British Columbia Lottery Records Highest Take Ever

Visiting high rollers, including many from Asia, have driven the profits of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation to record high profits.

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) recorded record profits last year, driven by high rolling players from other countries taking advantage of increased maximum bets.

According to a report from the Lottery Corporation net profits collected by the province increased by 6.8 percent to $1.25 billion last year, an $80 million increase over the year before.

Some of the increased profits were attributed to more activity at high limit table games at casinos such as River Rock and the Hard Rock Casino, where the limits were raised from $75,000 to $100,000 in the “ultra private” high limit table rooms—many of which are frequented by Asian players.

This helped make up for less than stellar performance by the provincial lottery, which offered fewer large jackpots to attract players.

The report from the BCLC warned that the current slowdown of the Chinese economy might bite into those profits. “There is risk in this revenue stream as it is heavily dependent on a relatively small international player base,” said the report.

More than half of the province’s adults play through the BCLC, although the rate has fallen from 69 percent three years ago. Over $950 million came from casinos and community gaming centers, with $304 million from lotteries and mobile gaming. The highest grossing casino in the province was River Rock, which took in $420 million in 2014.

Chances Salmon Arm, working with Adams Lake Indian Band and Berezan Management, will open a new casino, the Salmon Arm, July 20. The Adams Lake Band will be the fourth First Nations band to host a casino in B.C. on its land. It replaces the Fairweather Bingo Hall in Vernon. The BCLC projects the casino will take in about $7.7 million during its first year.