Alberta province is located in the southwestern part of Canada. It is a great place to live and a popular tourist destination with its clean, modern cities and picturesque nature.
But Alberta is also a good place for gambling. If you live, work in Alberta or travel around the province, then you have the opportunity to enjoy games in both offline and online casinos, and our guide to gambling in the province will help you find what you need.
1.1. The main gambling law in Alberta is Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act, which was adopted on the basis of the province’s authority to regulate and organize gambling on its territory, subject to the requirements of federal legislation of Canada (more information on gambling regulation in Canada).
According to Gaming, the Liquor and Cannabis Act, Alberta uses a model of “charitable casinos” – that is, gambling can be conducted only by charitable or religious organizations. The law also provides for the creation of a government lottery company.
Private companies cannot be gambling operators. Thus, licenses are not issued to individuals. However, private companies can be suppliers of software and services for legal casino owners (charitable/religious organizations or government companies), and thus cooperate with them. To do this, individuals and companies need to obtain a special permit – registration.
In addition, individuals who work in the gaming industry must also be properly registered.
1.2 Consumer Protection Act – do not forget about your consumer rights and remember that any casino is a service provider, which means it should respect your rights.
You can use Service Alberta – a dedicated online resource to submit your complaint or claim and contact the relevant body.
You can find more information on the history of gambling in the province on the Alberta Gaming Research Institute website.
In Alberta, a special body has been created that provides licensing and control of gambling establishments, as well as information and assistance to players – Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC).
If you have questions or complaints about the casino, you can also contact the AGLC.
In Alberta, you can find a lot of offline casinos. They are located in many cities and even villages. Of course, most gambling establishments are concentrated in Calgary, Edmonton, and their surroundings, for example, in the small hamlet of Balzac.
Licenses: as already mentioned, licenses for gambling in Alberta are issued only to charitable or religious organizations. Therefore you will not find private commercial operators here. Private companies can only act as suppliers of equipment or services necessary for conducting gambling and must be registered with AGLC.
Alberta does not have a special register of licenses and registrations that could be used for online checking. However, you can find the list of licensed casinos in Alberta, which is posted on the official website of AGLC.
Unfortunately, Alberta doesn’t have its own online gambling operator (registered in Alberta), but there is evidence that the Alberta government is trying to correct this situation and we may soon see an online option provided by a provincial operator.
However, now in Alberta, you can find many online casinos, provided foreign online operators, which we will mention later.
While living in Alberta or visiting the province, you can freely play online gambling games operated by licensees of foreign jurisdictions.
Are such casinos legal in terms of the laws of Canada and Alberta? They are in the “gray zone” of Canadian regulation – the laws do not stipulate that their activities are prohibited or allowed.
Over the years, the provincial authorities (like the federal authorities) have not taken any measures to ban private online operators and restrict access to their sites. Therefore, at the moment, these sites are not prohibited. In addition, there are illustrative practical examples, which speak in favor of the legality of foreign online operators.
In any case, participation in online gambling is not an offense on the part of the player.
Licenses: foreign operators must be licensed by a foreign jurisdiction in which gambling is legal. Most often these are licenses of smaller European states, for example Malta or the Isle of Man. A license obtained in the United Kingdom is recognized as authoritative one.
Kahnawake is one of the Mohawk reservations located in Quebec. It is also one of the recognized world jurisdictions for obtaining a casino license. Kahnawake licensed operators also belong to a “gray zone” of Canadian law.
The legality of Kahnawake licenses and the legality of online operators based on such licenses have never been challenged by the provincial or federal authorities. Therefore, the participation of Kahnawake licensees in online gambling is completely legitimate.
Licenses: Kahnawake has its own gambling regulator, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KWG), which issues licenses. It also deals with the resolution of players’ claims and their disputes with operators.
The list of licenses (permits) issued by KWG with the name of the operator and licensed sites can be checked on the regulator’s website in a special section.
Learn more about gambling regulation in Kahnawake, KWG licenses and how to verify them.
Below you will find a brief recommendation on how to check the casino’s legality. In our article, you can find out why the casino check should be carried out, how to do it, and what information you can obtain. Also on our site, you can find information about licensing companies in different countries and how to check casino licensees of specific jurisdictions.
The recommendations are:
Check the system of payments – the timing of payments, how and where your funds are stored, what payment systems are used, how payments are protected;
Check the company that owns the site and its location (registration) – information about the company must be posted on the site (usually it is displayed in the same place as the license information). Further, we recommend that you check the validity of the company and information about it by using special international or national services;
Check ways of resolving claims and disputes – the best casinos will provide you with an option for alternative (out-of-court) resolution of claims and disputes, which will be faster and more convenient than regular court proceedings;
Check software certification by specialized testing organizations;
Check the casino’s social responsibility – legit operators do not want to squeeze the last penny out of you and leave a “scorched earth” behind themselves. Reliable casinos should always give you the opportunity to restrict your access to the game or completely eliminate it (Alberta also has its own Self-Exclusion Program).
In addition, operators provide support services to players and participate in various social non-commercial programs related to gambling problems. All of this information is posted by operators on the site (usually at the bottom or on the sidebar) and/or in their T&C. Trust only responsible casinos.
Please note: We recommend that you additionally check all specified information posted on the operator’s website. This applies in particular to licenses that can be checked using special registries maintained by the jurisdictions that have issued those licenses.
In the case of Kahnawake, the dispute may be resolved by the KWG, that is, within Canada, but in the case of legal disputes, you will most likely have to somehow appeal to foreign jurisdictions.
The methods of transactions in online casinos in Alberta do not differ from those generally accepted in Canada.
So, in Alberta, you can find many options to gamble online, but do not ever forget that a good game starts with the right choice of casino. Play smart and play responsibly.
If you need help choosing a casino – you can refer to our rating of the best online casinos that give players excellent options and are provided by the reliable and responsible operators.
How to travel around the province: