Not everyone is the gambling type. But if gaming does happen to be your thing, if you can appreciate the rush of a win on the slots, flipping 21 on the blackjack table or watching your outside favourite gallop across the finish line at the horse track, then British Columbia is your odds-on best bet. Here are our favourite places to take Lady Luck for a night out…
The Gateway Casino family boasts facilities all across the province including the Lake City chain – a group of casinos that service visitors and locals in BC’s interior. With locations in Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon, you’re sure to find a winner. Kamloops brags 301 slot machines and 8 gaming tables in a dynamic Mardi Gras-themed environment; Kelowna, 342 slots and ten gaming tables in a Caribbean cruise ship atmosphere featuring murals, a rock-scape and a waterfall; Penticton, 228 slots, 9 gaming tables including Texas Hold’Em, featuring a lakeside bar and restaurant; Vernon, 210 slots, 8 gaming tables and an entertainment stage in a Tex-Mex Santa Fe-themed room. And all locations come equipped with full-service lounges to wet your whistle between winnings!
Gateway’s other casinos are no less unique and appealing. The Starlight Casino in New Westminster is a 100 thousand square foot marvel that is open 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week and features 850 slots, 45 gaming tables and a poker room complete with electronic tables. A private bar and patio is available for patrons and the popular Redbar offers an exciting roster of live entertainment. Cascades Casino in Langley brings gaming excitement to the Fraser Valley courtesy of 750 slots, 27 gaming tables, a poker room and a high limit area for serious gamblers. Throw in a 420-seat theatre, the renowned Glacier Bar and the mouth-watering Pinnacle Grill and you’ve got all the makings of a memorable evening! Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby has cornered the market on warm Italian charm with 1000 slots, over 50 gaming tables, a show lounge and some of the most stunning mountain views of any casino in the world. Wherever you are in the province, Gateway Casinos has you covered.
The Metropolitan Vancouver area is peppered with casinos, each bringing you their particular brand of high-stakes excitement. Playtime Gaming in Abbotsford is part of the largest bingo and community games centres provider in BC. Coquitlam’s Boulevard Casino brings the sophistication of the European gambling experience to Canada’s West Coast with over 900 slots, 69 gaming tables, an array of dining choices and of course, the entertainment of the Red Robinson Show Theatre, named after the famous Vancouver broadcasting personality. For a truly unique outing, visit the Royal City Star Riverboat Casino in New Westminster – a vessel that was originally called the Queen of New Orleans and was moored on the Mississippi. It features slots, gaming tables, and numerous games such as Blackjack, Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow and Roulette, to name a few. The River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond is Canada’s biggest facility, providing 24-hour-a-day gaming with over 900 slots, all your favourite gaming tables and the country’s largest poker room with 25 tables! And for the brave-hearted, steel-nerved gambler, the Dogwood Room provides high-limit games and VIP service. Need a breather from the action? An international food court awaits you as well as Runway 26 Gourmet Buffet Restaurant. Just the pick-me-up you need before placing some off-track bets. Right in the heart of Downtown Vancouver on the shores of False Creek, the Edgewater Casino is 300-thousand plus square feet of gaming action with all your favourite slots and table games – a fantastic way to keep the evening going after watching the Canucks play next door at GM Place!
The action doesn’t have to stop if you find yourself on Vancouver Island, either.
Great Canadian Casino View Royal is only a half-hour drive from Downtown Victoria and boasts a super variety of slots with over 400 machines as well as all the popular table games and a deli to keep you going as late as 4am on the weekends. Just an hour’s drive up island in the City of Nanaimo, the Great Canadian Casino Nanaimo has 380 slots and an ample number of table games as well.
Odds are, however, that not every avid gamer will find themselves vacationing on or near the British Columbia coast. No fear! Casinos exist all over the province. Try Cranbrook’s Casino of the Rockies, the only gambling facility in the Kootenay Rockies. And with over 226 slots, multiple table games and off-track betting, do you really need more? Prince George’s Tuscan-themed Treasure Cove Casino is another big winner with 550 slots, table games and a 200-seat entertainment lounge packed into its 37-thousand square feet. And of course, the historic Billy Barker Casino Hotel in Quesnel has all the excitement of slots and table games in the old town saloon atmosphere that made the area so popular during the Gold Rush.
Of course, not all gamers live for the rush of the one armed bandits or even the thrill of table games. Some gamblers like to take their luck trackside… For those with a hankering for the horses, BC can get you much closer than your favourite casino’s off-track betting window. British Columbia has a full season of horse racing with events happening across the province all year at Sagebrush Downs in Kamloops, Sunflower Downs in Princeton and Kin Race Track in Vernon. Visit the BC Interior Horse Racing website for meets, schedules and track conditions. And for those who want to have their cake and eat it too, BC has two Horse Track Racino facilities on the Lower Mainland: Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino in Surrey and the ever-popular Hastings Racecourse in Downtown Vancouver.
Gambling in British Columbia? When the chips are down, we come up all aces. You can bet on it!