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Alberta Sets Aside $1 Million for Gambling Review



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Mark Keast

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Alberta Gambling News

Alberta is taking additional substantive steps towards building a competitive, regulated igaming market – an unlimited licensing model, like the one in Ontario, where operators satisfy the requirements set by the province.

According to the provincial budget delivered last week: “$1 million in 2024-25 will support a review of the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act and supporting Regulation, with the objectives of reducing the regulatory burden on business and finding ways to increase contributions to Alberta charities and community facilities.”

A few weeks back Dale Nally, the Alberta government’s Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction, attended the ICE conference in London and took part there in a roundtable discussion with Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey to discuss igaming in Canada, the success in Ontario and how Alberta sees similar success.

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Nally has been given a mandate by Alberta premier Danielle Smith to work with Indigenous partners to develop and implement Alberta’s online gaming strategy, focusing on responsible gaming and provincial and indigenous revenue generation.

In a statement, Nally said: “Alberta can be a leading hub for iGaming, with a strong emphasis on openness and a free market. We have low corporate taxes, streamlined regulations and high disposable incomes. These conditions will allow us to establish ourselves as a premier destination for the iGaming industry.”

Reaction across the industry to what has been going on of late in Alberta has understandably been positive. Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta represent 64 per cent of the Canadian population.

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“As a consultant who works with operators who are licensed in Ontario, but are also active in the Canadian grey market, I can tell you there’s a huge anticipation for when Alberta regulates,” said Aly Lalani. “From a player value perspective, in a lot of cases Alberta customers have a higher LTV than their Ontario counterparts, so the ability to use traditional marketing methods to build brand awareness and increase acquisition is an exciting proposition. 

“I think operators will take a little more of a measured approach to partnerships and sponsorships in the provinces that regulate next, versus the mad scramble that happened in Ontario where operators were snapping up sponsorships as quickly as they could, without a close eye to how to effectively monetize the partnership,” he added. “I anticipate as Alberta and B.C. announce their regulatory framework, operators will be a little more scrutinous when evaluating potential partnerships.”

That’s going to going an interesting question as Alberta approaches market launch – the approach taken by grey market operators who have already been building a customer base versus the big-ticket U.S.-based operators – FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings and the like – who like in the case of Ontario come in a spend big to grab market share.

Wazdan Announces Partnership with Loto-Quebec 

On the online casino front, Stakelogic, based in the Netherlands, an online slots and live casino games developer, has announced a strategic partnership with Betty, a female-focused online casino operator.

Betty is 100 per cent focused on developing their presence in the Ontario market. They aren’t anywhere else. Executives there point to Stakelogic’s innovative jackpot games – combining slots and live game shows – as a space they want to be in. 

BCLC the Latest to Issue Warnings About Online Scams 

British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has issued a public warning about a series of scams online that imitate B.C. casinos, tricking individuals to give up their personal financial information on bogus, illegitimate websites.

The scams are conducted via posts and advertisements on various social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The ads and information exploit the names, logos and exterior images of B.C. casinos. 

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