Now that doesn’t mean there is no competition out there. Genesis Global for instance has been taking the market by storm over the same period with nearly a dozen site launches. Let’s see how one of their latest releases, Casino Gods, fares against its provincial counterpart.
| ||Casino Gods||PlayNow (BCLC)|
|License||Malta||British-Columbia (Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch)|
| Number of casino games||1,000+||400+|
| Jackpot slots||58||55|
|Live dealer games||90+||7|
|Deposit Methods||Visa, Interac e-Transfer, Interac Online, iDebit||Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Interac Online, PayPal, Web Cash, Online Bill Payment|
|Withdrawal Time||1 to 3 days||Up to 4 business days|
|Casino software||NetEnt, Microgaming, Quickspin, NYX Interactive, Play’n GO ||IGT, Bally, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming|
|Welcome Bonus||$1,500 + 300 free spins||Max $20 |
|Promotions||Daily tournaments, live casino bonuses, weekly boosts, new bonuses every month||Free bets, free lottery tokens, cashback, guaranteed bingo and poker prizes and tournaments|
|VIP/Loyalty program||Yes||For lottery only|
>PlayNow is run by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, also known as BCLC. The province cut a deal with Manitoba in 2013 to expand the online casino’s reach to resident of the province. BC players need to be 19 years or older to play and all players can only play from within their province of residence. On the other hand, Casino Gods may be new, but its parent company Genesis Global manages about a dozen sites for which they own MGA, SGA and UKGC licences, all very strict and trustworthy regulatory authorities.
Although different in nature, these regulatory bodies all safeguard responsible gambling, fairness and prompt conflict resolution. It may be worth noting that PlayNow also shares its peer-to-peer poker network with Loto-Quebec.
Since the Loto-Quebec debacle, Canadian provinces have started to realize that appealing to players would not be as easy as restricting access to offshore sites. As a result, PlayNow took bold steps and started to strike deals with major companies such as NetEnt, which they integrate to their IGT casino lobby. PlayNow’s model also includes a shared poker network, sports bets, live casino tables, lottery, instant games, keno, bingo and table games. Meanwhile, Casino Gods is built on the EveryMatrix casino engine and its library includes some of the biggest names in the industry, including NetEnt, but also MicroGaming, Yggdrasil and Red Tiger. All providers are certified by independent game testing labs such as eCOGRA.
PlayNow still has some catching up to do to reach the same level of quality on the slot machine front, but has the advantage of offering more variety with sports, lottery and poker.
Live Dealer Games
Live Casino games at PlayNow cover classics like baccarat, blackjack, roulette and poker. Evolution Gaming may be restricted on offshore casino sites, but Canadians can still play with their favourite live dealers using PlayNow’s live dealer platform, from their computer or on the go! For Casino Gods customers, it will be a bit more difficult to browse through the live casino section as the lobby does not currently hide the geo restricted games or allow filtering by providers. Look for the NetEnt logo for a sure bet.
Casino Gods still has great live dealer tables to choose from, but for Evolution Gaming fans, PlayNow is currently your only option
For a government owned gambling corporation, BLCL appears to be more open minded than its counterparts. Sure, they are not the most aggressive when it comes to customer acquisition, and $20 is the best deal you can expect to get, but for lottery and bingo fans, sports bettors and poker players, it’s better than nothing at all. Meanwhile, as a relative newcomer, Casino Gods understands the need to come up with juicy bonuses to attract the casino crowds, and it pays off. With four welcome bonuses worth up to $1,500 and 300 free spins on your first deposit, expect heavenly rewards… as long as you are looking for slot machines and table games.
Are you into quality or quantity? Depending on your favourite game, a tailored bonus from PlayNow could prove more valuable to you than huge sums to play games you don’t like. But for casino fans, the Gods do offer a divine treatment.
The promotion section of the PlayNow website lists a variety of offers for all types of games, from poker tournaments to free lotto tickets. Do not expect anything extravagant here in terms of value, but the variety is definitely a step in the right direction. Au contraire, the Gods offer generous weekly and monthly deals, prizes, tournaments, events and a tiered loyalty program completes. At 40x, the wagering requirements can be a little daunting, but it’s not that uncommon.
If you are into casino games, the Casino Gods will make your prayers come true. Otherwise, have a look at PlayNow’s Promotions page, you might be surprised.
Similar to Loto-Quebec, BCLC has a network of lottery kiosks and Husky stores across the province where players can purchase ‘Web Cash’ to fund their account. Note that these deposits cannot be withdrawn without wagering, to combat money laundering. All the other methods are fairly standards. Online bill payments do not immediately appear as deposits but take up to two business days. As to withdrawals, they can take up to three business days to process. Genesis Global has been known for its efficient payouts, but in this particular case, a few t’s have not been crossed. First, withdrawals incur a 2% handling fee with a minimum of $1. Second, no MasterCard, really?
Once again, it all boils down to personal preferences. If you prefer to avoid fees, perhaps PlayNow is a better option, but for speed and convenience, you could be better served by Gods. Unless you want to use MasterCard…
Wow. Once you start thinking about it, 2004 was a while ago! Some might even say it makes PlayNow an old school online casino. After all, what did Canada have at the time other than Calvin Ayre? But let’s not get sidetracked here. PlayNow certainly gets an A for effort with a great variety of games and promotion types to appeal to its wide range of (geo-localized) customers. That said, there is still a long way to go, as a lot of titles still use old Flash technology. On the marketing front, Casino Gods clearly stands out with generous bonuses and promotions for new and returning players. Slot aficionados will recognize their favourite titles and benefit from a plethora of free spins and rewards. If you prefer versatility and enjoy the various social aspect of gambling, you may want to give PlayNow a go. For tech-savvy players looking for the best entertainment for their dollars, head over to Casino Gods now.