June 10, 2024 3 min read

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Alberta Wants iGaming to Widen in Canadian Province

Ontario does it, so why wouldn’t Alberta seek to expand its online gambling framework, enabling private companies to take over the iGaming sector

Alberta, the Canadian province, has been actively moving forward to ensure that it slashes the amount of red tape companies have to jump through in order to start offering legitimate iGaming products in the province.

Alberta Seeks to Expand Online Gambling to Private Companies

Yet, for the time being, the only legitimate online casino games you can get are offered by Play Alberta, run by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC). Many other brands claim to technically be offering grey area products, similar to what the case was in Ontario prior to the changes in the law in 2022, Play Alberta alleges they are illegal.

So, what if, argues Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction Dalley Nally, this could change? According to Nally, Alberta can transform itself into an iGaming hub, in a manner similar to Ontario.

“We have low corporate taxes, streamlined regulations, and high disposable incomes. These conditions will allow us toestablish ourselves as a premier destination for the igaming industry,” Nally explained.

The provincial government is said to be actively involved with negotiations throughout June and July in order to establish a gambling regulatory framework, that will focus on the overall online gambling strategy, will also foresee safeguards for responsible gambling, and also address any lingering fear about Indigenous revenue generation.

In a statement for the government, a spokesperson said that the expansion of iGaming in Alberta is an important step forward for the province and in the best interest of Albertans.

“As part of our policy development process, and as we look at moving to a more open regulated online gaming market, we will continue to examine best practices from other jurisdictions, including Ontario,” the statement added.

Regulated Gambling Market to Get a Boost in Alberta

This should give a significant boost to the regulated market in the province. Presently, Play Alberta accounts for an estimated 45% of the total market, with the rest going to offshore websites which are not obligated to pay tax locally and are therefore not bound by the same rules, giving them more leeway to offer better games, jackpots, promotions, and more.

Since it established Play Alberta, the AGLC had to address a legal challenge as to whether the website was actually legal. Courts decided that it was in 2023, and Ontario has just closed the book on a similar challenge to the online gambling operators involving casino games of chance.

As to the AGLC’s view of expanding the regulated market, the regulator is very much aligned with what Nally thinks. However, lawmakers should also acknowledge that delays in introducing a regulated iGaming market leave it in a state of limbo.

“But until such time as that happens, the remainder of the market is really the illegal market that’s capturing the remainder of that share,” AGLC VP of Gaming Dan Keene said.

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Stoyan holds over 8 years of esports and gambling writing experience under his belt and is specifically knowledgeable about developments within the online scene. He is a great asset to the GamblingNews.com team with his niche expertise and continual focus on providing our readers with articles that have a unique spin which differentiates us from the rest.

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