Alberta Online Gambling Launch

Alberta looks set to join Ontario in legalizing online gambling, with sports betting also on the docket. The news was outlined by Dale Nally, Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction, at the ICE conference in London at the start of 2024.

The update came hand-in-hand with a statement from Nally's office, which laid out the details of how the region can benefit from legalizing the practice: "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."

Last summer, a mandate was issued by the Canadian government to Nally and his department to find ways of monetizing iGaming responsibly and safely.

The mandate, which was released back in July, said: "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."

map of canada with Alberta selected region

What Is The Current Status Quo?

At the time of writing, citizens of Alberta just have one online gambling platform in, a government-run and owned operator overseen by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis - a provincial authority.

However, a ruling back in April 2023 has opened up the possibility of other online casinos entering the race in the province, providing some healthy and much-needed competition.

Alberta's top court upheld a lower court decision, which stated the government had the right to set up

The three-member Alberta Court of Appeal panel concluded a challenge by Tsuu T'ina Gaming and others to AGLC's decision to create in 2020. One of the main facets of the hearing was to establish whether the commission had the statutory authority under the Gaming Act to operate an online casino accessible by desktop and mobile devices throughout the province.

In confirming the government had the right to set up, many new businesses will see it as an opportunity for other operators to open in the region.

What Are The Benefits Of Legalising Gambling?

The topic of online gambling has been contentious for decades now, but what are the benefits of opening up a space for online operators? How does it benefit the region? And how can agencies properly regulate the risks of problem gambling or money laundering?

These are legitimate questions, but here are five ways in which having an open, strict, and responsible regulatory authority on online gambling can positively affect the region:

  • Increased Revenue: Legalising online gambling can generate significant revenue for the province through taxes and licensing fees. This additional income can be used to fund education, healthcare, infrastructure, and other essential services. For example, in the UK in 2023, a massive £3.3 billion was raised in taxes - up from £3.07 the year before and the highest amount since records began.
  • Job Creation: Online gambling will create employment opportunities in various fields such as website development, customer service, marketing, and more, reducing unemployment rates and boosting the economy.
  • Consumer Protection: The government can implement regulations and measures to protect consumers from fraudulent or illegal websites and enforce responsible gambling practices. There are authorities that work around the world, with the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) among the most stringent.
  • Compete with Black Market: Like many regions around the world, Canada is struggling against the scourge of black market casinos and illegal online gambling. Legalizing it can help the government compete with the black market. By regulating and taxing the practice, the province can cut into the profits of illegal operators and redirect those funds to benefit the community.
  • Conflict Resolution: Gambling authorities often work with agencies to help players settle disputes with an operator.

What Impact Has Regulation Had On Ontario's Gaming Market?

Since the province ended its grey market status on April 4, 2022, more than 70 online brands have been in operation in the region, all meeting the strictest regulatory standards.

According to iGaming Ontario, in the last quarter of 2023 alone, there were total wagers in Q4 of $13.9 billion, bringing the 2023 total up to $35.5 billion.

The gaming revenue is just as eye-boggling, with the Q4 total amounting to $526 million and the yearly intake to $1.4 billion.

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Dmitry Rogalchuk
With over 5 years of experience in iGaming, Dmitry Rogalchuk leads a content team at CasinoCanada, ensuring that every article on the CasinoCanada website is informative and engaging for our readers.
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The University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia & McGill University degrees, strategic marketing & content leadership expertise, sales strategies development
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