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PlayNow Casino Review

The Canadian online casino industry has been an enigma to most users, especially when looking at it from an outside perspective. The reality of the situation is that offshore casinos aren’t illegal to use in Canada; however, they’re not allowed to set up shop in the region. There are also particular restrictions that they have when it comes to banking methods and software providers. The big question is, what can PlayNow Casino offer that off-shore casinos can’t?

Play Now Casino screenshot

Casino Info

LicenseBCLC
Date Founded2004
Bonus$20
Number of Games100+
Payout Percentage94.27%
Payout SpeedWithin 1-3 Days

Pros and Cons

Yes check mark iconCostumer Support is one of the best out there
No cross mark x iconOnly Canadian residents are able to play
No cross mark x iconBonuses are fairly small
No cross mark x iconDeposit methods are limited
No cross mark x iconPayout Percentage are low compare to other casinos

Banking Methods

Visa
Mastercard
Interac Online

Software Providers

IGT
Bally

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About PlayNow

PlayNow is a government-run online casino that has been around since 2004 and was established by the BCLC (British Colombia Lottery Commission) website. The goal of the brand is to provide Canadians with a secure and trustworthy online gambling platform. However, like the majority of state-run online gambling sites in Canada, PlayNow has garnered a negative reputation due to its attempts at monopolizing the gaming market in British Colombia and more recently, Manitoba.

PlayNow is currently the only legal online gambling site that caters exclusively to players that are located in British Colombia and Manitoba. As previously stated, the brand has been around for a while, as it had initially been established in 2004 to provide players in the province with a range of gaming services such as poker, sports betting, lottery, and online casino gaming. June 2010 saw the brand become the first casino site in North America that’s operated by the province.

December 2010 saw the brand make history as the largest recorded lottery win in the state came from a ticket that had been bought on PlayNow.com, with a sum of C$7.6 million in the Lotto 6/49 variant. PlayNow continued to expand over time and in February 2011, it had started to offer peer-to-peer poker in a collaboration effort with Loto-Quebec. Further expansion came when it had partnered with Manitoba Lotteries, which still provides services that assist in the management of the online casino that’s been made exclusive for Manitobans.

January 2013 saw the establishment of PlayNow Manitoba which is based on the same business model as the BC variation of PlayNow. The main goal of PlayNow is to better communities within British Colombia by reinvesting the profits that have been generated through online gambling, sports betting, and the sale of lottery tickets.

PlayNow Manitoba

The launch of PlayNow Manitoba was a monumental achievement for legal online gambling in Canada. This feat was achieved by a partnership between the BCLC and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries. This allows Manitobans to have access to the best casino and poker titles along with a decent sports betting offering. Essentially, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries had concluded that the online model that’s been implemented by the BCLC is the premier choice when it comes to online gambling in Canada.

PlayNow Manitoba is a replica of its BC counterpart, which makes sense as the site has been provided by the BCLC. This version of PlayNow will also feature GameSense, which is an award-winning tool that’s used to help players when it comes to making informed decisions regarding gambling.

GameSense also creates a balance between fun and responsibility, as it reminds players that it’s important to remain within their boundaries, especially when taking part in games of chance.

Like PlayNow BC, the profits that are generated by the casino will be reinvested in communities. This is the one key difference between local sites and off-shore brands, as the latter has no obligation to reinvest anything into the region that it operates in.

PlayNow Mobile Casino & Interface

One of the things that PlayNow gets right is that the platform is incredibly user-friendly. The site is easy to navigate as it features a high-contrast design that makes it easy for players to identify particular tabs and what they represent. It’s also very easy for them to find certain information as the links that will redirect them are in plain sight. This design is simple, and has no unnecessary frills, which is great for no-nonsense players; however, if you appreciate the thought that goes into the design of a site, you may not like it very much.

One of the major upsides of this site as a whole is that it’s compatible with mobile devices. No matter what device or operating system you’re using, Play Now will be accessible. This is especially good for those that are fans of sports betting as most sports bettors prefer to place bets via their mobile devices. Even when it comes to purchasing an online lottery ticket, this will easily be possible with a mobile device.

Mobile access and gaming are no longer viewed as an added feature but rather an integral aspect of online gaming as the entire industry is built upon the concept of convenience. This is something that the site will need to hold onto if it wishes to compete with off-shore sites.

PlayNow App

In addition to the mobile casino platform which the casino site have developed. PlayNow casino also has a new app! Unfortunately, during our review process, we have found only an option for a poker app by the casino and not a full casino app support that enables you to play all PlayNow slots and games like we would have excepted. And not only that, the review on the app store about the PlayNow poker app are fairly bad.

A direct quote from one of the reviews on the app store: (source)

“Terrible app. Multiple crashes. I won my way to top 5 in a tournament and the system crashed. I have called multiple times and still haven’t received my money back – the prize position or buy in amount. Don’t waste your money”

Bonuses and Promotions

PlayNow Casino has opted to divide all promotional offers and confine them to particular sections of the site. Not only does the site limit itself, but this is also infuriating for players as they won’t be allowed to merge any bonus upgrades for various titles. This means that deals can only be claimed one at a time. Further to this, new players can claim a welcome offer that consists of a 100% deposit match bonus up to the value of C$100. For a welcome offer, this is rather weak, as most off-shore brands usually deliver welcome bonuses up to C$1000 with reasonable wagering requirements attached to it.

As far as promotional offers are concerned, Play Now proves that it either has no intention of competing with off-shore sites or it simply doesn’t care, as the only available offer is a tournament that has you play a specific slot to win a total of C$10,000. However, things aren’t what they appear to be as the selection of slots that are provided are abysmal. Casino Bonuses and promotional offers are incredibly important when it comes to enticing players and there’s no reason for this site to not provide any meaningful offer.

On the positive end, at least they’re offering something, as it could’ve been really bad where no bonus or promotional offers were provided.

PlayNow Game Selection

The game selection that’s offered is seen at the top of the screen with a range of titles such as Keno, Poker, Bingo, Lottery, and Casino. There is a great variety of available casino games, which is surprising as this is the last thing that you’d expect from a government-run site. There is also a wide range of slots that can be enjoyed, which is great, as slots are proven to be the most popular gaming category when it comes to online gaming.

What stands out the most is the selection of exclusive games that have been made available. Here you’ll find titles such as Candy Bears, Alice – Mad Tea Party, and Mega Pots Bar-X-Slot. This will be a hit amongst slot enthusiasts as these games can’t be found anywhere else. Play Now offers a range of table games as well, with games such as Blackjack, Roulette, and Poker; however, the downside is that there’s no Playnow live casino version of any of these games.

This is a segment that’s generally found within off-shore casinos, which reveals one of the major Achilles heels of this site. There’s a lingering doubt that live casino gaming will be made available, as it’s a lot of effort, which means that it would need to strike a deal with Evolution Gaming or another brand that offers it, or simply conduct the streaming itself, which could work if they were looking to create employment in the industry. 

PlayNow Live Casino

Get ready for a new way to play casino games at home! Enjoy streaming live dealers, where you can bet and interact with them as if they were in front of your own table. Play blackjack or roulette while watching the spinning wheel uncertainty – it’s just like being there!

If that isn’t enough excitement then how about some baccarat? And finally… I’m glad to tell you that PlayNow have Texas Hold’em because now you can show off with your poker skills around the world!

How to play?

The sleek and simple design of Live Casino makes it easy to enjoy your favorite game with friends at any time. No matter where you are or what device is available, just click on one of the tiles provided in order for a pop up window containing all available games open within seconds!

Play Now Keno Live

Play Now Casino Keno Live

Keno is a fun and easy way to play with the chance of winning up $200,000. You can choose 10 numbers from 80 that will be randomly drawn after 20 have been chosen in each draw – if your choice matches what’s just expired away then congratulations!

Banking

The banking aspect of this site is rather vague; however, there it’s clear that debit and credit cards are available for use. The presence of Interac, which is a Canadian banking service, is also available. However, this is one of the few online casinos operated by a local government that also features banking methods such as American Express, PayPal (which is something that offshore casinos can’t offer), Webcash and Online Bill Payment. These are by no means awful banking methods, and even though we would’ve liked to see more banking methods being incorporated into this site, this is an impressive line-up of offers.

Accepted BankingDepositsWithdrawalsWithdrawal TimeMore Casinos With Similar Banking
Interac Online casino payments logoYes check mark iconNo cross mark x iconNot ApplicableMore Interac Online Casinos Canada
Visa Casino payments logoYes check mark iconYes check mark icon2 to 5 DaysMore Visa Casinos Canada
MAstercard casino payments logoYes check mark iconYes check mark icon2 to 5 DaysMore Mastercard Casinos Canada

A major downside to this site is that you’ll need a verified credit card before you’ll be allowed to deposit cash into your casino account. Not only is this inconvenient, but this isn’t something that everyone is popular using. On the positive end, the minimum deposit required to get started is extremely low, which is set at a measly C$5. Bankroll control is also easier as you’ll be allowed to use the same wallet in all departments of the site, which means that you can switch between the casino, lottery, and sportsbook without needing to deposit more cash into your account.

Banking is an incredibly important component of online gaming and this could either make your experience more cheerful or make your life very difficult. By joining PlayNow, you’ll need to part ways with popular e-wallet services such as Neteller and Skrill.

Player Safety and Customer Support

The safety of an online casino is crucial, and this is one of the aspects of Play Now that you won’t need to worry about. Due to this site being governed by the provinces of British Colombia and Manitoba, there are strict rules in place to ensure that players are kept safe. The site is fully licensed and regulated, despite being by itself, it doesn’t allow this to give it a reason to not care about player safety. The site is also eCOGRA approved casino, which is a huge feather in its cap, especially when fairness is questioned. When it comes to customer support, you’ll be able to contact the team via email which is in the form of an online sheet that needs to be completed. Telephonic and live chat response times are incredibly swift; however, these are only available between 7 AM and midnight. However, if you’re playing poker, you’ll be provided with 24/7 customer support and it will be accessible via live chat, telephone, and email.

Benefits

There are a few benefits to using PlayNow as to your preferred online casino, as this site will provide you with the assurance that you’re using a platform that’s 100% legitimate. You’ll also know that the profits that are generated are going towards important sectors in the local community, these include education, community services, and healthcare. This is something that’s not done by off-shore sites as they pocket all profits, which is by no means unethical, but with Play Now, you’ll indirectly be contributing to the greater good.

Verdict

Play Now is an online casino that has a lot of hits and just as many misses, and if you’re caught between this one and an off-shore site, you’re better off going with an international brand as it features a lot more in terms of bonuses, banking, and promotional offers. However, PlayNow is a fully legitimate site that can provide you with the security and personal assurance that an off-shore casino can’t and this is what brings many players to the platform, especially since there are so many good international online casinos that operate without having your best interest at heart.

This site is also incredibly user-friendly, which makes it perfect for new players and those that are looking for something that’s simple and gets the job done. There is also a range of great games along with exclusive titles that can’t be found anywhere else. However, this is also a site where the “happiness” of poker players is prioritized, which is evident when it comes to the customer support section of the site. Ultimately, you will be better off by signing up with a platform that has more to offer, especially where bonuses and promotional offers are concerned.

Last Updated: April 28, 2022
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