The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has launched the very first live casino channel to be backed by the Canadian government in a game-changing move designed to open up new doors for provincial operators.
A press release from the BCLC confirmed that the new venture was launched as ‘part of BCLC’s strategy to enhance the overall entertainment experience for players.’ The release stated:
“Live Casino delivers an authentic casino experience – online – where real dealers shuffle, deal and interact with players. Live Casino’s operations will support 50 new, local jobs. Over time, the studio could create up to 170 new jobs in Metro Vancouver as Live Casino operations expand across Canada and in different languages.”
The new live casino channel will be powered by Evolution Gaming, who are widely regarded as providing the best platform for live games currently available. This purpose-built facility at the Metro Vancouver in New Westminster spans some 16,000 square feet, and is Evolution’s first operation outside of Europe. Evolution has penned a five-year deal to develop and build new live casino games for PlayNow, and so gamers in Canada can expect plenty more, pending a successful initial launch. The news that Evolution Games is p
This roll-out of its live casino offering, which will be the first regulated platform available to Canadian players, is not the only ace card that the BCLC is holding.
It looks set to team up with development firm Archiact Interactive to produce a virtual reality title based on the current trend of ‘escape room’ style games. Players will need to make sense of a bunch of clues to find their way out of the room and progress to the next. The success of the online versions has led to a number of ‘physical’ escape rooms being set up – including one terrifying-looking set-up in Vancouver.
For now, release dates and further details remain under wraps. Of course, any new releases have to adhere to the stringent regulations set out by the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch (GPEB) and secure governmental approval too, so gamers can expect something of a delay in bringing this new title to market. A $250,000 deal has been signed, sealed and delivered, and so 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for PlayNow.com and gaming in British Columbia in general.
The legalities of physical bookmakers and casinos and online gambling sites in Canada are complex and differ from province to province, and while locals and tourists may find it difficult to get a bet on in some parts of the country, in others, such as British Columbia, it’s far easier.
The reigns of power have been decentralised from the main Canadian government to the elected powers in the provinces, and so the landscape is one that appears to be fluid and changeable. Perhaps other locales will soon follow British Columbia’s lead and relax the regulatory frameworks that govern local betting firms and what they can and can’t offer online; the success of PlayNow.com speaks volumes.
In the fiscal year 2016/17, the brand generated more than $150 million dollars for the BCLC, which was an increase of some $20 million on the previous 12 months. The site has 370,000 registered players too: the demand for online gaming in British Columbia continues to grow exponentially.