BCLC highlights Ontario-related challenges despite record-breaking year

President & CEO Pat Davis has expressed pride over BCLC's results

British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has published its 2022/23 Annual Service Plan Report, reporting a record-breaking net income of $1.64bn.

The new high for BCLC comes in its first full fiscal year of normalized casino and community gaming centre operations in a post-pandemic environment.

The total exceeds the previous net income record set in FY2018/19 by $220m, with the increase attributed, in part, to the opening of the new Cascades Casino Delta, Lotto 6/49 game enhancements, continued high Lotto Max jackpot roll patterns and the expansion of PlayNow.com to a third Canadian province, Saskatchewan, last November.

However, BCLC did highlight some areas of concern, including the launch of Ontario’s regulated market last year, which has “created challenges for PlayNow.com to continue to maintain its significant market share”.

The operator explained: “This shift has had effects across the Canadian online gambling landscape and resulted in a significant increase in advertising for sites which are licensed in Ontario but operating unregulated in other provinces.

“This is blurring the line between those sites and provincially regulated gambling sites that create revenue and jobs for their respective provinces. This has caused confusion for players who may be unaware that PlayNow.com is the only legal gambling website in BC.”

Pat Davis, President and CEO, added: “During 2022/23, there was also an influx of new advertisements from many unregulated gambling websites targeting players through marketing campaigns and enticing sign-up bonuses.

“That is why BCLC has joined with a number of other provincial entities to raise awareness of the implications associated with misleading advertising and operation of unregulated gambling websites, which do not provide employment or financial benefits to the province and present risks related to money laundering, gambling addiction and game integrity.”

The Canadian Crown Corporation also underlined financial crime as a “significant concern” for British Columbians, noting that it is continuing to make “notable investments” in detecting and preventing such activities.

Elsewhere, BCLC referenced several achievements over the course of the last year including its enhanced self-exclusion program, Game Break, which underwent a rebrand earlier this year.

The corporation also enhanced ID checks at casinos in the province to support self-excluded players.

Meanwhile, BCLC confirmed that approximately $1.62bn was delivered to the province of British Columbia in taxes, with $12m handed to the federal government.

Davis concluded: “We are proud of our results over the past year and look forward to making future investments and innovations to sustain and grow our business for the benefit of all British Columbians.”

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