Despite the controversy surrounding British Columbia’s relatively new, state-supported online gambling system — the system that famously crashed just minutes after launching last year, an event that was believed to compromise much sensitive gambler info — the company behind the system, BC Lotteries Corp (BCLC), is expanding into new markets.

First, the company announced that it had launched eight versions of Internet poker on its PlayNow platform. At the same time, it was announced that a new partnership will bring its igaming system to Quebec, as well.

The new agreement means that Internet poker players in British Columbia and Quebec will be able to compete directly against each other — a first for state-run online gambling systems, which tend to be restricted to local residents only.

And that could provide a useful model for similar state-regulated gaming systems that are anticipated in the United States, perhaps in Iowa, California, Florida, and even New Jersey, despite that state’s setback last week.

Espacejeux, Quebec’s online gaming authority, is “the second government-regulated online gambling site last December – following the launch of B.C.’s PlayNow last June,” notes BIVInteractive.com. With this expansion, the numbers for both provinces are expected to rise. And that’s expected to cause a surge in online gambling revenue that may, in turn, inspire other Canadian provinces to offer their own forms of online gambling.

“The Quebec and B.C. lottery corporations are basing the revenue-sharing formula for poker earnings on each jurisdictions gaming volume,” the article continues.

“British Columbia poker players have the opportunity to play on a secure and regulated poker network,” Michael Graydon, BCLC President and CEO, stated in a news release. “Registered players in B.C. and Quebec can now compete against one another in an entertaining and safe poker environment.”

A failure of regulations?
But for affiliates, this still may not be an online gambling regulatory model that inspires much faith. Instead of the big, international, heavily marketed brands that Europeans promote, the state-run Canadian online gambling sites lack comprehensive affiliate marketing options. Instead, many Canadians continue to affiliate market international brands.

Regarding the earlier controversy, “while B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said the site did not adequately protect gamblers’ privacy,” notes Gillian Shaw in the Vancouver Sun, “she said that has since been corrected.”


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