New Alberta Government Not Against Online Gambling

There could be good news for those residents of the Canadian province of Alberta who are interested in gambling from the comfort of their homes. A report in the Metro News Canada stated that the newly chosen New Democratic Party of Alberta (NDP) is likely to reopen the debate on online gambling within the province. The reasons are the same. Albertans spend CAD 150 million each year gambling on offshore online casinos and poker rooms of questionable legality. By legalizing online and mobile casinos the provincial government would create a massive addition to its revenue stream. This is already working in many of the Canadian provinces. British Columbia was the first to go ahead and then Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario followed. The model used in Canada is for the province to launch its own online gambling site and this has paid big dividends. Now, the NDP is thinking of doing the same thing.

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) would be the nodal agency in charge of ultimately implementing the online gambling project in the province. It evaluated some tech software providers who are operating in the licensed markets in the United States earlier this year and sought turnkey proposals from them. The idea was to get one of them to develop a site for Alberta, which would be operated and controlled by the province. Tatjana Laskovic, the spokesperson of the AGLC said that at present the commission is looking at proposals from these gaming technology companies. “We got about 25 responses and we are now just looking through all of those solutions.” She pointed out that AGLC was still in the review phase of the project. The present work involved shortlisting the solutions that could be applied in Alberta from the proposals received. This will be followed by extensive research on what Alberta players expect from an online gambling site.

The Metro News Canada report also gives the reaction of the Finance ministry headed by Joe Ceci. The ministry was non-committal on the issue. The spokesperson of the ministry said, “Right now we just want to see what the recommendations are put forward and see if that is something that is going to be in the interest of Albertans.” Preliminary predictions show that by introducing online gambling in Alberta, the province would get extra CAD 70 million revenue yearly. The expectation is based on the premise that an online gambling site operated by the provincial government would offer greater trustworthiness and attract more players.

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