The past few years in the Canadian gambling scene have been characterized by local authorities focusing almost exclusively on improving and expanding their land casinos. Customers have grumbled that the official provincial online casinos are far inferior to their commercial rivals, and until recently the online sites have been neglected in favour of infrastructure projects. Due to the unregulated nature of online gambling in Canada, the failure of the authorities to provide decent casino sites has driven more and more players to use outside providers. Although this is not strictly illegal, it leaves customers unprotected and of course doesn’t benefit the state-run casinos.
Some provinces have reacted by trying to restrict access to such unapproved sites, but as the Quebec authorities recently discovered, this is not proving to be an easy task. Faced with warnings of stagnation in the land-casino market, local authorities are waking up to the fact that if they want to stay competitive, they must start to improve their online sector. So far, none have exemplified this more than British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), who teamed up with Evolution Gaming to provide a live dealer platform and also improved access for mobile casino users. Subsequently, BCLC posted a boost in profits for PlayNow.com, their official site. Now, BCLC can add NetEnt to their library, as a range of their popular games has just gone live.
Good News for Players and Authorities
The deal with NetEnt was first announced back in May 2017, when the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch approved NetEnt Americas as a licensed games supplier. Following a period of technical integration, the games are now ready to go live, provided to PlayNow via an IGT integration layer. The introduction of NetEnt games is a bit of a coup for BCLC, as players in the province have cited a lack of high-quality games as a major reason for rejecting PlayNow. With NetEnt, all this is set to change. One of the first slots to be introduced is the iconic Gonzo’s Quest, which has gained praise from all quarters for its 3D graphics, unique gameplay and generous payouts. The game has also been optimized for mobile users, in keeping with BCLC’s commitment to the mobile casino market.
NetEnt are a Swedish company, considered world leaders in developing online casino games. They are known for their innovative gameplay and especially for their distinctive and visually appealing graphics. NetEnt slots routinely receive rave reviews, and they are the creators of Starburst, arguably the most famous online slot in the world. Giving players in BC the chance to play NetEnt’s award-winning games is sure to give a boost to the official provincial online casino provider, and keep their profits looking healthy in the future.
A comment from NetEnt’s Group CEO Therese Hillman expressed satisfaction at the deal, calling the launch ‘an important milestone’. BCLC is part of the World Lottery Association (WLA), and NetEnt are keen to enter into more regulated markets. Hillman added that the games would be ‘much appreciated’ by players in British Columbia.