The Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) has been the operator of sports wagering for all Alberta residents since 1974. Regulation is handled by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC), which was formed in 1995 to combine various regulation branches.
Things have opened with the passage of Bill C-218. This legalized single-event sports wagering beginning August 27, 2021, expanding on parlay betting that was already available. The AGLC allows both forms of betting on their PlayAlberta platform online as of September 1, 2021, which was launched in partnership with NeoPollard Interactive and Sporting Solutions.
The launch of mobile commercial sportsbook apps operated by favorite brands like BetRivers, DraftKings, and more are on the horizon. Let’s take a closer look at how Alberta’s sports betting industry operates today and how it could evolve in the future.
What Legal Online Sportsbooks Are Coming To Alberta?
Alberta residents have a few options if they want to place sports bets legally. Through the WCLC, wagering is available on Sport Select gaming platforms, including PROLINE, Point Spread, and Pools. These are available at select retailers across the province and limit online activity to parlays.
Previously, the ALGC took note of the potential for legal single-event wagering. They now offer single and multi-sports betting on their PlayAlberta.ca platform. Other provinces will eventually designate their own legislation and review process to bring sportsbooks into their area.
No commercial sportsbooks have outright stated that they want to spread into the Alberta sports wagering market specifically. Notable operators, including BetRivers, have already indicated that they want to jump into Canada’s overall sports betting market at the earliest opportunity.
In addition, sportsbooks like theScore Bet have a big advantage. This operator already comes from Canada, so it’s in a perfect position to provide single-event wagering to Canadian citizens.
Even better, theScore Bet’s parent company, Score Media and Gaming, is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It already operates in several US states like New Jersey and Colorado. Alberta residents can rest assured that at least one Canada-native sportsbook will be available.
What Alberta Online Sportsbook Bonuses Will Be Available?
This is tough to say at the moment. However, Canada’s upcoming sports betting industry will likely emulate that of its southern neighbor, the US, in more ways than one. At the moment, PlayAlberta offers a $20 free bet for new users that deposit $10 or more into their account.
In the US, for example, there are lots of different opening bonuses provided to new players to draw them in and get them to try out new sportsbook apps. Canada’s future sportsbook apps will likely include many of the same, if not all of the same, opening bonuses. These can include:
- Deposit match bonuses, which match your initial deposit’s value by either a percentage or 100% in site credit. DraftKings, for example, provide a 20% deposit match up to $1000
- Risk-free bets, which cover the cost of your first wager by refunding you if it goes south. FanDuel provides a risk-free bet worth up to $1000 of site credit
- Free bets or no deposit bonuses, which give you some free site credit to experiment and check out different betting markets without putting any money down.
Time will tell how exactly Alberta’s sportsbooks offer opening bonuses and what promotions they may provide.
What Sports Will You Be Able To Bet On In Alberta, Canada?
In Alberta and the rest of Canada, sports wagerers will be able to place bets on a variety of professional sports leagues and markets, including those for hockey, football, basketball, soccer, golf, and tennis. These are all currently available on the PlayAlberta website. Bettors have access to pre-game and live betting markets along with available futures to win divisions, conferences, and the championship.
Popular North American college sports, such as football and basketball, are available to bet on the PlayAlberta platform. Along with traditional options, bettors can select an exact winning margin, alternative point spreads, and what the result will be at half time and full time in regulation.
The largest cities in the Alberta province are Edmonton and Calgary, which also host various professional teams. Examples include the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames in the National Hockey League, and Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Elks from the Canadian Football League.
Can You Place Parlay Bets On Alberta’s Online Sportsbooks?
Yes. All regulated sports betting is currently handled by the AGLC and WCLC. PlayAlberta is operated by the AGLC and offers both single and multi-event sports wagering. Sport Select is still limited to parlay betting. As an example through this system, bettors have to place minimum three-to-six-game parlay bets and wager with $100 caps.
For now, online wagering is limited to government-based and offshore sportsbook operators. It is only recommended to use PlayAlberta and Sport Select, the latter offering more options in the future. There is a risk in utilizing offshore sportsbooks in terms of money and data privacy without regulation. Now that single-event wagering is legalized, commercial sportsbook options will soon take hold in the market. These will feature more ways to bet with competitive odds.
What Will You Need To Create An Online Sportsbook Account In Alberta?
Bettors can create a new account on the PlayAlberta website. All they have to do is click “Sign up” on the home page and enter in their email, password, and personal information. The platform will need to verify the bettor’s identify before wagering is allowed.
It’s not certain what Alberta residents will need in order to create an online account at a commercial sportsbook. If the future industry emulates the US as a counterpart, Alberta residents will need their address, date of birth, and a few other pieces of personal information so the sportsbook operator in question can verify their identities.
Legal Versus Unregulated Online Sportsbooks In Alberta
Even though legal sportsbooks are still at least some months away, it is recommended to wait until they launch rather than using the online platform through offshore sportsbooks.
Online sportsbooks without regulation may technically be acceptable to some Canadian provinces, but there’s no way to ensure that they treat personal information safely. There are no guarantees that bettors receive their winnings from a successful sports wager.
Legal online sportsbooks in Alberta will have excellent digital security and will feature player-friendly odds that provide decent payouts on a victorious bet.
Alberta Online Sportsbook FAQs
Alberta residents are lucky – they will likely only need to be 18 instead of 19 to place online sports bets. This is the legal gambling age for Alberta casinos.
Not yet, but this sportsbook may be among the first commercial operators to offer legal sports betting in Alberta.
Not yet, although FanDuel has indicated that it wants to provide sports betting to Canadian residents.
PlayAlberta routinely offers deposit bonuses for new customers. When they debuted the platform in September 2021, bettors could deposit $10 or more to receive a $20 free bet.
Yes, bettors can select North American college football and basketball contests on the Play Alberta website.
It is unknown at this time. Alberta may allow you to create an online sports betting account remotely.