Laws And Regulations of Online Gambling in Alberta: Expectations VS Reality 

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Canada is friendly to online gambling and has always been. However, the recent “sabotage” of Ontario province that reformed its offline and online gambling regulations seems to have shaken the ground under the onlibe gambling industry’s feet. If Ontario is a successful case, many other provinces are likely to follow its example.

Therefore, many online casino gamblers today, when looking for the best Alberta online casino on Google, start asking themselves if the rules in Alberta are the same? Or maybe something has changed?

Such doubts are not completely groundless because stricter regulations mean potential punishments for the players violating the law. On the other hand, stricter regulations are potentially beneficial for the player, because they make casinos operate in a fair and transparent manner.

So, eventually, what’s the current situation in Alberta considering online casino gambling for the locals? What are the legal expectations of the province and what is the real situation for the players?

What The Laws Say

At the time of writing this, all land-based casinos, sports betting services, lotteries, bingo halls, and raffles are regulated according to the Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Act of Alberta. There are three horse racing tracks, lotteries and video lottery machines are located in many shops, sports betting is available with officially licensed and certified operators.

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Online gambling under the AGLC is also officially legal, but only with regulated and licensed sites, or more accurately, one province owned website PlayAlberta.ca. It contains online casino games, lotteries, and sports betting options.

AGLC directly regulates and controls the operation of all businesses in the gambling industry. Casino games allowed under the law include Roulette, Blackjack, Poker, Baccarat, Craps, Sic Bo, and slots.

Another important legal consideration comes from the Kahnawake Gambling Commission and the Kahnawake Gaming Law that came into power back in 1999. According to this law, all land-based and online casinos that operate from the Mohawk land are licensed by the commission, and all Alberta residents in particular and Canadians in general can access them freely.

Both laws technically do not allow online gambling with casinos or operators that do not operate from the Mohawk land or Alberta. However, the same laws technically do not suggest any punishment for the players violating these laws.

How It Works

Despite the legal expectations, the reality for the online casino gamblers in Alberta is somewhat different in a positive way.

The overwhelming majority of online casinos from all over the world that target Canadian players reach out to them under the Kahnawake license which is comparatively available for acquiring if certain conditions are met. This way, the casino sites technically become “legal” for Canadians, even despite the fact that they operate from offshore.

Some sites just accept players from Canada under the MGA license or other more or less relevant license that unlocks international operation.

Thsi way, pampered Alberta gamblers can choose from a huge range of casino sites, both local and foreign, and enjoy the variety of games and bonuses.

If the site also works with a healthy number of payment processing companies that are Canadian or operate legally in Canada, playing in a decent casino is not a problem at all. Many experienced Canadian players even use cryptocurrencies for making bets and withdrawing the winnings, which is also not legally prohibited.

This way, the legal landscape sets certain expectations for the players and for the businesses in Alberta, but the reality differs a lot. While it looks like less restrictive and more beneficial for the gamblers, in fact, the situation changes rapidly if the offshore casino site turns out fraudulent, unfair, or just low-quality.

In this case, if the site is not licensed by the Alberta authorities or at least by the Kahnawake Gambling Commission, these authorities cannot guarantee the protection of customer rights. This way, it is the player’s choice to gamble where they want to gamble, but they also bear full responsibility for their choices.

Alberta is not restrictive yet about its online gambling, but it is highly possible that with time, we will see its regulations updated similarly to what Ontario has done. It is a good idea for the players to keep an eye on the fast-changing laws.