Gambling Expansion: Alberta to follow Ontario with a Regulated iGaming Market

The doors are opening in Wild Rose Country. The Red Tape Reduction States Amendment Act, Bill 16, just passed last month, will give the Alberta government the ability to control the expansion of Alberta’s gaming and sports betting market.

It’s a move the Albertan government hopes will yield similar results to Ontario’s after successfully regulating its market in 2022. “As part of our policy development process and our move towards a more open regulated online gaming market, Alberta’s government will continue to examine best practices from other jurisdictions, including Ontario,” a spokesperson for Minister Dale Nally explained.

With a competitive iGaming market with more than 70 different regulated casinos since its inception and $2.4 billion in revenues last year, iGaming Ontario is a proven benchmark for Alberta to mimic. There, the government regulates third-party operators, facilitating faster entries to the market for new operators and guaranteeing players’ safety and fair play practices. A seal of approval from iGaming Ontario is what allows casinos to operate legally in the market. Alberta is now primed for their own version of a similar regulating arm of their government.

Ontario’s gaming market though is certainly not the only place Alberta will be going to for insight for the new regulations: “Going forward, we will meet with all 47 First Nations and with the six First Nation casino operators,” the spokesperson continued. “We look forward to meeting soon and gathering their feedback on iGaming.”

Premier Danielle Smith made working with Indigenous communities on this project a clear part of Nally’s mandate in her letter to him last July about the bill. She stipulated that Nally was to be “Working with Indigenous partners [to] finish developing and implementing Alberta’s online gaming strategy with a focus on responsible gaming and provincial and Indigenous revenue generation.”

Meetings with Indigenous communities on the Red Tape Reduction are forthcoming. The province will also seek counsel with other stakeholders, such as the province’s casino and racetrack operators, to ensure they design the most efficient regulating structure.

The Bill comes after $1 million was budgeted to review the Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Act. Nally was given strict directions from Premier Smith to examine the iGaming market and uncover the best ways for the province to capitalize on opening the market in Alberta. Bill 16 is the first large step towards opening Alberta’s iGaming market.

According to Bruce Caughill, Managing Director of Canada for Rush Street Interactive, the Bill could not have passed sooner: “There’s a desire in the Alberta government to make this happen yesterday,” and for good reason. Alberta’s population, low corporate taxes, and high disposable incomes make the province an excellent market for iGaming. Alberta is also one of the highest-spending per-capita gambling markets in Canada, making it a particularly robust market to take advantage of.

It may have been better launching yesterday, but as it stands today, Albertans can expect a fully-regulated gaming market to get its launch as soon as 2025.

Latest Casinos to Launch in Canada

  1. Lunubet
  2. Caz-Win
  4. MetaWin
Casino Content Manager
Kayleigh is a casino content writer for the Canadian market. Before working on this market, Kayleigh was writing for the general US market and further specialised in the Pennsylvania market. Now, she brings her knowledge and experience to this market! She’s been working as a writing professional for the last decade, and she’s dedicated to bringing you practical tips, right at your fingertips.

Your casinos will be cleared

Are you sure?