Despite Silence, Alberta On Track To Expand Sports Betting Provincially

Written By Jose Colorado on April 29, 2022
Train passing through Bow Valley, Alberta under the surveillance of mighty Rocky Mountains

Despite recent quiet on the Western front, Alberta still plans to expand its sports betting market.

However, precisely with who and when remains to be seen.

In Dec.2021, Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis began searching for two prospective vendors.

The end goal was to snag a pair of sports betting partners so that Alberta could join Ontario in Canada’s booming sports betting landscape.

Progress happening behind the scenes says AGLC

Months later, little news has surfaced.

But Karin Campbell, AGLC’s communications manager, confirmed to PlayCanada that the plan is still all systems go.

“AGLC closed bids for the NRFP on Monday, February 14 and will continue its vetting and evaluation processes over the next several months,” said Campbell.

For now, the government agency continues its vetting process, and an official announcement of the two vendors will follow later this year.

“Opening the bid process for retail sports betting in Alberta is another exciting step for sports fans in the province,” said Kandice Machado, AGLC’s president & chief executive officer, via a press release when the news first broke.

“Continuing this work is an important step in offering consumers convenience and choice in their gambling entertainment options.”

AGLC seeking “flexibility and options” in potential vendors

Reportedly, AGLC is working towards introducing retail and online sports betting options with mobile extensions in 2022.

Flexibility and options are two key components the agency is seeking. Apparently, Alberta’s casino industry or the Alberta Sports Coalition may have the goods.

AGLC has been in talks with casino operators and the Alberta Sports Coalition, the latter being of particular interest to sports bettors. ASC represents the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Elks.

AGLC wants safe expansion, eliminate grey markets

While AGLC wants to get up and running with its vendors as quickly as possible, it is taking its time.

The agency is watching other provincial lottery markets as it continues to gain feedback from the sports betting industry. The hope is that grey market dollars will start flowing back to Albertans by legalizing sports betting in the province.

Eventually, the expectation is the province will extend its market to welcome more vendors. But that won’t be for a while yet. According to Machado, fewer initial operators will allow the market to launch sooner.

Alberta gamblers continue to get expanded markets

Regardless of who or when AGLC announces the successful bidders, expansion is a common theme in Alberta’s gambling scene of late.

On Sept.1, 2021, the AGLC launched an expanded betting product on – the only regulated gambling site in the province.

Days earlier (Aug.27), Canadian provinces gained the ability to regulate single-event sports betting.

Photo by Tomas Kulaja, Shutterstock
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Jose Colorado

Jose Colorado is a British Columbia-based writer. He lives in Burnaby and loves sports, anime, writing, business and the occasional walk on the beach.

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