Gambling in Alberta, Canada
Alberta has a population of just over four million and like much of Canada does not have many laws addressing online sports or casino wagering.
This means there are no regulations surrounding online betting options in Alberta, but there is also nothing stopping locals from taking the plunge with an online gambling site.
The province has various forms of regulated land-based gambling, including casinos, bingo halls, horse racing (both standardbred and thoroughbred) and massive lottery draws.
Sports betting in Alberta, CA
There are few options for those wishing to bet on sports in Alberta, but there are betting games: PRO-LINE, Pro-Picks, Point-Spread, Pro-Picks Pools & Props.
These games are run by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) and Western Canada Lottery Corporation and entries can be placed at various land-based lottery outlets and online. There are also online betting options available, including at a website licensed in Canada, and various offshore gambling options.
The Canadian-regulated online option is SportsInteraction. The downfall of betting with a local website, rather than one based offshore, is the restrictions placed on the bet types you can access.
An example of this is the inability to place a head-to-head bet because of restrictive laws, while if you attempt to place the wager with an offshore site — say Bet365 or BetOnline.ag — you will have no such problem. The odds at offshore sites are generally better as well which, until the laws change, means more people are betting with offshore sites than the local equivalents.
Obviously some of the most popular things to wager on for those in Alberta include hockey (NHL and CHL), various basketball competitions such as the NBA, and American and Canadian football. Esports and many winter sports also attract major interest.
Casinos in Alberta
Alberta differs to other provinces in Canada in that its casinos are privately owned, but they still must answer to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.
There are more than 20 land-based casinos in Alberta, with five of them owned by First Nation and based on reserve land.
The best-known casino in Alberta is the River Cree Resort and Casino, with more than 1100 slots and 40 tables games available to patrons. The casino also holds off-track betting on horse racing.
There are thousands of slots in Alberta’s casinos, with one hugely popular game being the Diamonds Millions progressive jackpot. There have been 14 winners of $1 million-plus on this game alone since it was launched.
Alberta boasts Diamond Millions progressive slot machines at casinos and racetracks. A jackpot is set at $1 million and gets larger until it is won. Since 2012 there have been 12 winners of $1 million-plus in the province.
There are also more than 20 different bingo venues in the province, with many run as not-for-profit businesses.
Online casinos in Alberta
Because online casinos are largely unaddressed in Canadian law it means citizens are free to play at offshore websites. There has never been a Canadian prosecuted for gambling at one of these websites. One of the major benefits to gambling online is you will receive some nice casino welcome packages.
In Canadian law it says gambling licenses must be issued by a province government, but Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Quebec is regarded as one of the biggest grey market licence providers in the iGaming industry.
In January 2019 it was revealed that Alberta Gaming and Cannabis had asked for expressions of interest from companies to power a state-run gambling site which would serve people in this jurisdiction. Even if this happens, like the rest of Canada, it will not be illegal to play with offshore online casinos. It would however give Albertans a regulated gambling option.
We will loosely say “most” casinos licensed in Canada won’t accept payments from Canadian ISPs. This means people in Alberta will be much better off playing at a website based in Malta or the UK which will cater to the CAD currency, with many of these brands among the biggest in the world.
Games that you can play at online casinos include your classics such as slots and table games, while there are many, many more that have sprung up over the past 10 years that are unique to online play.
Racing – thoroughbred, harness & greyhounds
Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) looks after all things racing in Alberta. It was set up by the Alberta Government in 1996, at the same time as the Racing Corporation Act became active.
The five horse racing tracks in Alberta are:
Rocky Mountain Turf Club: Holds racing mainly in the month of June.
Evergreen Park: More of a hobby track than one where quality horses run around.
Century Downs: The track, which is the best in Alberta, hosts standardbred racing on weekends from April through to August on Saturdays and Sundays. An extra meeting is held on Mondays from May to August. Thoroughbred horse racing also resumed at the track in 2015 with meetings being held in September and October each year.
Millarville: Is more of a social institution than a racing club, with one pari-mutuel betting meeting held each year, with it known as the Millarville Races. The club has been in existence since 1905 and runs various social events.
Northlands: The main thoroughbred track in Alberta, with meetings on Fridays and Saturdays from May to August. Some important mid-week meetings are also held at this track. It also has harness racing meetings on most Saturdays in January and February
Alberta gambling laws
Alberta’s Gaming and Liquor Act is the important document when it comes to gambling in this province of Canada. It polices all sports betting and gaming activities in the province.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission is the body in charge and really is the solidification of several different regulatory arms in Alberta, including the Alberta Gaming Commission, Alberta Lotteries and the Gaming Control Branch. The AGLC has been in existence since 1995.
Types of gambling falling under the AGLC include both privately owned casinos and First Nation-owned casinos, bingo venues and charitable gaming licenses.
The province is considered to be proactive on the possible harms of gambling and has set up the Alberta Gaming Research Institute, which among other responsibilities also guides the government on the best policy decisions.
In terms of online betting, it is illegal for a resident of Alberta to host any type of gambling website without a licence from the AGLC. However, it is perfectly legal to wager with online casinos or sportsbooks licensed outside of Canada.
Lottery in Alberta
The Western Canada Lottery Corporation, which was founded in 1974, operates lottery and gaming activities in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Yukon.
The WCLC is a not-for-profit organisation that runs lottery games several nights a week (Lotto 649 and Lotto Max) and daily draws. It also operates limited sports betting games such as PRO-LINE and some other games. Western Canada Lottery Corporation works in conjunction with the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation.
Land-based gambling venues
Century Downs Racetrack & Casino
Address: 260 Century Downs Drive, Rocky View No.44, AB T4A 0V5, Canada
Phone: +1 587-349-7777
Five Star Bingo & Pub
Address: 4980 25th Street SE, Calgary AB T2B-3M3, Canada
Phone: +1 403-235-3318
Fort Road Bingo
Address: 13403 Fort Rd NW, Edmonton, AB T5A 1C6, Canada
Phone: +1 780-475-3247
Address: 341 9 St E, Brooks, AB T1R 1K6, Canada
Phone: +1 403-362-8711
Address: 10128 104 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 4Y8, Canada
Phone: +1 780-413-3178
Grand Villa Edmonton Casino
Address: 10204 104 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0H6, Canada
Phone: +1 780-413-3178
Great Northern Casino
Address: 10910 107 Ave, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 7R2, Canada
Phone: +1 780-539-4454
Address: 1107 33 St NE #10, Calgary, AB T2A 6T2, Canada
Phone: +1 403-273-7393
Address: 2604 35 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T1Y 6M2, Canada
Phone: +1 403-291-0973
Grey Eagle Resort & Casino
Address: 3777 Grey Eagle Dr, Calgary, AB T3E 3X8, Canada
Phone: +1 403-385-3777
Jackpot Casino Red Deer
Address: 4950 47 Ave, Red Deer, AB T4N 6P8, Canada
Phone: +1 403-342-5825
Black Diamond Bar & Hotel
Address: 105 Ave Ctr SW, Black Diamond, AB T0L 0H0, Canada
Phone: +1 403-933-4656
Boomtown Casino, Alberta
Address: 9825 Hardin St, Fort McMurray, AB T9H 4G9, Canada
Phone: +1 780-790-9739
Kensington Bingo Hall
Address: 12538 132 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5L 3P9, Canada
Phone: +1 780-454-3635
Leduc Rapid Bingo
Address: 5904 50 St, Leduc, AB T9E 0R6, Canada
Phone: +1 780-986-1905
Bullys Casino at Rocky Mountain Turf Club
Address: 3401 Parkside Drive South, Lethbridge, AB T1J 4R3, Canada
Phone: +1 403-380-1905
Address: 8882 170 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5T 4J2, Canada
Phone: +1 780-444-3456
Millarville Race Track
Address: 306097 192 Street, Millarville, AB T0L 1K0, Canada
Phone: +1 403-931-2404
Camrose Resort & Casino
Address: 3201 48 Ave, Camrose, AB T4V 0K9, Canada
Phone: +1 780-679-2376
Cash Casino – Calgary
Address: 6350 67 St, Red Deer, Alberta T4P 3L7, Canada
Phone: +1 403-346-3339
Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino
Address: 7410 Borden Park Rd NW, Edmonton, AB T5B 4W9, Canada
Phone: +1 780-471-8174
Palace Casino Edmonton
Address: 8882 170 St Northwest 2710-2716, Edmonton, AB T5T 3J7, Canada
Phone: +1 780-444-2112
Address: 8775 51 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 5H1, Canada
Phone: +1 780-466-3541
Casino by Vanshaw
Address: 1051 Ross Glen Dr SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1B 3T8, Canada
Phone: +1 403-504-4584
Pines Restaurant & Casino at Evergreen Park
Address: 55051 Township Rd, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 3A5
Phone: +1 780-532-3265
Red Deer Bingo Centre
Address: 4946 53 Ave, Red Deer, AB T4N 5J9, Canada
Phone: +1 403-347-4504
Eagle River Casino & Travel Plaza
Address: Corner of HWY 43 & 32N, Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N3, Canada
Phone: +1 780-779-2727
Elbow River Casino
Address: 218 18 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1L1, Canada
Phone: +1 403-289-8880
Proposed gambling venues in Alberta
Lloydminster Regional Entertainment Complex
Address: Highway 16, Lloydminster, Alberta
Lloydminster First National Casino