Alberta Sports Betting in 2023

Alberta is now one of the Canadian provinces offering sports betting and gambling in Canada. The province legalized single-game betting on sports like the NHL or the CFL in September of 2021. Today, punters can access secure Canadian sportsbooks and bookmarkers offering the best odds and fast pays for accrued wins.

However, sports betting enthusiasts can also fall into scam sites even with great sportsbook options. Therefore, in this guide, we provide detailed information on selecting the best sportsbooks in Alberta.

Best Sportsbooks in Canada

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How We Rank the Bookmakers?

Each day, new sports betting sites are entering the Albertan gambling market. Since all sites appear the same and offer similar features, our experts have a system for ranking gambling sites in Alberta. Here is how we rate and rank AB Sports Betting sites. 

  • Security and trust; we look at the licenses and player safety features in place, e.g., SSL encryptions.
  • Payouts; Must be fast, with high limits.
  • Sports coverage; Betting odds from international and local sports events
  • Customer support: Fast responses offering solutions/ answers to any player queries
  • Bonuses and promotions: free bets, no-deposit offers, and other promotions are a plus.
  • Banking methods; free and instant cash outs or deposits, with options for players. 

Betting in Alberta - All You Need to Know

Sports betting in Alberta is an industry that began after the C-218 Bill passed. Many Canadians have no idea of what to expect. Thus, this section delves into the legal issues affecting Alberta sports betting. This includes Albertans allowed to bet on sports online and the future of sports betting in Alberta.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Alberta?

After the updates on the Criminal code became active in 1985, gambling in Alberta became legal.

The code got an upgrade in 1992, legalizing Pro-Line betting, meaning that each odd has to come in combination with parlays. This meant that the wager was more risky to Albertans and other Canucks, but would also pay big for a win.

The Western Canada Lottery Commission (WCLC) was Alberta's governing authority for all gambling activities, including sports. 

In 2021, Bill C-218 (Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act) passed, and Alberta legalized single-game betting. The new law allows each Canadian province to set its gambling laws regarding sports betting activities.

AB Sports Betting Updates

  • In 1985, gambling became legal in Canada
  • In 1992, the Gaming Control Act was established, allowing gambling on lotteries under the control of regional authorities like the Western Canada Lottery commission.
  • In June 2021, Bill C-218 became active, legalizing single-game bets under the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC).

Why Legalize Single-Game Sports Betting in Alberta?

Alberta was one of Canada's worst-hit economies, dropping 8.2% in the province's GDP in 2020.

The University of Calgary reported a drop in revenue ($6,893,007,822) and net income ($2,532,108,329) generated in Alberta between 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019-2020, where revenue was ($13,646,133,373), and the net income was ($7,836,755,837).

At the same time, the world experienced a drop in oil prices, one of the major revenue sources in Alberta. With these hits coming one by one, the province needed a new way to increase revenue generation.

This is one of the main reasons for enacting the C-218 Bill in Alberta and Canada.

After the C-218 Bill became active, 7 Canadian provinces already legalized sports Betting before Alberta did. These include; 

  • British Columbia, August 27, 2021
  • Manitoba, November 1, 2021
  • New Brunswick, August 27, 2021
  • Newfoundland and Labrador, August 27, 2021
  • Ontario, Aug. 27, 2021
  • Prince Edward Island, August 27, 2021
  • Quebec, August 27, 2021

After Alberta on November 1, 2021, the other four regions also legalized even single gaming and betting. Nova Scotia was the last in the list to lift the ban on single sports betting.  

  • Saskatchewan, November 3, 2022
  • Northwest Territories, November 1, 2021
  • Nunavut, Nov. 1, 2021
  • Yukon, November 1, 2021
  • Nova Scotia, February 11, 2022

Today, Alberta's gambling revenue is on the rise with the introduced licensing and other gambling management responsibilities taken over by the regional authority. 

PlayAlberta: Setting The Stage for Sports Betting Enthusiasts

Although AGLC provides the regulations governing sports gambling in the region, PlayAlberta is the platform offering gambling services. The AGLC is responsible for integrating the services on the online platform, offering access to gambling odds on popular sports to Albertans. 

PlayAlberta latest introductions include bets on sports such as the under or over bets, points spread, and the popular moneyline wagers. Players can bet on football, hockey, horse racing, Golf, and many more. At the same time, each PlayAlberta Sportsbook is a partner to the AGLC Gamesense Program for players facing problem gambling.

Albertans can bet on any selected team supported by the platform. Aside from the popular Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, Albertans can also bet on American Football and Basketball. Plus, PlayAlberta is widening its range of betting options with in-play betting, such as halftime bet and results, winning margin, and more. In other words, PlayAlberta is the ultimate sportsbook in Alberta. But with continuous changes in betting and gambling regulations, what is there to expect in the future?

Future of Sports Betting in Alberta

Canada has no major restrictions on sports betting, especially with the legalization of single games wagers in 2021. However, sports betting is still a form of gambling and falls under recreational activities. Also, the AGLC and other Albertan authorities aim to monopolize the market with the limited operator approach.

Foreign operators may face strict regulations to enter the Albertan gambling market. But, as time goes and legalization continues to promote revenue generation, anything may change. 

All bans and some laws may lift, especially with other Canadian states promoting gambling of all forms. There are rumors of the state welcoming other sportsbooks into the region come 2023.

Who Can Bet on Sports in Alberta?

Legal sports betting has many regulations in Alberta. Only those who meet the indicated conditions can wager and successfully play on select sportsbooks in AB. The conditions are; 

  • A minimum age of 18 years; if playing in Alberta, you need to be 18 years of age. Although an individual is an adult at 18 years, in some Canadian regions and offshore sites, you cannot access any gambling activities before you are 19.
  • Mobile Sports Betting; Candian bettors that would like to bet through their mobile apps will be able to do that with offshore sites that offer betting apps. However, PlayAlberta is yet to launch a gambling app.
  • Taxable Wins; when it comes to taxes, the law is clear. Only income sources registered to earn money are liable to pay taxes. Sports betting is a recreational activity, not a source of income. Thus, Alberta imposes no taxes on player wins.
  • Player Restrictions; Only players within Alberta can register remotely and play on PlayAlberta. Thus, before you wager, you must activate the location icon on your device. The icon confirms your current location, ensuring you are within the provincial borders.
  • Retail Sportsbook; As of now, Alberta has no retail sportsbook. Interested players must submit their bets/wagers to the WCLC in person. However, this can change shortly, with the state planning on accepting offshore betting sites in 2023.

Offshore Sportsbooks in Alberta?

There is no regulation governing offshore betting sites in Alberta. Therefore, betting on an offshore site is not legal, but it is illegal. Offshore sites fall into a grey area concerning Canadian and Albertan gambling regulations. Thus, if one chooses to bet with offshore sites, Albertans have no protection. Today, sportsbooks like Sports Interaction and Bet99 offer betting services in Alberta. 

How to Start Betting in Alberta?

If you meet all the legal requirements for a bettor in Alberta specified by the AGLC, you can now register and start betting in Alberta sportsbooks. Remember, you can only wager on single events. You can also visit offshore sportsbooks for more exciting offers. Here is how you go about betting on your favorite sports in Alberta. 

  • Choose A sportsbook; You may think this is redundant due to Alberta's absence of other sportsbooks. But, with more offshore sites appearing each, choosing a sportsbook is a top priority. Follow the criteria in this guide to choose the top sportsbooks.
  • Start Registration; Register with your sportsbook of choice. Enter all specified information. Verify entered information, submit the form and launch your gaming account.
  • Deposit funds; Cash in the minimum deposit as requested. Use a convenient method with instant and free transactions. Sportsbooks offer various types, from bank transfers and e-wallets to credit cards and digital currencies.
  • Claim sportsbook new player bonus; New players get a promotion to help acclimate to the sportsbook. Newbies usually get free bets, no deposit bonuses, or a match deposit offer. 
  • Wager; Study the bet options offered ranging from moneyline or point spread. Check the odds if the under/over bet is more to your taste. Study the teams and players and choose the best odds or bet available. Wager and wait for the results.
  • Withdraw your Cash Wins; Alberta bookmarkers and sportsbooks only take 5 days to process wins and cash in the amount to relevant players. But, players must track the terms and ensure compliance. Otherwise, wins become void in case of a breach.

AB Sports Betting Popular Banking Methods 💳

Albertan sportsbooks offer a wide range of banking options for Canadian players. These include; 

  • Neteller: A Canadian-based e-wallet, making Neteller a popular sportsbook payment method. Transactions are fast without delays or excessive charges.
  • Visa: An internationally recognized and reputable payment method worldwide. Almost all sportsbooks accept Visa for payments or withdrawals.
  • Bank Transfers: Although not all sportsbooks accept bank transfers, the best, including PlayAlberta, allow players to use bank transfers. These websites link with banks with outlets all over Alberta for easy transactions. the only challenge is that bank transactions can be expensive and take longer to complete.
  • Skrill: The e-wallet may not be popular amongst Albertans or other Canucks, but it does offer fast and efficient banking. Most sportsbooks will offer both Neteller and Skrill.
  • Digital Currencies; These are convenient and offer instant transactions for both deposits and withdrawals. Examples Include Bitcoin And Ethereum.

Popular Sports to Bet on in Alberta

Not all sports make an Albertan heartbeat or induce the adrenaline needed to wager. However, there are few teams and sports with a huge fanbase in the country and Alberta. These include the NHL, CFL, and Soccer. Here is more on these sports. 

  • 🏒 Hockey: The Canadian National Hockey League has two teams with intense competition, the Calgary Flames, and the Edmonton Oilers. The betting odds shoot through the roof whenever the two meet the match. In 1970, the competition between the two teams left the masses searching for more, and thus, the rise of the title The Battle of Alberta. Both teams proudly boast of winning the Stanley Cup Finals over the years. 

  • 🏈 Football: The Canadian Football League is another major sports event that draws Canucks across the country together. CFL is an event where the outcomes of each match are unpredictable, surprising, and fun. Bettors can stream the matches on their devices, make in-play bets or seek out alternative wagers. The most popular teams competing in the Canadian Football League drawing major sportsbooks are the Edmonton Elks and the Calgary Stampeders. Edmonton Elks covet 14 Grey Cups Wins, while the Calgary Stampeders have 8 wins since the CFL's inauguration in 1945. 

  • ⚽ Soccer: Canadian Premier League is another major sporting event allowing Albertans to bet on popular soccer teams, mainly the FC Edmonton and the FC cavalry. Soccer hasn't been popular in Canada, but these teams are becoming a bettor's favorite pass time. The FC Calvary shocked Albertans after beating the Vancouver WhiteCaps back in 2019. On the other hand, FC Edmonton is a true sensation in the Canadian soccer industry, with an experience of 10+ years. Once the CPL season starts, each Albertan is betting on the team set to win and enter the CONCACAF League. 

Global Sporting Events 

Sports betting on the global level is numerous. These range from the Tennis Grand Slam to Golf world tours. Players can look for betting odds from bookmarkers on the latest Cricket World Cup when in Alberta. 

International events offered hundreds of betting markets at a go. Odds makers provide different odds, and Albertans can scheme through to find the best using offshore sportsbooks. Also, the pays rise with each winning odd as the betting odds are global.

Other Bets Avaialble

Sports Betting may be the most interesting activity for bettors in Alberta. However, there are other betting markets you can take on. These include; 

  • Politics: The local sportsbook do not offer any odds for political activities. But Albertans can wager on political outcomes on offshore sports sites.
  • Esports: PlayAlberta has no e-sport gaming platform as of today. However, players in Alberta can wager on their favorite e-sport activities on offshore sports betting websites.
  • Alberta University sports: There is a chance to bet on university sports. However, other sports betting events may not be as riveting as the odds. However, you can take on the odds presented on the Golden Bears, who play football, or the Dinos, who play Basketball.
  • Award Ceremonies: There are no betting odds for award ceremonies in Alberta, Canada, or the world. But you can do so in sportsbooks not located in Alberta.

Other Types of Gambling in AB

Sports betting isn't the only form of gambling in Alberta. The AGLC regulates all forms of Gambling an individual can engage-in in Alberta. These include;

  • Local Casinos

These are brick-and-mortar or physical casinos spread across Alberta. Players visit local casinos to socialize and play popular table games and slot machines. A local casino has a limited number of games, dealers, and winnings a player can collect daily. 

Examples of games you can gamble on in a local casino are blackjack and roulette. You can also play arcade games or indulge in a slot machine. 

  • Poker

Join an online or physical poker room in Alberta. Here you can play your favorite poker games or become a spectator and view matches between other people. 

  • Horse Racing 

Bet on a horse of your choice during the Calgary Stampede. Alberta has two popular Horse Racing locations, i.e., the Edmonton Century Mile Racetrack Casino and the Calgary Century Downs racetrack. 

  • Fantasy Sports 

Alberta allows players to engage in Daily Fantasy Sports. Bettors can engage in these sports on popular betting platforms on offshore sites. 

How to Play Responsibly in Alberta?

AGLC highlights all the specifics for an Albertan looking to gamble online. However, each player needs to have a sense of security. Thus, the AGLC established GameSense. The online portal aids any Albertan looking to play responsibly in any online gambling facility in Alberta. The GameSense program offers players responsible gambling tools like budget and time limits, support if they suffer from compulsive gambling and more.

Sportsbook to Avoid

All sportsbooks desire to make a profit. However, most comply with AGLC regulations while others do not. For players who desire to remain secure and gamble responsibly online, here are sportsbook characteristics you should avoid. 

  • Sportsbooks with malicious and negative player reviews.
  • Sportsbooks without a known gambling license.
  • Sportsbook with issues when cashing out, delay tactics, or confiscated player wins.
  • Poor customer service and support systems like FAQs, live chat functions, and more.

Licensed Site vs. Unlicensed Sites

A licensed betting site is a legal business. The sportsbook has to meet all the specified rules of the AGLC before getting the license. These include; 

  • Quality, fair, and honest sports Betting odds
  • Player safety and security measures to avoid information or data breach
  • Freedom of choice to players regarding the use of the gambling services on offer
  • Freedom for players to sue the sportsbook in case of unfair treatment, payment confiscation, and more.

A licensed sportsbook offers;

  • Live betting on all single-game betting events
  • online betting opportunities on different events
  • Winnings without tax reductions

Any betting site operating in Alberta without a license from the AGLC is unlicensed. But, it is not illegal to offer sports betting services to Albertans. Most offshore sites are unlicensed in Alberta. However, these come with licenses from other known jurisdictions. But, players must be cautious when betting on offshore sites to avoid scams. 

Why Should I Use a Licensed Site?

A licensed sportsbook offers the best security and safe betting for players in Alberta. All data provided is private, with no sharing policy other than with the player's consent.  Albertans can deposit any amount without limits and be sure of the safety of their money. Plus, all bets are in-person and only made to the WCLC.  Licensed sites also offer exciting promotions, no identity verifications with WCLC for washouts, and various bet options, whenever you decide to bet

FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Alberta?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Alberta with the implementation of the C-218 Bill of 2021. However, the Act only legalizes single-game events in Alberta. There are no limits on the bet types or wagers a player can bet. Plus, all major sports events are a go with Alberta sports betting.

Can I play in an offshore sports betting site while in Alberta?

Yes, you can gamble on any select offshore gambling site. These sites are not illegal, and a player will not face any criminal charges as a result. Alberta has no set regulations governing offshore casino sites. However, the absence of these regulations means that players can fall into scams with unlicensed offshore sites. 

Are there any restrictions to sports Betting in Alberta?

Yes, interested bettors must be 18 years of age and above. Also, only players located within the provice can use the Albertan sports betting platform. 

Where can you bet on sports in Alberta?

As of now, the only licensed sportsbook in Alberta is PlayAlberta. The sportsbook offers various betting odds on sports events such as the Canadian national football league, Basketball, Canadian Soccer, and horse racing. Albertans can also wager on their favorite sports on offshore sites while in Alberta. 

Are there taxes charged on your bet winnings?

No, there is no tax imposed on winnings from sports betting activities. Sports betting is a gambling activity, and gambling is a recreational activity in Canada. Canada directs that gambling isn't a source of income; thus, any amount earned isn't subject to taxes. 

Can I bet on sports using my mobile phone?

You can wager your favorite sports event betting odds on your smartphone. Although the local sportsbook in Alberta have no mobile app, you can wager using their optimized mobile website or with an offshore sportsbooks that offer betting apps.

How do you go about gambling on sports in Alberta?

Gambling on sports in Alberta is quite easy and simple. The only condition is that a bettor must place any wager or bet in person. There are no remote betting platforms unless you are wagering with an offshore website. You must visit the WCLC (Western Canada Lottery Corporation) if betting with a local sportsbook. The organization has several retail outlets that make betting possible. 

Is there any other form of gambling online in Alberta?

Apart from sports betting, players can also bet on university sports. Other betting types include poker room bets or political betting on offshore casino sites.