British Columbians who log onto a government-owned gambling website will soon be able to bet thousands of dollars a week on lottery tickets, sports events and a number of online games.

The B.C. Lottery Corp. plans to raise the weekly limit on its Play Now website from $120 to nearly $10,000 -- a decision that prompted immediately condemnation from opposition politicians.

The Crown corporation's website sells lottery tickets and lets users bet on sports and play games including bingo and poker for money.

Corporation president Michael Graydon said the decision was the corporation's, not the provincial government's, and he said research shows players can set their own limits.

"We felt that it was important to put a ceiling on that, but really the premise and the outcome of the research was (that) we're in the best shape to be able to let the players set their own limits," said Graydon.

"It gives them the opportunity, based on their own economics, to be able to set what they'd like to do."

NDP critic Shane Simpson said the decision to increase online gambling limits was "unacceptable."

"This has been done with no consultation, as I can see, with people who are concerned about problem gambling," said Simpson.

"It's the government's responsibility to ensure people are protected."

The corporation said the move has nothing to with bringing in more money for the province, which is currently saddled with a budget deficit.

The province's annual revenue from gambling has held steady at about $1 billion, despite the recession, although the Liberal government hasn't said whether it might dip into those revenues for their own spending.