Alberta is the fourth-most populous province in Canada with four million residents. Two large cities, Edmonton and Calgary, are centres for commerce in the region and most casinos, betting operators and sports teams are located here. Local government in Alberta uses gambling proceeds effectively to provide funding for social and communal enterprises that benefit the wider community, making it one of the most pioneering provinces in regard to gambling.
Gaming Laws in Alberta
Local government regulates gaming laws in Alberta and residents can legally gamble on sports, lotteries, bingo and poker. Online gambling is also available on the state-run Play Alberta website.
The Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission oversees all betting activity in the province. Gaming legislation to regulate online and physical gambling activities has been altered several times since 2000 to improve gambling procedure in Alberta.
The commission ensures betting venues are established legally and promotes safe gambling by residents in the province by highlighting public awareness and promoting safer gambling protocols.
All revenue generated through gambling in Alberta funds social and communal improvement through various charities. This funding pays for building roads, education, renovation and gambling addiction programs in the province.
Alberta Sports Betting
Gamblers in Alberta can use the Sport Select betting product to place bets on sporting events. Throughout the province, there are nearly 3,000 convenience stores, kiosks and terminals where people can place sports bets, in addition to a range of online sports betting providers such as Bodog.
Sport Select provides three options for gambling on sports with Pro-Line bets the most popular and frequently used in other Canadian provinces too. Betting is allowed on most sports, including hockey, football, basketball, baseball, rugby, lacrosse, soccer and some international sports, such as Aussie Rules.
Between three and six bets must be made in a Pro-Line wager with overall odds multiplying to form a bet on chosen matches. A parlay bet is made upfront as part of a Pro-Line so all chosen bets must place to win. Players can bet on home winners, visiting winners, tied matches and Over or Under as part of Pro-Line wagers.
Point Spread bets work like a multiplier without odds. Players can bet on two to 12 games. The more games someone includes on their ticket, the greater payout is received if their game places. However, the more matches a player chooses, the less likely all bets will place.
Pools betting involves choosing the correct winner from several matches in a particular sport. If any winning bets place, then a percentage of the overall ticket pays out. But if every team places on the bet, then more is paid out.
Western Canada Lottery Corporation
The Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) manages lottery and gaming activities in Alberta. It is a non-profit organization and works with the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission to ensure safe and legal gambling procedures.
The Daily Grand is drawn on a daily basis and participants can win $1,000 a day for life. Some games are held less frequently with the Lotto 6-49 and Western 6-49 drawn every Wednesday and Saturday.
Scratch and Win
Scratch and win cards, or Zing tickets, are also available in Alberta. Over 60 themed scratch cards are on sale in the province with prices ranging from $1 a ticket to $30. Players can also purchase online scratch and win tickets through the WCLC’s website.
Poker and Casinos in Alberta
There are over 25 casinos in operation. Many casinos in the province are charitable enterprises that split profits with local charities. However, the government owns certain casinos, while others operate on First Nations land, both offering table games, slots and other forms of entertainment.
Nearly 6,000 VLTs are also in operation across Alberta, with many located inside bars and restaurants. Non-gaming establishments can hold 10 VLT machines but casinos and other gaming venues can have 15 to 30 under local legislation.
Most of Alberta’s poker rooms are in Edmonton or Calgary with in-house games and tournaments taking place throughout the year. All poker rooms in the province are inside casinos with specific areas set up with poker tables.
Online poker is also freely available to play in the province via the Play Alberta platform, launched by the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission in 2020.
River Cree Resort and Casino
The River Cree Resort and Casino is the largest gaming venue in Alberta, located just outside of Edmonton. There are over 1,300 slot machines, 40 table games and a dedicated poker room with 12 tables. Sports betting is also available at the casino with off-track options available for punters.
Other Gaming Options in Alberta
There are 21 bingo halls in operation in Alberta, four of which also offer online gaming services. Bingo is also a popular gambling activity for charitable causes with all proceeds raised going toward non-profit groups.