Regulated online gambling, at least in one form or another, is coming to the Canadian province of Alberta. It’s part of a larger effort by the Provincial government aimed at stemming the flow of gaming cash from Alberta to offshore operators.
According to a report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, PlayAlberta.ca is hoping to bring in around $3.7 million a year in tax revenue to the provincial government in its first year. They’re currently estimating that online gambling will be bringing in more like $150 million a year within five years. It’s an ambitious plan and it’s one that doesn’t ome without risks.
Revenue from online gambling will likely tick up as the province expands the suite of regulated games to include online poker and sports betting. Under the current plan, only casino games and a limited amount of parlay wagering will be allowed.
For example, some stakeholders are concerned that increased regulated online gambling options from the provincial government will cannibalize custoers from existing land-based Alberta casinos. Authorities say that’s not likely as they are specifically targeting players who already are sending their Canadian cash to offshore casinos.
We don’t anticipate PlayAlberta to be cannibalizing from land-based casinos and racing entertainment centres in Alberta, as we’re focused on … giving options to online players who may be playing currently on unregulated offshore sites,” he said. So that’s our target market, that’s what we’re going for. Those are the funds that we want to repatriate into Alberta coffers,” said Alain Maisonneuve, AGLC president and CEO.
Provincial officials are hoping to have regulated online gambling in Alberta up and running sometime in 2021.