Alberta Legal Gambling Market Launch Confirmed

Speaking at the Canadian Gaming Summit last week, Dale Nally, Minister of Service and Red Tape Reduction, confirmed that Alberta will launch legal iGaming following Ontario’s model, with a few improvements.

Nally said, “Let me tell you a little bit about what our gaming site is going to look like. It’s going to be very similar to Ontario because we’re following their model.

“As far as I’m concerned, they build the roadmap. 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.”

According to Nally, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Board will not regulate the market, as it operates the government-run site PlayAlberata (active since 2020). Under the plans, PlayAlberata will be in direct competition with other license holders, who expressed concerns.

Under Bill 16 (the Red Tape Reduction Statutes Amendment Act), passed earlier this month, Alberta can create an entirely new regulatory body overseeing the legal market.

This mirrors Ontario’s set-up, where overarching gambling regulation is controlled by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, with iGaming Ontario (a subsidiary of the former) overseeing the market and licensee.

Following Ontario’s Winning Model

Ontario was the first Canadian province to launch legal gambling in April 2022. Since then, more than 1.6 million active accounts have been registered, and 49 licensed operators and 72 gaming websites are up and running in the market.

The Ontario market is hailed as a success. According to iGaming Ontario, CA$35.6 billion (£20.5bn) in total wagers and approximately CA$1.4 billion (£800mn) in total gaming revenue were generated in the first year of legal gambling, placing the province among the top five iGaming jurisdictions in North America.

No Timeline, As Yet

Nally didn’t give attendees a timeline during his speech, but experts expect Alberta’s competitive market to launch in 2025.

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