June 21, 2024 3 min read


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Alberta Plans to Adopt Ontario’s iGaming Model

The province plans to learn from the experience of other regulated Canadian markets, limiting grey market operators and achieving a balance between stakeholder interests and player safety

Alberta maintains its steady progress towards a regulated online gaming market. A Tuesday presentation by Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction Dale Nally revealed additional information on how the province plans to implement legalized gambling. This move should significantly benefit Alberta’s economy, but Nally was adamant that gambling harm prevention remained a priority.

The Province Has a Lot to Offer

The Alberta legislature recently paved the way for a multi-operator online gaming market by passing Bill 16. This legislation acknowledges the provincial government’s authority to independently manage gaming, allowing private operators to compete with Play Alberta, run by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC), the only regulated gaming operator in the province.

Minister Nally was adamant that commercial operators would have a fair chance to secure a market niche and that the Alberta government would take the necessary measures to avoid conflicts of interest. He drew comparisons with Ontario, highlighting the other province as a positive example of gambling legislation done right.

We’ll massage it a little bit, but it’s been inspired by the experience in Ontario. It’s going to be an open and free market.

Dale Nally, Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction

Nally emphasized Alberta’s favorable business environment. He drew attention to the province’s low corporate taxes—the lowest in Canada and lower than 44 US states—which has spurred significant investments. He also highlighted a recent study predicting Alberta’s economy could grow twice as quickly as the national average, presenting a golden opportunity for the gaming industry.

An Open Market Is Better for Everybody

Nally noted he had been engaging with First Nations communities and would continue consultations with other stakeholders to foster a fair and equitable market. Industry experts believe opening the industry represents a natural evolution for Alberta’s gaming landscape. A regulated market offers significantly improved player protection measures and can bring substantial tax income.

Alberta’s regulated gaming can also significantly decrease the prevalence of black market operators. Roughly 55% of players in the province engage with unregulated sites, offering almost non-existent customer protections. By channeling those customers toward regulated offerings, Alberta can better protect its citizens by holding operators accountable for potential regulation violations while delegating some of the profits to harm prevention initiatives.

While Nally did not provide a specific timeline for the launch of Alberta’s regulated iGaming market, he indicated ongoing consultations with stakeholders throughout the summer. The province likely intends to press on with legalization sooner rather than later, positioning itself as the next major player in Canada’s evolving gaming landscape.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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