Tech, Integrity, and Innovation at BCLC

Out of its Kamloops, B.C. office, BCLC has been quietly building out its tech team and keeping on top of the biggest trends in the domain.

BCLC conducts gaming and manages casino play in British Columbia, generating revenue that returns to the province to support various investments such as health care and education.

The organization has followed and implemented some of the latest trends in technology to gain insights from the data they collect and enhance the playing experiences of their customers.  Richard Fenster, ‎Director of Corporate Strategy at BCLC, says, “As the technology becomes more prevalent, one of the things that goes along with it is the collection and access to data, whether it be operational or information that helps manage customers better.  Those are two evolving, emerging areas of our business.”

Innovation in gaming content has become a major focus of the BCLC.  The organization is implementing an open innovation program through which they intend to work with startups, universities, and other related organizations that aren’t typically associated with gambling.  “We see this as an important way to add new sources of content innovation,” Fenster says.  In a recent example, BCLC paired up with the Centre of Digital Media in Vancouver on a project that Fenster describes was “aimed at adding some fun to the lottery experience.”

To attract tech talent to its office in Kamloops, Fenster says the BCLC has been deliberately designing their culture.  That starts with values.

Gaming, more than most industries, can be a third-rail topic.  With that in mind, the three values driving the organization seem sensible:

Integrity: Fenster says, “When we think about gambling, one of the key expectations from the public is that what we offer has integrity.   If you put money on buying a lottery ticket or playing a hand of blackjack in the casino, you expect that the games are going to operate with fairness.”

Social responsibility: “This is a big topic in the world of gambling,” Fenster says.  The BCLC mission statement explicitly states they are ‘to conduct and manage gambling in a socially responsible manner for the benefit of British Columbians.’   A balance must always be struck among providing entertainment, generating revenue, and the impact on players.

Respect: This includes the people within the organization and extends to the players and public at large.

When hiring tech talent, Fenster says that “beyond the values, we talk a lot about being a very collaborative organization.  What works best in our organization is when you have that collaboration, visibility, transparency, and group effort to move things forward to their greatest success.  It takes the weight of a whole company to move something big forward.  What we’re trying to do is drive change.  Tech has changed the world in so many ways and we’re trying to catch up, keep up, or get ahead, so for us, trust and collaboration are major contributing factors when we look at hires.” 

For those who do come aboard, BCLC offers a ‘Total Rewards’ program which includes comprehensive medical benefits and vacation while safeguarding employees’ income through insurance, pension, and RRSP contributions.  At the site itself, employees enjoy onsite amenities including a subsidized cafeteria, a free gym, and free parking.

Working at BCLC can also provide a unique satisfaction:  provincial pride.  “Basically we support British Columbians,” Fenster says.  “For the people who work here, a lot of them take heart in that.  We’re helping the overall province.  There’s a purpose in that resonates with a lot of people.”

BCLC is a job board member and is hiring. Profiles are included with membership.