Where the Money Goes

Money generated by gambling in B.C. is used to provide key services, including health care and education, to people and supports economic development in local communities throughout B.C.

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This overview shows the distribution of revenues from commercial gambling in British Columbia. Figures are for 2014/15 unless otherwise noted.

Gambling Revenue

Total revenues from commercial gambling in B.C. were $2.9 billion in 2014/15, excluding horse racing. After expenses, including prize payouts, total government revenues from gambling were about $1.25 billion. This revenue benefits the people and communities across B.C.

Distribution of Gambling Revenue for Fiscal Year 2014/15

Image showing distribution of gambling revenue in fiscal year 2014/15. Data provided in table below.

Gambling Revenue Distributed in Fiscal Year 2014/15 to Category Amount
Non-profit community organizations B.C. communities $134.8 million
Local governments that host casinos and community gambling centres B.C. communities $95.8 million
Local economic development projects B.C. communities $9.3 million
Horse racing B.C. industry $9.6 million
Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) core operations, including salaries and business expenses B.C. government $13.5 million
Responsible gambling education and problem gambling services B.C. government $5.9 million
Health Special Account, to support health care services and research B.C. government $147.3 million
Consolidated revenue fund, to support other government programs, primarily health care and education B.C. government $829.0 million
Subtotal (the Province's share)   $1,245.2 million
Government of Canada transfer under a federal/provincial lottery agreement Government of Canada $9.3 million
Total   $1,254.5 million

Revenue from Commercial Gambling in B.C.

In 2014/15, more than $1 billion of gambling revenue helped fund health care, education and community programs across B.C.

Revenue to Community Organizations

In 2014/15, the Province distributed $135 million in gaming grants to more than 5,000 community organizations.

In addition, charitable organizations earned approximately of $39.5 million (based on reported earnings and estimated earnings) through licensed gambling activities, such as ticket raffles, independent bingos, limited casinos, and wheels of fortune.

According to a national research study, of all provinces, B.C. distributed the most government gambling revenue to non-profit community organizations. Between 2001 and 2014/15, the Province provided over $1.6 billion in gaming grants to community organizations.

Combined Gaming Grant and Gambling Event Licence Reports

Gaming Grant Reports

Gambling Event Licence Reports

Revenue to Host Local Governments

The Province shares gambling revenue with local governments that host casinos and community gambling centres in B.C.

Host local governments receive ten per cent of the net casino gambling revenue from community casinos and community gambling centres in their jurisdiction.

In 2014/15 the Province distributed $95.8 million to host local governments.

Host local governments may use this revenue for any purpose within their legal authority, but must submit annual reports to the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch using the Host Local Government Revenue and Expenditure Report Form (PDF). The reports are due on March 15.

For reports on casino gambling revenues and community gambling centre revenues shared with local governments, follow the links below.

Revenue to Support Horse Racing

Supporting the revitalization of B.C.’s horse racing industry is important to government. In response to declining revenues within the horse racing industry over the past decade, industry organizations requested the intervention of the provincial government in 2009 to stabilize and revitalize racing in B.C. The B.C. Horse Racing Industry Management Committee (HRIMC) was formed with the full authority to provide strategic direction, decision-making, and business leadership to the horse racing industry with the aim of revitalizing the industry.

As part of its commitment to the horse racing industry in B.C., the Province has allocated 25 per cent of net revenues from slot machine profits at casinos that are located at Hastings and Fraser Downs race tracks to support industry. In 2014/15, these revenues totaled $9.6 million.

Useful Contacts

Contact the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch if you have questions about gambling in B.C.

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