British Columbia Casino Cities Want Gambling Revenue from PlayNow

British Columbia Casino Cities Want Gambling Revenue from PlayNow

The gaming monopoly of British Columbia is now being pushed to share its online gambling revenues with the local municipal governments. The move comes as the casinos of the province remain closed to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Councilor raises revenue share question

This week, Kamloops councilor Arjun Sign, spoke to his peers about an unidentified source at the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). The source suggests that PlayNow.com, the online gambling unit of Crown corporation, has seen its business increase drastically since the COVID-19 casino shutdowns came into effect.

British Columbia Casino Cities Wat Gambling Revenue from PlayNow

The BCLC had ordered all casinos to shut down their bingo halls and community gaming centers on March 16 because of coronavirus outbreak. The provincial health authorities issue a directive for the closure of these businesses. The BCLC monitors and controls also gambling activity in British Columbia but its day-to-day operational control is handled by third parties.

Kamloops, which Singh represents, is one of the casino host cities. It has two gaming venues- Chances Casino Kamloops and Cascades Casino Kamloops. Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd. managed both properties. The city gets a 10% share from the revenue of the casinos. If the shutdown continues through September 2020, the city expects to lose about $1.4 million in taxes which is a significant amount for a population of less than 100k.

Online casinos should share revenue

Councillor Singh said that the city does not receive revenue from PlayNow online gambling businesses. He suggested that the city must “talk to the province about whether they could replace some of that funding we lost through the offline casinos.” He added that the British Columbia regulator could track where PlayNow customers are based and how many of them have generated online revenue for the company, that they would have spent offline. Mayor Ken Christian said that he aims to explore this issue.

The provincial regulator has not commented on the alleged increase in PlayNow traffic yet. However, its annual report suggests that the business witnessed a 25% surge in online revenue year-on-year. However, the actual figure isn’t too high. The regulator took a controversial step recently by boosting the limits of consumer deposits by a factor of 10 at a time when the markets were facing issues. It justified the increase even after the backlash, saying that the move helps brings the industry at par with the internationally licensed online companies.

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About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.

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