Alberta on the Cusp of Legalizing Online Gambling

Alberta on the Cusp of Legalizing Online Gambling

As the Canadian government focuses on money laundering and MPs with gambling debts, Alberta is creating an online gambling platform. And, it will be legal.

No one knew about the province’s decision. That is until the province’s gambling commission started putting out requests for proposals to look for a tech partner. The purpose was to build a platform for online and mobile gambling. Potential partners have until the end of the month to submit bids. The provincial government will make a decision this summer. With its initial movement, Alberta edges closer to the rest of the country in offering either online or mobile gaming. Saskatchewan will remain the only Canadian province to not have online or mobile gambling.

Alberta

AlbertaAlberta is one of the western provinces of Canada. The estimated population of the prairie province is at around 4 million residents. It is a large province, with an area of 250,000 square miles. It is also a rural province and located between British Columbia and Saskatchewan. It is north of the U.S. state of Montana. Alberta is a ranching and farming province and has a large number of grasslands. One of the largest industries in Alberta is the crude oil industry. This was guaranteed with the discovery of the Athabasca oil sands in the northeastern part of the province. In addition, Alberta boasts a fairly significant tourism industry because of Banff National Park and Lake Louise.

The Gambling Market

What makes Canada interesting is there is no regulated market for online gambling. The national government has not made any laws that regulate online gambling. However, all but Alberta and Saskatchewan currently offer online gambling options to their citizens. Researchers have estimated that Albertans spend more than $350 million each year on gambling sites that are unlicensed in the province. Albertans have previously stated they would like to have online and mobile gambling options.

Online sports or lottery gambling may also be available to Albertans. However, Canadian law prohibits single-sports betting. Instead, wagerers must bet on either multiple games on the same day or multiple games on different days. This has been a bone of contention among Canadians recently. This is especially true since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that states can decide whether to allow gambling.

The Future of Online Gambling for Alberta

Online gambling sportsThe provincial government of Alberta has not said what kind of gambling it intends to offer. Each province differs in what they offer online. For example, British Columbia has been offering a wide variety of gambling options since 2004. The British Columbia lottery system has online lottery games, casino games, poker, and parlay betting. The province also offers mobile games and lottery games. However, across the country, the Atlantic provinces only offer online lottery ticket purchases. There are no casino games offered.

Provincial representatives said their decision to allow online gambling is because so many of their citizens are already gambling online. Those people who are gambling online are using unlicensed websites and the government sees none of the revenue. In addition, the province believes that trying to block unlicensed operators is futile. Quebec, which has tried to block unlicensed operators, has found itself in court several times. The court has ruled its blocking efforts unconstitutional. It said that blocking websites violated the country’s net neutrality law.

It is unclear what kind of gambling Alberta will offer online. However, many consider the move by the province to legalize online gambling to be progress. The province could use the projected revenue of millions of dollars a year to fund additional community and social welfare projects.

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