Alberta Eyes Online Gambling Launch

Alberta is setting the stage to become Canada‘s next province to embrace online gambling and sports betting, following in Ontario‘s footsteps. 

Minister Dale Nally of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction is spearheading the initiative, aiming to establish Alberta as a leading hub for igaming and sports betting as outlined in the mandate issued to Minister Nally on July 24, 2023. 

The mandate states: “Working with Indigenous partners, finish developing and implementing Alberta’s online gaming strategy with a focus on responsible gaming and provincial and Indigenous revenue generation.” 

“Alberta can be a leading hub for igaming, with a strong emphasis on openness and a free market. We have low corporate taxes, streamlined regulations, and high disposable incomes. These conditions will allow us to establish ourselves as a premier destination for the iGaming industry,” Nally’s office told PlayCanada. 

Currently, Alberta’s online gambling landscape is limited to PlayAlberta, a government-owned platform. 

Despite interest from major players in the online sports betting sector, Alberta has yet to open its market to third-party operators. This has led to calls for overhauling the province’s gambling regulations to allow for a more diverse and competitive market similar to Ontario’s model.

The Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision in April 2023 to uphold the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission‘s (AGLC) right to operate PlayAlberta further solidified the province’s ability to manage online gambling. This decision is a step toward expanding Alberta’s gaming options, addressing the challenges posed by unregulated international sites, and keeping gambling revenues within the province.

As Alberta works towards launching its online gambling market, the emphasis is on creating a responsible and inclusive gaming environment. The efforts to collaborate with Indigenous partners and focus on revenue generation for both provincial and Indigenous communities are clear. 

While the exact timeline for the launch remains unspecified, Minister Nally’s commitment suggests that Alberta is on a clear path to becoming Canada’s second province to offer comprehensive online gambling and sports betting options.

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