Comprehensive Guide to Sports Betting in British Columbia, 2024

Not everyone knows that British Columbia has legalized online casino gambling since the Canadian criminal code was amended in 2021. When it comes to sports betting in British Columbia, PlayNow Sportsbook remains the only platform in the province. However, we anticipate seeing more launches in the upcoming years. This page offers comprehensive and up-to-date information on BC sports betting for novice and seasoned players.

What You Need to Know about Sports Betting in BC

legal BC sports bettingTo assist everyone in navigating the topic easier, this section aims to provide extensive answers to some of the most searched questions. This is especially helpful for new bettors.

Is Sports Betting Legal in British Columbia?

Bettors in BC can legally place stakes at PlayNow, owned and operated by the British Columbia Lottery Commission (BCLC). Many, however, view its limitations as a major drawback and seek the excitement of gambling from other gambling sites. Luckily, with the legalization of single-game online gambling in British Columbia, bettors can choose from a host of licensed international casino gambling sites that accept Canadian players, like bet365 and BetVictor.

What’s the Legal Status of Online Sports Betting BC?

The answer to the question is sports betting legal in BC if bettors want to engage in it online is yes, it is. BC players are allowed to bet online at or legal offshore sites without any adverse consequences.

Are Winnings from Sports Betting in BC Taxable?

Profits from placing stakes in BC or any other Canadian province are not taxed because they are not considered income. Therefore, you do not need to worry about losing some of your winnings to taxes.

Are There Any Retail Sports Betting in BC?

Unfortunately, there are no retail sportsbooks in British Columbia as of today. However, the BCLC has been working on launching PlayNow in physical locations since 2022. The platform was tested at several bars, displaying staking odds, playing tips, and promotions on TV screens.

How Does Offshore Online Sports Betting in BC Work?

Offshore BC sports betting apps and sites operate in a legal grey area in British Columbia. Although unregulated by Canadian authorities, they are accessible to residents. While they are not illegal, these gambling sites evade province regulations by operating in areas with less strict rules. BC bettors can safely access these sites if they have international gambling licenses from Malta, Curaçao, Anjouan or Kahnawake and a good reputation.

Who Can Engage in Sports Betting in British Columbia?

BC sports betting eligibilityResidents and visitors can stake on games. However, certain strict requirements must be met.

Legal Age Requirement

Bettors must be at least 19 years old to register at PlayNow or licensed offshore gambling sites. Underage gambling in BC is a criminal offense and may attract fines or license suspension for the individual or gambling site.

Province Residentship for Sports Betting in BC, Canada

BC residents can open a sportsbook account and play anywhere in the province. Visitors can also gamble during their stay. However, access is restricted outside the province, especially for PlayNow. Nevertheless, if you’re playing at an offshore sportsbook, you may be able to access the platform outside of BC as long as they are licensed to operate in your new location.

What Are the Best Teams for BC Sports Betting?

There are top teams in BC you can bet on. These teams have thousands of devoted fans across the province. We will briefly discuss three of them.

Vancouver Canucks (NHL)

Vancouver Canucks logo

Since joining the franchise in 1970, the Vancouver Canucks have grown to be the most popular NHL team in British Columbia. They are a great team to choose for legal sports betting in BC. Although they have only appeared in three Stanley Cup Finals, they have had several fantastic regular seasons. In 2011 and 2012, they won back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies.

The Vancouver Canucks were the 2024 champions of the Pacific Division for the first time in franchise history. You can place over/under bets on the Canucks at casinos in Vancouver for their total wins in the next season. You can also bet on spreads, money lines, and totals during the regular season using British Columbia sports betting apps.

BC Lions (CFL)

BC Lions logoThe BC Lions are part of the Canadian Football League’s West Division. In 1964, the Lions clinched their first Grey Cup Championship. Between then and 2011, they won five more Grey Cup Championships, making six titles in total. When the regular season starts on June 6, 2024, Lion supporters can bet on exact scores, alternative spreads, and winning margins. Prop bets like rushing yards or field goals are also offered by the best British Columbia sports betting sites.

Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS)

Vancouver Whitecap logoThe Western Conference’s Vancouver Whitecaps joined the Major League Soccer in 2011. Besides the MLS Cup, they also participate in the Canadian Premier League, the Canadian Championship, and the Cascadia Cup. They are the winners of two Canadian Championships and three Cascadia Cups. Fans have a plethora of pre-match wagering options to choose from at any BC sports betting app, including the number of corner kicks, throw-ins, and yellow cards.

BC sports betting alternativesAlternatives to BC Online Sports Betting

Since the introduction of single-game wagering, there are many options to bet on in sports betting apps BC or on gambling sites, such as:

  • Horse racing 

Wagering on horse races is legal and common in British Columbia. Fans can place live stakes at Hastings Race Track in Vancouver or British Columbia online casinos offering horse racing bets.

  • Award shows 

British Columbia online sports betting includes wagering on the outcome of entertainment award shows like the Grammys, Emmys, or Oscars.

  • Politics 

PlayNow doesn’t offer this option, but some of the best British Columbia online sports betting sites do since political wagers are popular in the province. Players can place stakes on political events in the US or internationally.

  • eSports 

eSports is legal and a popular wagering option at each top British Columbia sports betting app. BC bettors can choose from several eSports gambling sites to play in.

Timeline of Online Sports Betting, BC

BC sports betting timelineLet’s take a look at the milestones of sports betting development in BC.

  • 2004: PlayNow was launched for online casino gambling by the BCLC.
  • July 5, 2012: BC made history as the first province to offer future and live staking on the rebranded PlayNow site. Saskatoon MP Kevin Waugh proposes Bill C-218. The primary purpose of the proposed bill was to legalize single-game sports betting in BC.
  • April 22, 2021: The bill was passed by the House of Commons and was approved by the Senate on June 22, 2021.
  • June 29, 2021: Single-game gambling was officially legalized after Bill C-218 received royal assent.
  • August 3, 2021: The BCLC appointed Genius Sports Limited as their official data provider for single-game BC sports betting.
  • August 12, 2021: Justice Minister David Lametti announced that the bill would take effect from August 27, and BCLC followed with a declaration that single-game staking would be available that same day.
  • Aug 27, 2021: BC bettors enjoyed single-game sports betting in BC for the first time.
  • November 1, 2021: PlayNow’s single-game staking handle for September and October 2021 was made public by the BCLC. PlayNow made over C$25 million in single-game wagers within the first two months.
  • January 15, 2022: BCLC announced its efforts to bring single-game bets to physical locations, including land-based casinos. BCLC reported a 7% projected revenue growth for PlayNow for the 2022/23 BC sports betting year.
  • June 6, 2022: PlayNow became available in Saskatchewan through partnerships with SaskGaming and the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.
  • April 6, 2023: BCLC sealed a deal with Greek gaming company Intralot. By winter 2023, over 4,000 clerk-assisted and self-service retail gambling locations will be powered by Intralot.
  • June 26, 2023: BCLC started verifying the identity of casino guests to promote responsible gambling.

The Pros and Cons of  Online Sports Betting in British Columbia

After a careful analysis of the topic, we are ready to present you with the merits and demerits of placing stakes in BC.


✔️ Single-game wagering

✔️ Mobile compatibility

✔️ Available in physical locations via Sports Action


❌ Restricted within the jurisdiction of BC

❌ Limited number of local licensed sites

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