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Online Gambling Expanding in Canada

2015-04-16 00:00:00

Online gambling continues to expand around the world including in Canada. Albert is counting on online gambling revenues to generate money for charities. “That will bring the money into rural Alberta so we have a better equalization of gaming profits going to rural Alberta versus urban Alberta,” Finance Minister Robin Campbell said recently, “What we’ll do with the Internet gambling, if we decide to go that route, is use that money to equalize the payment so that rural charities and urban charities are getting the same amounts.”

Alberta is looking to take away some of the more than $150 million that is now being gambled by Alberta residents at online casinos outside of Canada.
"We thought it was time to look at it," says Bill Robinson, head of the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. "There's quite a heavy play in Alberta … that's money that goes offshore, that's money that leaves Alberta, and also [offshore] sites don't offer the same type of experience that we're hoping to provide Albertans in terms of security."

Ontario recently got into online gambling in January and Quebec, B.C., and Manitoba are already in the market. Alberta is hoping that they can get $50 to $75 million a year, some of which would go to charities while the rest would go to the treasury. Whether Alberta can get that much revenue is in question as many offshore gambling sites offer better odds, more promotions and great games. And Alberta would be limited to attracting players from its borders or from other provinces such as B.C. and Manitoba if they can work out agreements but there is no doubt that Alberta is going forward as Canada continues to expand their online gambling presence.