Gambling has been present here since 1967 and although online gaming and sports betting are both still in the development stages, the tide is shifting. More operators are expected to start offering their services across the provinces of Canada as the popularity of iGaming grows.
Apart from listing the top Alberta gambling sites, we'll get into detail about the criteria we follow when choosing casino and sportsbook operators. Below, we'll talk more about available bonuses for Canadians, the choice of casino games, payment methods, mobile gambling, as well as what Albertans can expect with the ever-growing gambling market.
The Alberta iGaming market is opening up and more online operators are offering their services to Alberta players. So, everyone that’s over the age of 18 can legally register at one of these casinos, fund their gaming account, and play some of the exciting casino games.
There is a lot to consider before signing up for any offer. However, we list what we rate as some of the best gambling sites currently available in Alberta below with highlights that could catch your eye.
Jackpot City Casino
A well-established gambling brand that’s been operating since 1998, Jackpot City is a well-known name in the Canadian gambling market. It operates under a Kahnawake Gaming Commission license and offers a great welcome bonus of up to $1,600 for Canadians with plenty of jackpot slots powered by industry-leading software providers.
- Staggering welcome bonus of up to $1,600 for Canadians
- More than 600 casino games available
- Reputable, licensed, and regulated online casino that’s been operating since 1998
A part of the reputable Betway Group, Betway casino opened its virtual doors in 2006 and has been one of the leading online gambling providers ever since. It offers its services to all Canadian players, including Albertans, and has a great variety of games you can choose from.
This includes a great range of slots but also extends to table games and progressive jackpots - courtesy of top-notch software providers such as NetEnt and Microgaming. This is not all as Betway continues to dazzle new and existing players with:
- Excellent mobile app for both iOS and Android users
- 100% deposit match bonus up to $200 for newly registered casino players
- A highly secure and safe platform
ComeOn is a famous European gambling brand that’s available worldwide, including in Canada. Licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, it operates in Alberta as an offshore casino and provides a stellar online gambling experience.
With a generous welcome bonus and a plethora of games to choose from, it’s one of the leading operators in the province. ComeOn has been getting positive reviews all around and for a great reason if we may add, with:
- 100% deposit match bonus of up to $1,000 for Canadians
- Dozens of casino games available, including a Live Casino
- Excellent customer support service available 24/7
N1 advertises itself as the best online casino in Canada, and it has some strong points to justify that. Besides the vast variety of slots, prompt customer support service, and hassle-free withdrawal process, it has a number of ongoing promotions.
This includes an ongoing Mystery Drops feature for Canadians that awards generous prizes to slot players. On top of that, there’s a grandiose VIP program that rewards regulars as N1 takes pride in customer care through:
- Welcome bonus with deposit match offers of up to $2,000 for the first four deposits and 150 free spins
- An extensive game library with more than 300 slots to choose from
- More than ten payment methods available, including Canada exclusives
Being on the market for over 20 years, Pinnacle is one of the best online gambling sites available to Alberta players. Its enormous game library contains over 2,000 games but the fun hardly stops there.
Regular promotions are very handy to test different casino games and see for yourself if the website is all that it promises. We’ve also found the customer support team prompt and reliable at all times, which can’t be said for all operators we’ve reviewed. Pinnacle Casino prides itself on:
- A vast game library with over 2,000 games to choose from
- Partnering with top software providers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Yggdrasil
- User-friendly website and excellent casino experience overall
The Best Alberta Online Sportsbooks
If you’re looking to step away from online casinos, sports betting has never been more popular in Canada and that’s the case in Alberta as well. Many online sportsbooks offer odds for various betting markets on many sports and leagues, including but not limited to the NHL, CFL, NFL, MLB, and NBA.
We move on and discover some of the best sportsbook offers Alberta players can go for below. These are just some of the few and it’s important to note the subjectivity of our choices, as it’s a must to look for an operator that ticks all your boxes too.
Play Alberta is currently the only online gambling operator that’s licensed and regulated by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission. All the other sportsbooks we will also cover still operate as offshore betting sites.
However, what makes this bookmaker stand out is the simplicity of the design and exceptional customer support. Besides that, Play Alberta offers a $20 free bet for every new user that registers an account and wagers a real money bet, which sounds like a great chance to check it out. Here, you’ll find:
- Top-notch customer support service
- License and regulation by the AGLC
- $20 free bet for newcomers
One of the oldest and most reputable gambling brands in the sports betting world, Bet365 operates in Alberta as an offshore casino and sportsbook. It’s licensed by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority but Bet365 stands out with its enormous betting market portfolio.
The bookie offers odds on dozens of sports and thousands of sporting events, specializing in soccer with major and minor leagues covered. The mobile optimization is also exemplary, with dedicated mobile apps available for both Android and iOS users. Bet365 also features:
- Exceptional betting market coverage, including Live Betting
- Great interface known for usability, range, and live streams
- The early cash-out feature that allows customers to cash out before the bet has settled
Operating as an offshore betting site in Alberta, ComeOn sportsbook is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority and has been around for more than a decade. It offers competitive odds for all popular and many less popular sports.
This certainly makes the site a good choice for anyone who wants to bet on something different or vague if we may call it that. Besides, it offers a generous welcome bonus of up to $100 and an innovative VIP program you can enjoy, as ComeOn! focuses on:
- A good variety of betting markets available
- 100% deposit match on the first deposit of up to $100
- Superb customer support available 24/7
One of the oldest and most trusted online gambling sites in Canada, Sports Interaction offers thousands of betting options on hundreds of sporting events - both domestic and international. The operator is headquartered in Kahnawake and licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
With Sports Interaction, Alberta gambling enthusiasts can enjoy all the perks and features offered, as our review led us to witness:
- Reputable Canadian site that’s been operating since 1997
- Unique promo section that offers bonuses to both newcomers and regulars
- A wide variety of betting markets available, including Canada exclusives
Pinnacle Sportsbook operates in Alberta as an offshore gambling site too, regulated by the Curacao Gaming Commission. It’s been online for more than 20 years and represents one of the most reputable gambling brands worldwide.
The sportsbook stands out with its betting market portfolio that includes anything from football, ice hockey, and soccer, to e-sports and virtual sports. There’s a wide variety of payment methods available as well, including Canada exclusives such as Interac and InstaDebit. Here, you’ll find:
- More than 30 sports available, with thousands of betting markets on offer
- A popular and reputable site that’s been operating for more than 2 decades
- More than ten payment options, including fan favourites like Interac
Can You Gamble Online in Alberta? Alberta Gambling Laws and Regulations
Alberta is the fourth-largest Canadian province and one of those to make significant progress toward legalizing and regulating online gambling. All forms of gambling in Alberta are currently legal and regulated by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission as well as the provincial government of Alberta.
These include all land-based casinos, Alberta sports betting venues, but also bingo, lotteries, racetracks, video lottery, raffles, and online gaming in Alberta. Although the federal Canadian Criminal Code generally prohibits all forms of gambling, section 207 of the Code makes an exception for provincial governments to conduct and manage gambling within provinces.
There are a few exceptions as betting on horse racing is addressed separately in the Code, and provinces are not permitted to enter that area. Another area that was initially restricted was same game parlays, but the ban was lifted on August 27, 2021, as operators providing sports betting in Canada legally can now offer single game parlays too.
There’s only one casino that operates under the hat of the AGLC - and that’s PlayAlberta.ca. The province has adopted a charitable Alberta online gaming model of the regulation, where a large part of the proceeds goes to charitable organizations.
However, there’s the so-called ‘gray market’, which allows for offshore gambling sites to operate legally in Canada. Namely, the Code states that “no person shall be convicted of an offence committed outside of Canada”.
These offshore gambling operators that offer their services to Canadians are not physically located in Canada, which means they are not breaking the law by any means, as they continue to operate in this ‘gray area’ and will do so until the provincial governments fully regulate online gambling.
The Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act
The Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission of Alberta operates in accordance with The Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act, The Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Regulation, as well as The Criminal Code.
According to the Act, to become eligible for a gaming license, an applicant for a license that authorizes a gambling activity under section 207(1)(b) or (f) of the Criminal Code must be a charitable or religious organization and must satisfy the board that proceeds from the online gaming in Alberta will be used for a charitable or religious object, or a purpose approved by the board.
The Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act focuses on three obvious main areas: gaming, liquor, and cannabis. Regarding gaming, the Act empowers the AGLC to control, regulate, and issue licenses for all gambling activities in the province, including provincial lotteries, bingo, raffles, and casinos.
Legal Forms of Gambling Under Alberta Laws and Regulations
Gambling has been present in Alberta since the early 1920s in the form of horse betting and bingo. A few decades later, they turned into charitable gambling and lotteries, and there are now around 25 commercial casinos and five First Nations casinos in Alberta.
When it comes to online gambling in Alberta, the only casino that’s regulated (and owned) by the AGLC is PlayAlberta.ca. Different legal forms of gambling in Alberta also include casino gambling, sports betting, video lottery terminals, horse racing betting, bingo, and lotteries.
Although online casino gambling is legal, the only operator that’s licensed to operate legally in the province of Alberta is the AGLC-owned PlayAlberta.ca. The site offers a variety of casino games, such as slots and table games, including blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker. Besides Play Alberta, many casino sites offer their services to Alberta players as offshore operators.
Online Alberta Sports Betting Sites
Sports betting is fully legal in the province of Alberta, but the only gambling site that’s licensed by the AGLC is PlayAlberta.ca. With the legalization of single-game parlays in 2021, the site offers betting markets on different sports and various betting markets, including the NFL, CFL, NHL, MLS, NCAAF, and more.
Video Lottery Terminals
There are more than 6,000 Video Lottery Terminals (known as VLTs) across Alberta, and they’re all managed and regulated by the AGLC. According to the Act, VLT retailers can have a maximum of 14 VLTs, while gaming entertainment centers have between 15 and 49 VLTs.
Horse race betting is available in Alberta at one of the province’s racetracks. Not all racetracks offer on-site horse betting, though. The list of racetracks that offer on-site horse betting includes Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, Century Mile Racetrack and Casino, Rocky Mountain Turf Club, and The Track on 2 Horse Racing and Event Center.
The AGLC introduced a market-based facility licensing approach for different types of gambling, including bingo halls. So, operators that conduct bingo in a facility four or more days a week can obtain a license from the AGLC.
Lotteries in Alberta are regulated by the AGLC and are run by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation. Users can buy lottery tickets in several retail locations and online through the WCLC site or PlayAlberta.ca. PlayAlberta features many lottery games with prizes of up to $70 million for the Lotto Max lottery.
Legal Gambling Age in Alberta
The legal gambling age in Alberta is 18. This has been the case since 1971 when the Progressive Conservative government replaced the Socreds and lowered the drinking and gaming age from 21 to 18. This lower legal gaming age remains in effect as of 2022.
What is the Legal Gambling Age in Other Canadian Provinces?
The legal gambling age in most other Canadian provinces is 19 years old. So, the gambling laws are governed on a provincial level and the legal gambling age varies geographically, where 19 is not the uniform minimum age. As said, in states such as Alberta, online casinos have to adhere to the legal gambling age of 18.
How Do Alberta Gambling Laws and Regulations Differ from Gambling Laws and Regulations in Other Canadian Provinces?
Although the Code regulates gambling in Canada on a federal level, each Canadian province has different laws and regulations regarding online gambling. This is how the Alberta gambling laws compare to the gambling laws and regulations in other Canadian provinces.
- Alberta - All forms of gambling are legal in Alberta with the implementation of Alberta’s charitable gambling model, but the only casino operator that’s licensed by the AGLC now is its own PlayAlberta.ca. However, along with the introduction of Bill C-218 to make single-event sports betting legal, the province welcomes third-party operators to obtain a license by the AGLC.
- Ontario - The first province to fully regulate and legalize online gambling, Ontario launched its new regulatory body iGaming Ontario in April 2022. All gambling activities within the province are overseen by the iGO and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and there’s already a lot of competition in Ontario’s scene.
- Quebec - Although Quebec is making strides toward opening up the casino market, the only government-regulated gambling site that’s available in the province is Espacejeux - which has been offering single-game parlays since August 2021.
- Manitoba - Manitoba is a part of the WCLC, alongside Alberta and Saskatchewan, and residents can gamble online legally through the Sports Select gambling site - which offers single-game parlays. Manitoba users also have access to the PlayNow website due to the province’s agreement with BCLC.
- British Columbia - All gambling activities in British Columbia are overseen by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) regulatory body. The BCLC launched its online casino PlayNow on August 27, 2021, and it offers casino games but also sports betting, and lotteries.
- Saskatchewan - Gambling in Saskatchewan is legal through the Online Gaming Portal site that’s operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority. In mid-2022, an agreement was signed by the SIGA and BCLC to allow Saskatchewan players to use the PlayNow website too.
- The Atlantic Provinces - All gambling activities in Labrador, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick are overseen by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation - which also runs the ALC casino. This gambling site features online casino games, sports betting, and lotteries, but there haven’t been any efforts to allow third-party competitors to join the market.
- The Territories - Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon are all part of the Western Canada Lottery Corporation and legal online gambling is available through WCLC’s Sports Select site, which offers casino games, sports betting, and lotteries.
Agency Responsible for Regulating the Alberta iGaming Market - Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Agency
The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) is a government agency that oversees and regulates gambling-related activities, alcoholic beverages, and recreational cannabis in Alberta.
The agency was founded in 1996 as the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission and added cannabis in its name after recreational cannabis use was legalized in Canada in 2018. It follows the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act and the Criminal Code, and oversees and regulates all gambling activities within the province.
Although it has the power to license third-party gambling operators, the only one that operates under the AGLC license is PlayAlberta.ca. With the charitable gaming model, the revenue made from casino events, bingo, pull pickets, and raffles is distributed back to Albertans.
In 2019 and 2020 alone, the agency earned $321 million to support programs and services for the people of Alberta, and out of those $321 million, 71% was from casino events.
Play Alberta was launched on October 1, 2020, as the first regulated online gambling website available to Albertans of legal age. It’s the only legally operating site currently and it holds a license issued by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Agency.
In terms of game variety, the online casino offers video slots, table games, lotteries, live dealer games, instants, and sports betting. Banking methods you can use to fund an account here include Visa, Mastercard, and Interac, while the promo section has a welcome bonus of $20 in the store.
It’s offered in the form of a free sportsbook bet or bonus money to be used on casino games. Although PlayAlberta.ca is currently the only licensed site by the AGLC, the agency is open to providing remote gambling licenses to internationally-operating casinos.
Following the example of Ontario, where the market is fully regulated by AGCO, it’s expected that the market in Alberta will become more competitive soon. However, it’s highly questionable whether it will be a similar market.
History of Gambling in Alberta
Forms of gambling have been taking place in Alberta ever since 1920 when Bingo was played in community halls and church basements. People were also placing bets on horse racing on race tracks across the province.
In fact, Alberta has made use of the amendment in the Criminal Code of Canada that allows pari-mutuel betting and participation in games of chance where the proceeds are used for charitable and religious purposes.
Charitable gambling is still the name of the game in the province. Fast forward in time, there are now 27 land-based casinos that currently operate in Alberta, including five First Nations casinos and non-reservation casinos - with most of them located around Edmonton.
Alberta’s First Charitable Casino at Edmonton’s Annual Fair in 1967
Alberta has a long-standing history with gambling, and the first casino was opened back in 1967. Namely, until 1967, gambling games such as bingo and raffles were taking place in halls and were common among travelling carnival shows - usually at agricultural fairs.
Besides games of luck such as Bingo, they often included competitions in skills such as archery or throwing darts. During the annual Klondike Days (now known as K-Days) fair at the Edmonton Fairgrounds, however, the first temporary casino was opened.
It didn’t look anything like today’s casinos but it included popular casino table games. The casino was short-lived, lasting for no more than a week, but it marked the beginning of casino gambling in Alberta.
Cash Casino – The very first charitable casino in Alberta
The first permanent and privately owned-and-operated charitable casino was Cash Casino. It first opened its doors back in 1980 in Calgary and reopened in 1994, now still running in Calgary, Alberta.
Cash Casino features 48,400 square feet of gambling area and offers all kinds of casino games, including slots and table games. The opening of Cash Casino paved the way for many other privately operated gambling venues to open their doors and implement the charitable casino.
Following in the footsteps of Cash Casino, ABS Casino opened its doors in 1981 while Casino ABS South and Frontier Casino were founded in 1986 and 1988, respectively.
When Was Online Gambling Legalized in Alberta?
Technically speaking, online gambling has never been outright banned or outlawed in Alberta. However, it was only conducted and regulated to a degree by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation.
With the introduction and passing of Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, most forms of casino and other online gambling activities in Canada were deemed legal in August 2021. Bill C-218 was the third attempt at legalizing single-event sports betting in Alberta, as the first attempts took place in early 2020.
It was finally signed into law with support from many major sports leagues as well - including the NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, and CFL. The province of Ontario was the first to officially launch its legal and regulated iGaming market for third-party operators, on April 4, 2022.
Other provinces are soon to follow. Alberta’s AGLC launched the Play Alberta online gambling platform in October 2020. As of December 2021, the AGLC began accepting applications from operators interested in entering Alberta’s legal sports betting market.
A few major names have already shown interest but it seems like Alberta won’t have an open online casino and sports betting structure. Rather a ‘limited operator’ model could take shape with a few selected operators hitting the market.
New Gambling Sites That Opened Their Doors to Alberta Residents
Still, many gambling brands including big casino and sports betting sites are expected to attempt and enter the competitive Alberta gambling market. Check out some of the gambling sites that are most likely to start operating in Alberta soon.
What Kind of Bonuses and Promotions are Available to Alberta Players?
Participating in a competitive market, casino and sportsbook operators are well aware that the best way to attract new customers and retain regulars is by offering bonuses and promotions.
That’s the case with Alberta online gambling sites too! Alberta players can make use of many different bonuses, including welcome offers, free spins, match deposit bonuses, no deposit offers, cashback bonuses, and more.
Most gambling operators, be it a casino or a sports betting site, offer some kind of a welcome bonus. It’s often a deposit-match bonus, a free bet, a risk-free bet, free spins, or a combination of all. Welcome bonuses are usually reserved for newly registered players who deposit only - and they range from as little as $25 to as much as a few thousand dollars.
Free Spins Bonuses
As the name suggests, free spins are a type of bonus where casinos provide free spins for specific slot games. Essentially, the number of free spins provided in the bonus suggests how many times you can spin the reels of a given slot game for free. Free spins bonuses are often part of the welcome bonus but are also offered on different occasions, such as when a new game is released.
Match Deposit Bonuses
Match deposit bonuses are types of bonus offers usually offered by online casinos. Namely, the operator will match your deposit at some percentage, and provide you with as much bonus money as you deposit. So, for example, if you deposit $100 and the offer is a 100% deposit match, you’ll get $100 in bonus money on top of your deposit.
No Deposit Bonuses
A type of bonus usually reserved for new sign-ups, a no deposit bonus is a freebie offered by a casino operator or a betting site that doesn’t require you to make a deposit. No deposit bonuses are usually low in value, up to $10, and are quite rare. They come with high wagering requirements and the winnings are capped, intended for the players to try out the casino.
Some online gambling operators offer referral bonuses for existing members that invite other users to their platform. The referral bonus usually consists of bonus money or free spins as explained above. With most referral bonuses, both the referee and the referral get a bonus - which makes it beneficial for both existing players that recommend a friend and new players that register through the referral link. The value of referral bonuses in Alberta ranges from $25 to $100.
Loyalty bonuses, VIP bonuses, or VIP programs are bonuses awarded to regulars who regularly wager at online casinos. Many casinos have some type of a loyalty program where players earn points to climb the ladder and have the chance to claim better bonuses, or, in some cases, prizes such as luxury items like iPhones and iPads.
Cashback is a type of offer that provides a percentage of the money lost back to the player. The cashback bonuses are usually active throughout a given day of the week, and the cashback percentage varies depending on the casino in question.
Some casino operators or online betting sites offer exclusive bonuses to players from a certain country, or players using a certain device. For example, several Canadian online gambling sites offer mobile-exclusive bonuses or rewards available to Canadians only. As the name suggests, exclusive bonuses are only available for a limited time and to a particular group of players. They usually come in the form of free spins or bonus money.
Odds boosts can be found at most online sportsbooks - and they’re quite simple to grasp. Essentially, the sportsbook boosts the odds for certain betting markets in favour of the bettor to promote betting on the event. Many Alberta sportsbooks offer odds boosts for big NHL and CHL games, or major tournaments such as the World Cup. Moreover, operators often offer boosted lines when Alberta teams participate in sporting events.
Free bets are often part of the welcome bonus at online sportsbooks, and they let players place a bet for free for a predetermined value. Oftentimes, free bets are limited to a single bet with odds of 1.80, 2.00, or longer. Usually, players who claim a free bet bonus can use it on selected betting lines and markets, and if the bet wins, they can withdraw their winnings or use them to place more bets.
Alberta Casinos vs International Casinos - What Are the Differences in Bonuses and Promotions?
Alberta can make use of the same online casino bonuses and promotions as players from other parts of Canada. However, offshore casino sites and sportsbooks usually offer better-value bonuses when compared to sites that are licensed by the AGLC.
For example, the Play Alberta gambling site offers a free bet of up to $20 as a welcome bonus for sports bettors and a welcome bonus of up to $20 for casino players. This is certainly not as generous when compared to offshore sites that sometimes offer up to $2,000 in welcome bonus money (although often with high wagering requirements).
Tips for Choosing the Best Bonus Based on Your Gaming Preferences and Budget
Even though a bonus might seem exceptional at first glance, there are many factors to consider when choosing a bonus offer. We strongly recommend you:
- Check general casino as well as the bonus terms and conditions
- Check the wagering requirements
- Find the casino games that the bonus is eligible for
- Make a plan on how to clear the wagering requirements
We’ll further explain these and provide you with a few tips on how to choose the best bonus for your gambling preferences below.
Check Bonuses Terms and Conditions
Always read the bonus terms and conditions thoroughly before opting for an online gambling promotion. Oftentimes, the terms and conditions might not be favourable, and the bonus might not be as good as it seems.
Check what’s the minimum deposit required to claim the bonus, the timeframe in which the bonus money or other perks should be used, the maximum winnings cap, and more.
Check Bonuses Wagering Requirements
The wagering requirements at gambling sites indicate how many times the bonus money should be wagered before you’re able to withdraw your winnings. The lower the wagering requirements, the better the bonus is.
If an online casino bonus comes with wagering of up to 25x, it’s considered good, but wagering requirements of 40x, 50x, or more are very difficult to clear for casual gambling aficionados.
Play Only Eligible Games
Not every bonus can be used on all the games available at a casino site or sportsbook, so make sure to play only eligible games. Also, not all games contribute the same towards clearing the wagering requirements.
Make sure you play games that contribute 100% towards clearing the wagering requirement. This information is usually listed in the bonus terms and conditions.
Play at Maximum Stakes If Your Budget Allows
The easiest way to clear the wagering requirements is by playing at maximum stakes on games that contribute 100% towards clearing the playthrough. At most casinos in Canada, these are usually slots only.
All slot games have a minimum and maximum stake, and if your gambling budget allows you to do it, playing at maximum stakes might mean clearing the wagering requirements faster.
What Kind of Online Casino Games are Available to Alberta Players?
Gambling has been present in Alberta for more than a century, and Albertans love the classic table games such as roulette and blackjack. However, nowadays Alberta players can play all the most popular kinds of online casino games.
The long list we’ll cover in more detail below includes online slots, table games, Live Casino games, poker and video poker games, jackpots, and instant-win games.
The most popular type of casino game worldwide, online slots come in many different forms. Alberta players can enjoy the latest video slots, classic slots, megaways, progressive jackpots, and more - courtesy of some of the best slot game software providers in the business. Many online casinos in Alberta feature thousands of slots with many different themes, variations, and features. Some of them tailor their bonuses for slot enthusiasts and offer free spins for popular slot games.
Classic Table Games
Table games such as blackjack, roulette, and poker have been present in Canada since first forms of gambling were seen in the 1700s, and Albertans can now enjoy these games (and different variations of them) from the comfort of their homes. Some of the most popular variations include American Blackjack, Perfect Pairs, Punto Banco Baccarat, European Roulette, Texas Hold'em Poker, and more.
Live Casino Games
Live casino games, or real dealer games, are a novelty to the online casino world. They bring the atmosphere of the casino floor to the screen, and players can enjoy their favourite table games with a real dealer in front of them, dealing cards or spinning the roulette wheel in real time. Many Alberta operators feature a live casino with dozens of tables to suit everyone's taste. The most popular games include Live Blackjack, Live Baccarat, and Live Roulette.
Video Poker and Poker Games
Poker games are increasingly popular at casinos too and gambling sites feature many poker rooms where players can play Texas Hold’em, 3 Card Stud, Omaha No Limit, and other types of poker. Moreover, there’s also video poker - a type of poker where players play against the dealer instead of other players. Being one of the most popular games among Albertans, the traffic across Alberta poker rooms is satisfactory, and most poker sites feature tables for both casual players and high rollers.
Jackpot games are slots that have high volatility and a jackpot prize that can reach seven figures - usually through a progressive jackpot that’s increased each time someone plays the game but the jackpot is not won. With jackpot prizes reaching well in the millions, they're among the most popular game types in Alberta, and players can participate in some of the biggest progressive jackpots in the world.
Instant-win games such as scratch cards and keno are online gambling games where the player instantly knows whether they’ve won a prize or not. Although they're usually considered a hit among casual players, the prizes can reach well into thousands of dollars. Given their simplicity, they're often played by players that want to take a break from live casino games or online slots.
Can I Play Free Games at Alberta Online Casinos?
Many gambling websites that are available to Albertans offer a free or demo play option to their players. You can thus try the games before wagering real money to see if you like the game or not.
Some casinos offer no deposit bonuses, through which the players can play selected games for free and possibly win real money.
Are Alberta Online Casinos Mobile Gaming-Friendly?
Mobile gaming is the trend now, and most, if not all modern casinos that operate in Alberta are available on mobile devices. Either through instant play on the mobile version of the website or dedicated apps available on iOS and Android, players can play all the games on their mobile devices and enjoy all the features that the casino offers.
Alberta Sports Betting – The Best Opportunities for Sports Bettors
The province started offering single-game parlay bets on September 1, 2021, thus completing the Alberta sports betting coverage. Some of the best sportsbooks in the world offer their services to Alberta residents as offshore sites, including the likes of Bet365, Unibet, and Pinnacle. AGLC-owned Play Alberta also offers an increasingly wide array of betting markets and betting options.
When it comes to sports coverage, the list includes all the most popular sports - both in Canada and internationally - such as football, soccer, basketball, ice hockey, tennis, motorsports, and more. Additionally, most major and some minor leagues and competitions are included, such as the NFL, CFL, MLB, NBA, MLS, NASCAR, NCAAF, and more.
Fantasy sports, particularly Daily Fantasy Sports, are increasingly popular worldwide, and in Alberta as well. Many betting sites have their own DFS programs, and some even allow users to link their DFS accounts with their real money betting accounts.
The choice of betting options has evolved massively over the past two decades, and Alberta players can now bet on parlays, money lines, place over/under bets, go for totals, point spreads, prop bets, and as of 2021, even the same game parlays.
The Best Mobile Gambling Sites for Alberta Players
With the growing popularity of mobile gambling, most online casino and sportsbook operators started offering their services on mobile. Some of the best mobile casinos have managed to integrate all their features to the mobile screen, and some even offer mobile-exclusive bonuses. We would shortlist:
- PlayOJO Casino
- Royal Panda
- LeoVegas Casino
Sports bettors can also enjoy mobile betting on the go at some of the best mobile sportsbooks. Most of these mobile sportsbooks also include live betting on their apps as well as other options such as bet edits and early cashout. The big guns include:
Are All Alberta Mobile Gambling Sites Accessible in an Instant-Play Mode?
The majority of mobile gambling sites are well-optimized for the mobile screen. Casinos can usually be accessed in instant-play mode from any modern-day browser, such as Google Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox.
However, many online gambling operators have also developed dedicated mobile apps for their casinos and sportsbooks, usually available on the two most popular mobile operating systems - iOS and Android.
Deposits and Withdrawals - The Best Payment Options for Alberta Players
When it comes to banking, Albertans have a plethora of safe and secure options to choose from. Most Alberta gambling sites have a long list of payment methods available, from the good-old credit/debit cards such as Visa and Mastercard to e-wallets such as PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill.
It’s important to emphasize the convenience and effectiveness some Canada-exclusive online banking options provide, including Interac and InstaDebit.
Recommended Deposit Options
The options for deposits are usually divided into three sections: cards, online banking, and e-wallets. The best options for Alberta players are the Canadian payment services Interac and InstaDebit. Most Albertan casino-goers already use these services with gambling sites, as they’re fast, secure, and user-friendly.
Recommended Withdrawal Options
When it comes to withdrawals, the choice is more limited but that’s not worrisome because most gambling sites include Interac and/or InstaDebit in their list of available withdrawal options. These online banking services are highly secure and allow for fast transactions, so they’re the best withdrawal options for Alberta casino players too.
What is the Minimum Deposit Amount Accepted by Most Legally-Operating Alberta Gambling Sites?
The minimum deposit amount that’s accepted by most legally-operating Alberta gambling sites is around $10, although it can vary depending on the casino you choose. Notably, all deposits are usually processed instantly and free of charge.
What is the Minimum Withdrawal Amount Accepted by Most Legally-Operating Alberta Gambling Sites?
The minimum withdrawal amount accepted by most Alberta gambling sites is $10 or more. In most cases, withdrawals are subject to internal review, and the transaction processing time usually lasts from 1 to 5 business days with popular casinos.
It’s important to note withdrawals often carry commission fees, even if not directly charged by casinos, and they are usually in the range of 2% to 3% of the amount.
How We Rate Alberta Gambling Sites?
Choosing the right gambling site for yourself is no easy task, which is why we have developed strict criteria through which we rate Alberta gambling sites. From safety and security to licensing and reputation, payment options availability, game libraries, sports coverage, customer support promptness, mobile compatibility, as well as bonuses and promotions - we leave no stone unturned when conducting our reviews.
Licensing and Reputation
A license is a must - and that’s our motto when conducting an online casino or sportsbook review. We’re looking for a valid license issued by a reputable governing body such as the UK Gambling Commission, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority, or, in recent times the AGLC.
Data safety and security are a top priority at any online casino, so we’re checking the verification methods used by the operator when it comes to protecting user data. Modern-day SSL encryption is a must, and we’re looking for gambling sites that are audited by reputable bodies such as eCogra.
The banking options available are one of the most important factors of a casino or a betting site. If an online gambling operator fails to approve a withdrawal, takes more than 5 days to process a withdrawal, or charges high fees - it’s an instant red flag. Also, we’re looking for sites that have payment methods suited to Canadians, such as Interac and InstaDebit.
Customer Contact Channels
We always contact the casino customer support when conducting our reviews to check their response time and readiness to answer our questions. We’re looking for online gambling sites in Alberta that have 24/7 live chat available and other service channels such as e-mail and phone support as well as an FAQ section.
The gaming library is usually the main reason a player registers with an online casino, so we’re looking for casino sites that feature different kinds of gambling opportunities (slots, table games, video poker, jackpots, instant games, live casino) developed by reputable software developers.
Sports coverage is possibly the most important aspect of a sportsbook, and we’re looking for sportsbooks that offer odds on a variety of betting markets on all the most popular sports and sports competitions in Alberta. Bonus points are awarded to bookmakers that include even less popular sports and minor leagues in their betting portfolio.
Bonuses and Promotions
The competition among gambling operators is fierce, so most of the casinos offer at least some type of bonus or promotion. However, we’re strictly looking for bonuses with realistic wagering requirements and reasonable terms and conditions - so players can actually make use of the bonus they’ve claimed.
Most online gambling sites nowadays are mobile-compatible, but we’re looking for seamless mobile optimization regardless if it’s through instant play or a dedicated casino mobile app.
Alberta Gambling Statistics and Fun Facts
- The first forms of gambling in Alberta appeared in the 1920s when people played bingo and lotteries in the charitable Bingo halls.
- The first casino in Alberta was opened in 1967 at the Edmonton’s Annual Fair.
- The first permanent charitable casino in Calgary, Alberta was Cash Casino, which was launched in 1980Calgary.
- There are currently 27 land-based casinos in Alberta.
- All gambling activities in Alberta are overseen by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
- The AGLC reported that charitable organizations in Alberta earned $321 million in 2019 and 2020 alone, and 71% of the money was from casino events.
Is Responsible Gambling Promoted in Alberta?
All legal Alberta gambling sites must offer certain responsible gambling tools, from reality checks to tools of self-exclusion - which enables users to self-exclude from gambling activities for months, a year, two years, or three years.
The most respectable responsible gambling organization in Alberta is GameSense - an organization that’s licensed by the AGLC and helps players understand how online gambling works and the dangers of addictive gambling.
The Best Land-Based Casinos in Alberta
Located in Edmonton, it’s one of the city’s top entertainment centers. It features more than 20 live dealer games, hundreds of slot machines, and over 20 VLC terminals. Casino Yellowhead provides live entertainment every weekend, and has a poker room that's open 24/7. It's also one of the biggest and most famous casinos in the Edmonton area.
Stoney Nakoda Resort Casino
A staple name when it comes to Alberta casinos, Stoney Nakoda Resort is about half an hour’s drive from Calgary, and it overlooks the Rockies. It features more than 200 slot machines and 20 live dealer tables, including several poker tables. The casino is located within the resort and provides Vegas-style entertainment with high-class service. The slot machines are open from 10am to 2am every day, while the table games are operational from 3pm to 1am from Monday to Thursday and from 2pm to 2am on weekends.
Jackpot Casino Red Deer
Operating since 1997, it’s one of the most famous casino resorts in Alberta. It features more than 300 slot machines, over two dozen table games, poker tables, and more. Popularly known as the home of the jackpots, Red Deer aims to provide the ultimate casino entertainment in a fun-filled and safe environment.
River Cree Resort and Casino
One of the biggest casino resorts in the province, River Cree Resort and Casino is located in Edmonton. When it comes to gambling, it features more than 1,100 slot machines and dozens of live dealer tables - including fan-favourites roulette, baccarat, blackjack, poker, and even craps. It's one of the most popular casinos among Albertans and regularly offers bonus coupons and show tickets as complimentary gifts. It also offers an online reservation service through Live Chat.
Century Downs Racetrack and Casino
Located just outside Calgary, it’s just the place for horse racing enthusiasts. Besides hundreds of slot machines and casino tables, it hosts horse races for over 60 days in the spring, summer, and fall. It's the biggest venue in Southern Alberta and is easily accessed from the QE2 or via Stoney Trail and Metis Trail.
Are Gambling Winnings in Alberta Taxed?
The short answer is no - gambling winnings are not taxed in Alberta. Albertans don’t have to pay taxes on gambling winnings from sports betting, online casinos, horse racing, lotteries, bingo, or raffles.
The only case when the winnings are taxed is if the Canadian Revenue Agency deems that you’re a professional gambler (or that you make a living out of gambling). In that case, you’ll be obliged to pay tax from 15% to 33%, depending on the income range bracket.
Online vs Land-Based Casino Gambling in Alberta
Both land-based and online gambling sites have their pros and cons - and it all depends on a player’s personal preference.
Online Casinos PROS and CONS
- Game libraries usually include more games
- Can be accessed from anywhere and at any time
- The bonuses and promotions are usually more generous for online gamblers
- Bigger choice of gambling sites is available
- Online sportsbooks usually have a wider betting portfolio
- Players should be more cautious to avoid being scammed at an unlicensed casino
- The withdrawal times can range from 1 to 5 business days
Land-Based Casinos PROS and CONS
- Have a more social structure, where players can physically socialize with other people
- Land-based casinos often offer complementary goods, such as drinks or food
- The withdrawals are usually instant
- Players usually have to travel a distance to get to the casino
- Land-based casinos hardly ever offer bonuses to players
- They’re usually too privacy-intrusive
- The game choice is limited and, in many cases, dated
Your Step-By-Step Guide to Start Playing at Legal Alberta Gambling Sites
The process of signing up at a legal Alberta gambling site is simple and straightforward. All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Find a suitable online casino, open the website, and click on the ‘Register’ button. Then enter all the required information, such as name, last name, and DOB.
- Verify your account by following the casino’s KYC policy, which often requires you to upload a government-issued document such as an ID, driver’s license, or passport.
- Log in with your username and password, make your first deposit by using your preferred payment method, and claim your welcome bonus - if available.
- Choose a game or a betting market of your liking, make sure that it’s eligible for the bonus that you’ve claimed, and you are ready to start gambling..
- Is Online Gambling in Alberta Legal? Yes. Online gambling is legal in all forms in Alberta. The province follows the ‘charitable gambling’ model, where all proceeds that casinos make from gambling are distributed back to the people of Alberta.
- Which Agency Regulates the Alberta Online Gambling Market? The Alberta online gambling market is overseen, licensed, and regulated by the government-owned regulatory body Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
- Can I Place Single-Game Parlay Bets in Alberta? Yes. Starting on September 1, 2021, the province of Alberta started offering single-game parlay bets through the AGLC-owned gambling site Play Alberta.
- What Payment Methods Can I Use at Legal Alberta Gambling Sites? Alberta gambling sites accept various payment methods, including popular debit/credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard, e-wallets such as PayPal and Skrill, prepaid cards such as Paysafecard, and Canadian online banking services such as Interac and InstaDebit.
- Can I Claim a Bonus at a Legal Alberta Gambling Site? Yes. Most Alberta gambling sites offer some kind of a welcome bonus to newly registered players, usually in the form of a deposit match bonus or a free bet. Moreover, most casinos offer bonuses to existing players as well, such as cashback, loyalty, or a refer-a-friend bonus.