The landscape of online betting changed drastically after the government passed the C-218 bill, making single-game betting available across Canada. Unfortunately, even though sports betting is legal in the province, there is currently only one sportsbook available in British Columbia, so it’s not like the offer is the whole nine yards.
The good news?
Many other sportsbooks open their doors to players from British Columbia—we’ve even prepared a list of some of the best sports betting BC alternatives for anyone looking to explore their options and bet on new markets.
Are Sports Betting Legal in British Columbia in 2023?
Short answer, yes, sports betting is legal in British Columbia.
In fact, sports betting has been legal in British Columbia for quite some time now. The jurisdiction is regulated by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), which has permitted parlay bets ever since 1985.
Additionally, on August 2021, the Canadian government passed the C-218 bill, which allows provinces to offer single-game sports betting. Despite that, regulators aren’t too keen on a competitive gambling market, and PlayNow Sportsbook is the only local platform available to the residents of British Columbia.
Granted, while the sportsbook is not necessarily bad in any regard, PlayNow leaves a lot to be desired.
If you compare it to some of the best international sportsbooks around, PlayNow offers subpar odds, has a limited number of promotions and bonuses, and doesn’t include a number of betting markets that are quite common in top-tier sportsbooks.
Because of that, many players try their luck with VPNs and offshore betting sites, which is often risky—VPNs are often used to get past geo-blocking, but doing so to access a sportsbook that restricts Canadian players from joining will most likely get your account banned. Moreover, you may even lose your winnings after you fail to pass the KYC check and verify your identity.
Instead, a much safer option is to bet in sportsbooks that operate under the iGO license. While they don’t have a local license, the brands we included on our list are legal and safe options, and more importantly, they accept players from British Columbia.
The Most Popular Alternatives to PlayNow
Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know about the legality of online sports betting in BC, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty and show you what some of the best alternatives for British Columbians are and what makes them so popular.
Bet99 is the new kid on the block—the sportsbook launched in Canada in 2020 and has an iGaming Ontario license. In other words, it is available in numerous provinces across Canada, including British Columbia.
Bet99 offers a 100% deposit match bonus of up to $500, and it also features a variety of ongoing promotions. In addition, Bet99 includes a myriad of prop bets, has an excellent eSports section, includes in-play betting, and even features virtual eSports.
As icing on the cake, Bet99 features a variety of payment options, such as Visa and MasterCard, Interac, ecoPayz, and many others. Furthermore, the sportsbook has a downloadable app, which is available on both Android and iOS.
Bet365 is one of the most trustworthy brands in the industry, with more than 20 years of experience. As is the case with Bet99, Bet365 is licensed by iGO and is available to British Columbians.
In addition to a 100% deposit match bonus, Bet365 offers a ton of promotions, which are available for a variety of sports. Not only that, but you can bet on a ton of betting markets and a dozen of sports, such as ice hockey, basketball, soccer, MMA, eSports, and more.
Bet365 accepts a variety of payment options, such as Paysafe Card, credit and debit cards like Visa and MasterCard, Apple Pay, and many others. The sportsbook also offers many cool features like HD live streaming and early cashout. It is also one of the biggest advocates of responsible gambling, making it as trustworthy and reputable as it is good.
Betway needs little to no introduction, seeing it is one of the leading brands in the online betting industry. Just like other sportsbooks on our list, Betway is licensed by iGO, which means it is 100% trusted and safe and available in British Columbia.
Betway has one of the best odds on the market, especially when it comes to eSports. The sportsbook features more than 30 sports options, allowing you to bet on any major sporting event.
In addition, Betway also has features like in-play betting, early cashout, and a Bet Builder, which lets you combine different markets and create unique bet accumulators.
As if that wasn’t enough, Betway comes with a dedicated mobile app you can download for both Android and iOS. Additionally, you will find all the popular payment methods available at Betway, such as Visa, MasterCard, ecoPayz, Interac, MuchBetter, Paysafe Card, and more.
The Wrap Up
Based on the latest news and regulation, the sports betting situation is unlikely to change any time soon in British Columbia—regulating authorities in BC seem content with having a single licensed provider, for the time being, at least.
However, if you like shopping for the best odds, or you simply like trying new things, you can always explore safe and trustworthy alternatives, such as Bet99, Bet365, Betway, Sports Interaction, and Leo Vegas, all of which are regulated, trustworthy, and available to players from British Columbia.
Regardless of which sportsbook you choose, make sure that you gamble responsibly. Gambling is a form of entertainment, so make sure you treat it as such: don’t chase your losses, take regular breaks from gambling, and spend only the money you can afford to lose.