • 300+ slots, including progressive jackpots
  • 20 table games
  • a few live casino games
  • 4 video poker machines
  • keno and scratch cards
  • 3 bingo rooms
  • online lottery tickets
  • sportsbook

Most online slots and card games are provided by popular game developers such as Evolution. So maybe you will find your favorite game on PlayNow.com.

A big advantage of the BCLC online casino is that BC residents can be sure that it’s a legit and fair casino as it is regulated by their local authorities.

Another advantage is that players from BC can buy lottery tickets and check results on the website at any time.

As for convenience, the website is also looking to the future. Most games are available on mobile phones, which means you can play on the go. PlayNow accepts PayPal, Interac, bank cards, bill payment, and a few other methods of payment, which can be very attractive for some players.

However, PlayNow is not a casino with same-day withdrawals. It can take 2-5 days or more to transfer your money depending on the banking option you selected.

Speaking of withdrawals, high-rollers can cash out up to $100,000 from the BCLC casino account, which is a nice benefit.

Besides, BCLC casino offers sign-up and deposit bonuses for BC players.

Offshore BC Casinos

If you’ve been playing the BCLC online casino and now you want to try an offshore site, you will see the difference.

  • First of all, the game’s variety is way bigger. International casinos offer thousands of slot machines from different providers. Plus, you will have a choice of table games and live dealers. Many online casinos offer scratch-off cards and bingo games, including live bingo.
  • There aren’t that many lottery options at online casinos, but you can still buy some national lottery tickets.
  • Most Canadian casino sites accept various payment methods, including even cryptocurrency options. It can be a defining moment for many BC residents.
  • Casino offers and lucrative promotions are always there to encourage you to play. And if you actively participate in a rewarding program, you can have a nice profit.
  • Most modern casino operators are mobile-friendly. They have a mobile user-friendly interface and even mobile casino apps.
  • Offshore sportsbooks also offer good odds on all kinds of sports and allow making single-event bets.

The main difference between BCLC online casino PlayNow and offshore sites is the size of the lobby. Offshore online casinos have a very extensive collection of games that is regularly updated compared to the BCLC casino’s lobby of about 500 games.

Which Gambling Site to Choose

It’s a matter of taste, to be honest. Both BCLC casino and offshore sites offer a good gambling experience to BC players. So it’s up to you and your preferences which casino you will play at.

On the one hand, BCLC online casino is fully regulated by the provincial government. But on the other hand, the choice of games is pretty limited.

As for offshore casinos, players may like the variety of games and bonus offers but dislike pending periods and wagering requirements that are pretty high sometimes. Although there are many no verification casino sites in Canada too.

Depending on your needs and opportunities, your decision may fall on the BCLC casino or on the offshore site. For example, if you want to gamble with cryptocurrency, you should definitely choose a bitcoin online casino site because the BCLC casino doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies.

Or if you love lotteries and are always buying tickets at each local retailer, maybe your favorite casino would be PlayNow from BCLC because they sell tickets for national and regional lotteries.

In case you can’t decide, you can try both. Try playing on the BCLC casino site, make heads or tails of how it works, make your conclusion on deposits and withdrawals, on the casino system, in general. Then, sign up at any recommended offshore casino and do all the same.

The good news is that you can try various international platforms. If you don’t like your first selected casino, pick another one. Don’t forget to claim welcome offers to get the best experience.

At the end of this “experiment”, you can make your verdict on which casino you like best and continue playing on the preferred site.

At the Bottomline

British Columbia allows all forms of gambling, including casino venues, bookmakers, gambling centers, lotteries, and even online casinos. Although BCLC offers only one official casino website, BC players have a broad range of international casino platforms to choose from. Decide which type of casino you want to play do your first steps. Fortunately, every site has just a couple of requirements: fill in the registration form properly and make a qualifying deposit.

If you choose to play on an international online gaming platform that we recommend on our site, make sure to click on the “Play Now” link next to the casino that will lead you to the official casino website. We recommend only legit casinos that pay real money to Canadian players.

Differences Between BCLC Online Casino and Offshore Casino Sites
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British Columbia province allows players to gamble at age of 19 and older. Once you become 19 years old, you can visit gambling establishments, buy lottery tickets, etc. You can also play online casino games at BCLC online casino or international casinos.

PlayNow online casino from BCLC is only available within the borders of British Columbia. If you are traveling outside the province, you can gamble at international online casinos that accept Canadian players.

Online casino regulated by BCLC, PlayNow.com offers demo versions of games. But you have to sign up to have access to free games. If you want to play for free without registration, you can try it on different international online casinos. Most of them allow free play without registration.

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