Is Online Gambling in Alberta Far Off?

16 August 2010

It seems the domino effect is going strong in North America as far as regulating online gambling is concerned.  British Columbia and Quebec already allow online gambling and Ontario will soon follow.  Now it seems Alberta is at least looking to follow in the same path.

Online gambling is legal in Canada but operating a site within its borders is not.   Studies show that up to $1 billion dollars are being wagered online by Canadians and now the cash strapped provincial governments want in. They are justifying the turnaround in their opinion by saying it can aid charities, increase revenues (thus keeping taxes in check) and will be used to help fight gambling addictions by having problem gambling help posted on the sites.

Gambling addiction is one of the biggest reasons those opposed of legalizing online gambling in the Provinces give. According to the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre 1 in 5 internet gamblers have a problem and that is almost 5 times higher than in land base casinos.

According to Dr. Garry Smith, a gambling researcher with the University of Alberta however the choice may have already been made. He also claims that close to 1,000 Alberta residents bet online which is about double the national average.

“Alberta’s government will also have no choice but to offer online gaming because they don’t want to see ‘any money leaving the province’ to Quebec and B.C.”

No decision has been made by Alberta as of yet however. Christine Wronko, a spokeswoman with the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission says, “We are monitoring what other jurisdictions are doing, as well as doing a bit of research into online gaming, but a decision will have to come from government.”

This sentiment is echoed by Alberta’s Deputy Premier, Doug Horner, who has said there are both pros and cons to be considered and the final decision is still a ways off. How far “aways” is is yet to be determined as Alberta will surely see more and more of its residents money leaving and finding its way into the government coffers of B.C., Quebec and Ontario.

Related News

  • 28 April 2010

    Canada Pushing Legal Online Gambling

    It seems like Canada is considering taking steps to get there part on the $30 billion global online gambling market. Though gambling online is legal in Canada, operating a gambling site in that country is not. Meeting at the Canadian Gaming Summit in Calgary this week, online gambling officials, including John FitzGerald, president of the Interactive Gaming Council are calling for a change. They would like to see governments take action to protect players from being taken advantage off.

    Read full article
  • 01 June 2010

    California Voting Today on Legalizing Online Poker

    California is in a financial bind. It is staring in the face of a $19 billion budget shortfall by the end of this fiscal year (2011). The urgency in producing revenue in the state can be reflected in the introduction of a SB 1485 Friday that will authorize the creation of an online poker system within California.

    Read full article
  • 26 August 2010

    Online Gambling Changes in South Africa, Holland and Nova Scotia

    What to do with online gambling has been a hot topic with cash strapped states, provinces and countries lately. California recently wrestled with it, some provinces in Canada have embraced it with others to follow suit and many other European countries have chimed in on one side or the other. South Africa, Holland and Nova Scotia have been the latest to headline the online gambling news. One has made a decisive decision while the others are considering going in an opposite direction.

    Read full article