British Columbia Sports Betting Guide

With the passage of Bill C-218, Canadians can now look forward to single-event sports betting. Before Bill C-218’s passage, only parlay sports bets were legal, and the Canadian lottery corporations held monopolies on sports betting. Now that single-event sports wagering is legal, private sports betting operators sites are waiting for the provinces to spread into Canada’s provinces. 

On August 27, PlayNow will be the only legal sportsbook in British Columbia. However, sportsbook operators are hoping that regulatory framework for private sportsbook operators, residents will have new sportsbook options. Here’s why PlayNow will continue to be the only legal sports betting option in British Columbia.  

What Legal Online Sportsbooks Are Coming To British Columbia?

At the moment, all sports betting in British Columbia is run by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). It operates, its sportsbook site, and British Columbia’s lottery retailers. On Twitter, BCLC announced that bettors would be able to place single-event wagers on PlayNow on August 27, 2021. It’s the same day that Bill C-218 goes into effect, a day that the provinces have been waiting for a while. 

But PlayNow won’t be the only game in town forever. Several private sportsbook operators have announced plans for entering British Columbia when the regulations are written and licenses awarded.  

For starters, theScore Bet–a native Canadian gaming company–has announced its hope to offer sports betting in Ontario and if it allows private sportsbooks, British Columbia. Other potential sportsbooks include Torstar, a to-be-developed sports betting app owned by the Toronto Star, DraftKings, and FanDuel. DraftKings is arguably the biggest mobile sportsbook operator in the United States, and FanDuel is DraftKing’s biggest competitor. Both have signaled hopes to enter Canadian markets as they become available. 

But as we’ve said, British Columbia would have to rewrite provincial regulations for private-run sportsbooks. Ontario will regulate private sportsbooks first, and British Columbia is expected to follow.

All told, British Columbians could have several new online sportsbooks to choose from during 2022. But they likely won’t have concrete dates until after British Columbia has had time to decide what it likes and dislikes about Ontario’s sports betting regulations.

The second-mover advantage is a successful but lesser-known entrepreneurial strategy. The British Columbian government may recognize this. Until such a decision is made, PlayNow will be the only legal sportsbook available in British Columbia. 

What British Columbia Online Sportsbook Bonuses Will Be Available?

PlayNow offers a $20 deposit match for new bettors who sign up. If British Columbia follows Ontario’s lead and allows private-run sportsbooks to launch in the province, bettors will have more types of bonuses to choose from. They’ll also have them in greater dollar amounts. (That’s the hope, anyway. British Columbia would have to modernize that rule along with its other sports betting rules and regulations.) Some of the most common online sportsbook bonuses British Columbia sports bettors may encounter in 2022 include:

  • Risk-free bets, which cover the cost of a bettor’s first wager if they lose. theScore Bet offers this as one of its two opening bonuses in an amount up to $500
  • Deposit match bonuses, which match the value of a bettor’s initial deposit with site credit up to a certain amount. For example, DraftKings offers a 20% deposit match bonus up to $1,000.
  • Free bets, which award bettors site credits just for completing account registration. DraftKings also has an opening bonus of this type, offering a $50 free bet to all new account holders who deposit at least $20. 

The most ambitious sportsbooks can mix and matches these types of bonuses to entice new bettors. Bettors should expect a diverse set of welcome bonuses if private-run sportsbooks are allowed to operate in British Columbia.

What Sports Will You Be Able To Bet On In British Columbia?

British Columbians will be able to bet on many Canadian and foreign sports, including hockey, American and Canadian football, and soccer. International sports betting markets will be most common among soccer lines but will expand to other sports shortly after launch. PlayNow also offers game lines on college games, so bettors will be hard-pressed to find a popular and legitimate sport that they can’t wager on.  

Popular Ways To Deposit At British Columbia’s Legal Online Sports Betting Sites

British Columbia sports bettors can deposit money into their sportsbook accounts with modern methods. These include:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • PayPal
  • Interac Online
  • Online Bill Payment
  • Web Cash

This is a convenient list of deposit methods that’s on par with many private-run sportsbooks. Bettors shouldn’t have issues finding the right deposit methods for them.

What Will You Need To Create An Online Sportsbook Account In British Columbia?

Creating an online sportsbook account in British Columbia is quick and simple. Bettors just need a few pieces of personal information so that PlayNow can verify their identities. Bettors will also have to provide their occupations if they make withdrawals above $1,000. (The authorities don’t want to award money to anyone with the job titles “money launderer” or “terrorist.”) Once registration is complete, bettors will be able to make their first deposits.

Legal Versus Illegal Online Sportsbooks In British Columbia

PlayNow is safer than any unregulated sportsbook. While Canada does ban operating a sportsbook in the country, technically, there are no “illegal” offshore sportsbooks. Legal online sportsbooks have digital security that conforms to either national or federal standards.

Offshore sportsbooks don’t have to follow any security regulations, so they may not invest in online security. For bettors entering bank information, that should be a deal-breaker. Legal sports betting apps are also obliged to pay winners based on the odds that bettors locked into. If bettors want safe places to bet, PlayNow and the sportsbooks that British Columbia monitors and regulates in the future are the safest options. 

British Columbia Online Sportsbook FAQs

How old do you have to be to bet online in British Columbia?

You need to be 19 or older to sign up for PlayNow or gamble at British Columbia’s casinos.

Is DraftKings online sportsbook legal in British Columbia?

No, but they may be among the first private-run mobile sportsbooks to launch in British Columbia.

Is FanDuel online sportsbook legal in British Columbia?

Not yet, but like DraftKings, they could launch a mobile sports betting app when British Columbia regulates private-owned sportsbooks.

Do sportsbooks in British Columbia offer credit?

PlayNow offers a $20 deposit match to new users. When they launch in 2022 or 2023,  private-run mobile sportsbook apps will provide welcome bonuses and other promotional offers for their users.

Is betting on college sports allowed in British Columbia?

Yes. College bets are allowed under current British Columbia gaming regulations. When privately owned sportsbooks launch, they will also be able to offer bets on college games. 

Do I have to visit a casino to create my online sports betting account in British Columbia?

No. Bettors can complete their sports betting account registration process remotely. It’s a modern convenience, it’s safe to do while COVID-19 continues spreading, and it’s a competitive perk in what will become a fiercely competitive industry.  

About the Author

Christopher Gerlacher

Christopher Gerlacher is a senior author and contributor for many different sports betting websites, sharing his expertise on the subject for readers across the continent. He's a devout Broncos fan, for better or for worse, living in the foothills of Arvada, Colorado.