Potential iGaming modifications: Alberta starts consultation process

According to estimates from market data firm H2 Gambling Capital, unregulated sites continue to control over half of the total online gaming market in Alberta. This underscores the potential benefits of a regulated commercial market. 

According to Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC), its site, Play Alberta, accounts for approximately 45% of the iGaming market share in the province. The platform boasts over 313,000 listed users. According to AGLC’s Vice President of iGaming, Dan Keene, roughly 9% of Albertans over the permitted age have a listed account with regard to their site, playalberta.ca.

In the twelve months ended March 31, the site received $5.36 billion in total bets, according to the AGLC. According to Keene, the final fiscal year’s revenue contribution to Alberta’s general revenue fund is anticipated to reach $234 million, a significant increase from the $179 million recorded in the year ending March 2023.

Despite Play Alberta’s above-average performance, it’s evident that over 50% of the iGaming industry operates without a valid license. This exposes connected gamers to potential exploitation by various sites. According to Paul Burns, CEO and President of the Canadian Gaming Association, the gambling space in Canada attracts a large volume of spending money from eager iGaming enthusiasts. It is evident that none of this money ends up in the government’s coffers. Alberta views this as a significant missed opportunity for increased revenue collection.

In order to address this issue effectively and adequately, Premier Danielle Smith has instructed the Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction, Dale Nally, to have a closer look at the present gaming scenario. 

Recently, the Alberta legislature passed Bill 16, which states that the provincial government has a mandate to carry out and control all aspects of gaming, separate from AGLC. 

Nally believes that without the participation and discussions with the representatives of First Nations, the full impact of any alterations made to the current system would remain incomplete. He has already initiated this process.

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