Online gambling in Canada, as a whole, is a bit of a grey area. At least that is what everyone seems to be saying. But this only means that for most provinces in Canada, online gambling is simply done at offshore-hosted websites instead of state-owned online casinos. Land-based gambling in casinos is completely legal all throughout Canada, as well as buying lottery tickets, betting on sports and video poker terminals. If you live in Alberta, you will experience no shortcomings in terms of satisfying your gambling needs, as the province is home to a myriad of well-established land-based casinos.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Alberta?
Yes, online gambling is completely legal in the province of Alberta. Provided players are over 18 years of age and only gamble at online casinos hosted offshore, gambling on the internet won’t break the law. In fact, compared to the United States, Canadians enjoy a much more lenient gambling environment and are free to play at most online casinos licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, Curacao Government, Kahnawake Gaming Commission or any regulatory body equivalent.
If you are based in Alberta and have an account at an online casino, chances are that this online casino is based offshore. That is, the online casino is not hosted or maintained within Canada. In contrast to state-owned casinos, the profits made by foreign casinos will not be used to improve infrastructure, health care or education. Until online gambling is regulated and a legislative bill is passed, Canadians will have to continue gambling at offshore online casinos.
Land-based Casinos in Alberta
Since 1969, Albertans have been able to enjoy various gambling activities legally. Given its lengthy history of legal gambling, it is no wonder that the province is home to some of the most luxurious and well-maintained casinos. All land-based casinos are state-owned, which means the profits made through the gambling industry will be used by the state to fund Alberta’s many ongoing projects. The gambling industry in Alberta is worth a hefty $1.4 billion and continues to grow to this day, with more Albertans having a disposable income. The Alberta government pumps this money right back into the economy and allocated budgets for health care, education, infrastructure and the First Nations development fund using the profits made from gambling.
Most of the land-based casino in Alberta are located in the province’s capital Edmonton or Calgary. Edmonton enjoys six high-end casino establishments where players can gamble their hearts out on slot machines, video poker terminals, table game while enjoying a sleek and luxurious atmosphere.
Best casinos in Calgary
1420 Meridian Road NE, Calgary, AB T2A2N9
Deerfoot Inn & Casino
11500 - 35 Street SE, Calgary, AB T2Z3W4
Tel.: 403-236-7529, 1-877-236-5225
Best casinos in Edmonton
7055 Argyll Road NW, Edmonton, AB T6C4A5
Tel.: 780 463-9467
Grey Eagle Casino (Tsuu T'ina First Nations)
3777 Grey Eagle Dr. (37 St. SW & Glenmore Tr.) Calgary, AB T3E3X8
Big wins by players in Alberta
It is definitely possible to win big in Alberta. Some lucky punters have been able to take home millions in winnings over the course of the years. Back in 2013, one lucky patron at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino got the surprise of a lifetime when she hit the $2.5 million jackpot on the slot Diamond Millions. This progressive jackpot slot is known for turning punters into millions, as the previous jackpot was hit in 2012 worth of $1.2 million 2012 at a resort and casino in Camrose, southwest of Edmonton.
In 2015, the jackpot on Diamond Millions was hit again at the Jackpot Casin in Red Deer. This time lucky punter took home a whopping $1.7 million. She also became the 12th person to hit the jackpot on Diamond Millions ever since 2012. Looks like it pays of to be an Albertan, it is quite rare for a jackpot that large to fall in such a short time frame in the same province.
If you are looking for an online version of Diamond Millions, then Mega Moolah is a close equivalent to this slot cabinet.
Is Sportsbook Legal In Alberta?
Yes, Albertans can enjoy many land-based horse racing tracks and bet online through various sports betting websites. In fact, Canada is such a sports-loving nation that many online sports betting sites will have exclusive bonuses on offer for Canadian players. Here punters can bet on live ice hockey matches, as well as a range of other sport categories, sometimes using a risk-free bet. Online casinos such as Rizk Casino offer these great incentives to get players familiarised with the brand without having to spend money.
If you are looking to visit a race track, then Alberta houses some great sports betting establishments in Balzac, Edmonton and Calgary.
Race track in Balzac
Century Downs Racetrack and Casino
260 Century Downs Drive, Rocky View County, AB T4A 0V5
Race track in Edmonton
Century Mile Racetrack and Casino
14711 Airport Perimeter Road, Edmonton International Airport, AB T9E 0V6
Race track in Calgary
Century Casino Calgary Inc.
1010 – 42 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G1Z4
Minimum Legal Age To Gamble In Alberta?
The minimum legal age to gamble in a land-based casino is 18 in Alberta. Players who are over 18 years of age can enter and wager at gambling establishments, including casinos, race tracks and bookmakers. In order to gamble online players must also be 18 years of age.
Who Regulates Casinos in Alberta
Casino operators and charitable organisations both need a licence from the AGLC, which oversees all gambling activities and protect consumers. The AGLC makes sure that all gambling operators are adequately audited before handing out a licence to operate.
Gambling a bit too much?
Should you have a feeling that you have no control over your gambling habits, it would be in your best interest to contact the problem gambling services available to Albertans. Every gambling provider in the industry has the obligations to allow gamblers to make informed decisions about their gambling habits. Should you feel the need to talk, you may contact GameSense on 1-866-332-2322 (24-hour toll free).
GameSense also offers a nationwide self-exclusion programme, which can be found here: GameSense Self Exclusion
A Final Word on Gambling in Alberta
Alberta has a hospitable and lenient view towards gambling. Gamblers are able to enjoy both online and offline gambling. When gambling offline, Alberta is home to a wide range of high-end gambling establishments, fitted with the thrilling slot machines, table games and sports betting solutions. When gambling online, Albertans are allowed at most online casinos licensed by an offshore regulatory body. If you are looking to gamble online in Alberta, we have compiled a lost of the best online casinos for Canadian players to make choosing a safe online casino a breeze.