Alberta draws interest from major North American market players

Since the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) issued a request for proposals (RFP) in December 2021, looking for two companies to work with the province’s casino operators in developing sports betting in the province, numerous major players in the US and prospective Canadian market appear to have expressed interest.

Proposals were accepted until February 14, a date delayed from January 31 due to high interest in the Alberta market.

While it’s unclear at this stage which companies may have actually applied, Covers reports that the RFP’s list of “interested vendors” includes some of the biggest brand names in sports betting, such as BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Meanwhile, PointsBet has also recently expressed its desire to focus on Albertan opportunities after receiving registration for the Ontario market.

Joining that list are prominent technology companies like IGT and Kambi, as well as several Canadian lottery corporations as well as various other types of businesses and service providers.

AGLC is aiming to launch the new retail and online sportsbooks later in 2022 and will continue its vetting and evaluation processes over the next several months.

“Currently, AGLC does not announce the number of organizations who submitted proposals or their identities,” said Karin Campbell, manager of communications at the agency, per Covers. “As AGLC awards the contracts to the successful proponents, an announcement will be made communicating the vendors to the public. That announcement is expected in the second half of 2022.”

Currently, the only authorized sources of sports wagering in Alberta are AGLC’s PlayAlberta website and Western Canada Lottery Corp.’s games offered via certain brick-and-mortar retailers.

AGLC wants to provide a core betting service that could be used by the province’s 28 casinos in the form of retail and mobile sportsbooks and could potentially be adopted by the province’s professional sports franchises down the line. That set-up would be unique in Canada, where most provinces have allowed their government-owned lottery and gaming corporations to act as the only legal provider of sports betting, but would be distinctly different to the open model in the works in Ontario.

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