Alberta puts out request for proposals for new tech partner for platform
Ontario, B.C., Manitoba, and Quebec are already on the online gambling bandwagon. Currently Alberta and Saskatchewan are the only two provinces that don’t offer a regulated online gambling service. However, this might change very soon as it seems Alberta is ready to try its hand at gambling. The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLCC) is searching for a tech partner that can help develop a online gambling platform that Albertans can use on their computers and mobile devices. Bids have closed on February 28 and they plan to have a platform in place by next year. The province has awarded many licenses to small casinos but very few have hotels attached or resorts.
Current gambling options in Alberta
The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission controls all land based gambling venues in Alberta. Alberta is the most populated province in Canada. It has two cities (Edmonton & Calgary) and more than 4 million residents. Alberta also has a very mature gaming industry, with about two dozen casinos spread throughout the province and tons of options for players looking to place a bet and win some money. Alongside the expected lotteries there are horse racing, and numerous bingo halls and casinos. It does not, however, operate any online gaming platforms. Albertans thus need to look to other Canadian governments or world-famous gambling authorities.
Even though Alberta does not offer a regulated online gambling service, it is still rather simple for Albertans to enjoy online gambling. There are a number of overseas companies that host online casinos or poker rooms that are open to Canadians. There are also no Canadian laws that would prosecute a player if they chose to play on these sites. In addition, Albertans do not have to pay tax when withdrawing their winnings from online casinos. They only pay the withdrawal fees.
The pros and cons of launching an online gaming platform in Alberta
According to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission residents currently spend roughly more than $350 million on unlicensed gambling platforms. The fact that the money is spent on unregulated and unlicensed websites means that it is not benefitting Canada at all. If Albertans are betting with overseas casinos anyway, why not create a state-regulated online gambling platform and redirect that money to benefit Alberta?
Online gambling could bring in a lot of revenue, as gamblers seem to spend more than ever despite the economic climate. Online gambling is expected to earn the government around $50 to $75 million annually. However, most residents are worried that launching an online gambling platform could cause more harm than good. They believe that the harms far outweigh the benefits as it will lead to an increase in social issues and problem gamblers. With Alberta moving towards online gambling, Saskatchewan will be the only Canadian province to not have a regulated online gambling service.
Until the launch of Alberta’s very own online gambling platform, be sure to use online gambling sites responsibly. Spend time choosing the right casino for you. Look at signup no deposit bonuses where you will get to play against real opponents before betting your own money. Gain some real gaming experience before betting your own money. Also check that your online casino of choice has a good support service and holds a respectable license.
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