ALBERTA RELEASES PLAN TO EXPAND LEGAL SPORTS BETTING IN THE PROVINCE
Sports Betting Expert
All of Canada’s provinces offer legal online sports betting and iGaming through a government-run lottery corporation. However, a few are considering the use of commercial sportsbook operators as a means to expand the market.
This all stems from a recent change in Canadian law impacting the legal sports betting industry. The only legal way to bet on sports in the past was through multi-team parlays. On August 27 of this year, betting on single games and sporting events was legalized.
Ontario has been the only Canadian province to actively pursue commercial expansion of legal sports betting. The goal is to create a competitive marketplace with a wide range of licensed operators.
As Ontario’s expansion plans continue to move forward, Alberta has recently joined that list in a much more limited fashion.
The AGLC has been tasked with finding two commercial sportsbook operators that would offer online sports betting in the province. Also in the plan is a collaboration with the province’s NHL and CFL sports teams. The goal is to offer legal sports betting at professional sports venues.
Kandice Machado is the president and chief executive officer of the AGLC. She confirmed that the province has posted a request for proposal on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website.
As part of an official release, she stated:
“By opening retail sports betting up to two proponents now, AGLC is able to bring this service to sports fans in Alberta earlier in 2022. If AGLC were to open the market up to all vendors, the process required to bring the service to Albertans would be significantly delayed.”
As the acting vice president of gaming and cannabis for AGLC, Steve Lautischer also weighed in on the matter. He added that the application process will close at the end of January. His actual comments included:
“This is the first step in creating a new industry throughout the province. The hope is that the first set of retail sportsbooks are operating later in 2022.”
In conjunction with the new change in Canadian law, the AGLC launched single-game betting on Sept. 1. This was done through its PlayAlberta.ca online gaming and sports betting platform.
A big part of the plan is to bring legal sports betting to Alberta’s professional sports franchises “at the arena level.”
Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.