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Over half of the iGaming market in Alberta is an illegal unregulated operation

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In Alberta, the online gaming scene is a 50-50 split between legal and illegal betting operations. A government-owned online sports betting and casino gambling have roughly half of the iGaming market in the province. However, the other half belongs to illegal operators in the industry who are not regulated by the government. Additionally, they do not have to pay taxes on the revenue they make.

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) noted that plenty of hockey bets have been placed in Alberta. Especially with the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Finals. These bets are being placed at the only legal online sportsbook in the province, Play Alberta. The AGLC reported that Play Alberta controlled 45% of the overall iGaming market. Approximately, 55% of the Alberta sports betting market is in the hands of illegal industry operators. Not what Alberta wants to see. Play Alberta has more than 313,000 registered player accounts according to the AGLC. They took an estimated $5.36 billion in bets in the last fiscal year. Additionally, they had $179 million in net sales for the 2023-24 fiscal year. Roughly $1.5 billion was sent to Alberta’s General Revenue Fund. 

What changes can be made to Alberta’s current sports betting market?

According to the AGLC, illegal operators are the preferred option for users in Alberta. Their jurisdiction is close in size to states in the US like Kentucky and Louisiana. Those states offer a competitive online betting market. Multiple operators accept bets. Ontario has a similar competitive market and Alberta is looking into adopting the same model. The framework used by Ontario was the first of its kind in Canada. It first launched in April 2022. 

The Alberta government is working to put a similar structure and framework in place. They want to pass a bill that will provide a legal and competitive market in Alberta. If the province had a competitive market, that could help eliminate the illegal operators. The Ontario government reported that $700 million was being spent annually with unregulated sites. Since Ontario has offered a competitive online market, roughly 86% of those bettors are now using legal sites. Alberta’s Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission is ready to give full support to expand the iGaming market.


Zach Wolpin is an NBA and NFL expert who's been betting on the league for over three years now. Wolpin is a fan of the NFL and NBA and has been watching for a decade and a half. He covers the latest news and stories surrounding the league daily. His passion in life is sports and being able to share that through his writing. He has written about the NBA and other sports leagues through various media outlets over the years like Sir Charles In Charge, G-Men HQ, and TAP into South Plainfield. Before he became a Sports Editor, Wolpin attended Montclair State University where he graduated in 2021. He studied Sports Media and Writing while in school.

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