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Alberta Passes Bill 16: Expanded Gaming Market on the Horizon

Posted on June 4, 2024 | 12:23 pm

The Alberta legislature has officially passed Bill 16, marking a significant shift in the province’s gaming landscape. The bill, known as the Red Tape Reduction Statutes Amendment Act, grants the provincial government the authority to conduct and manage gaming, a role previously exclusive to Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC).

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Key Provisions of Bill 16

Bill 16, which includes amendments to the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act, received final approval in the Alberta legislature over the past few weeks. Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction Minister Dale Nally’s press secretary, Nicky Gocuan, confirmed in an email to Canadian Gaming Business that “specific amendments clarifying ministerial authority over gaming came into effect with Royal Assent.”

This legislative change legally enables the government to permit selected and licensed third-party operators to offer gaming services alongside AGLC’s PlayAlberta online sportsbook and casino, operated on behalf of the government.

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Government's Strategic Review of Gaming

The passing of Bill 16 occurs amidst the provincial government’s ongoing review of the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act. Premier Danielle Smith has tasked Minister Nally with exploring new potential avenues for online gaming and sports betting in Alberta. The bill affirms the government’s authority to manage the expansion of Alberta’s gaming market.

“We will meet with all 47 First Nations and the six First Nation casino operators,” Gocuan added. “We look forward to gathering their feedback on iGaming as part of our policy development process. Alberta’s government will continue to examine best practices from other jurisdictions, including Ontario.”

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Stakeholder Engagement and Future Developments

The legislative update follows Alberta’s allocation of $1 million in its budget to review the feasibility of revamping the Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Act to open up the online gaming market. Nally’s office informed Canadian Gaming Business that the province plans to engage with First Nations, casino and racetrack operators, and other stakeholders throughout the year.

At the recent SBC Summit North America, Bruce Caughill, Managing Director of Canada for Rush Street Interactive, noted that Alberta is likely to establish a separate conduct-and-manage agency for iGaming, akin to Ontario’s iGaming Ontario. Caughill suggested that a 2025 launch is feasible, stating, “There’s a desire in the Alberta government to make this happen yesterday. There’s a long way to go still.”

Nally emphasized at ICE London in February that Alberta’s population, low corporate taxes, and high disposable incomes position it to become a “premier” hub for iGaming. However, Nally’s office has reiterated that Alberta’s iGaming strategy must “make sense for our unique gaming market and serve the interests of all Albertans.”

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Industry Insights and Market Potential

Canadian Gaming Association President Paul Burns, speaking at the Summit, highlighted Alberta’s high per-capita spending on gambling, making it an attractive market for operators. He noted that any new operators entering the province to compete with the AGLC would find a “very robust gaming marketplace” awaiting them.

With the passage of Bill 16, Alberta is poised to significantly expand its gaming market significantly, potentially allowing for a broader range of gaming options and increased competition. As the province moves forward with its gaming review and stakeholder consultations, the gaming industry and players alike are watching closely to see how these changes will unfold.


Alberta passes bill opening potential door for gambling expansion,, May 28, 2024.

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