Sports Betting in Alberta

With a population of approximately 4.3 million, Alberta is the fourth most populated province in Canada. Since 2013, when it was last modified, all gambling activities in Alberta happen in compliance with the Gaming and Liquor Act. Calgary and Edmonton are the two major cities in the province, with more than 1 million inhabitants each. They are home to two famous NHL teams, the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.

Being the most popular sport in Canada, ice hockey attracted millions of its fans to sports betting. Today, Canadians, and Albertans, regularly bet on all major sports and sporting events. If you want to know more about the legal framework of sports betting in Alberta, what are the most common betting markets in this province, and how it all works, this article is for you. So take a look!

Sports Betting Sites for Alberta

# Sportsbook Bonus Play
1

888Sport

Sign Up Bonus100% up to C$200 + $10 Casino Bonus
2

Betzest

No Deposit Bonus$/€ 5
3

Bet365 Casino

4

Bodog

Sign Up Bonus150% up to C$ 900
5

10Bet Casino

Sign Up Bonus100% up to C$ 150 + 25 Spins

According to the current laws, all forms of gambling, including sports betting, casinos, and lotteries, are legal in Alberta. The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis agency regulates and monitors all gaming activities in this province. It issues licenses, oversees the operators, and guarantees that all participants follow the regulations at all times and under all circumstances.

Ever since it was established in 1974, the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) is responsible for all lottery, bingo, and sports betting in the fourth largest Canadian province. It is primarily focused on the popular North American sports, but it also covers golf and soccer. Wagering is available to all people who are at least 18 years old.

What bothers sports betting fans in this province the most, is that all wagers are limited to CA$100 per ticket. Also, the whole wagering process is very bureaucratized, and once the odds are set on daily game cards, they will remain the same. If you’re into proline bets, you’ll have to include at least three selections on all your tickets. In other words, the rules will force you to play a parlay.

As the rules set by operators slowly become outdated, many bettors decide to switch to online betting platforms. International betting sites cover all popular sports and don’t impose any limitations. Their bonuses and promotions are usually very generous and attract new players in large numbers.

Alberta Sports Betting Statistics

Landbased

The following are statistics for landbased sports betting that took place in Alberta from 2003 to 2020 (Note: current data for 2020 are estimates).

Year 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Horeserace $35.7m $35.7m $37.2m $33.3m $42.4m $43.0m $37.4m $36.2m $37.4m $36.1m
Sports $20.4m $19.1m $15.8m $20.2m $21.1m $21.1m $22.9m $23.7m $25.3m $28.0m
Total Betting $56.1m $54.7m $53.0m $53.5m $63.5m $64.1m $60.3m $59.9m $62.7m $64.1m
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020e
Horeserace $33.9m $32.3m $26.7m $25.2m $20.5m $16.5m $13.7m $8.3m
Sports $28.8m $33.5m $35.8m $32.5m $27.8m $26.0m $28.2m $28.5m
Total Betting $62.7m $65.8m $62.5m $57.7m $48.3m $42.5m $42.0m $36.8m

Contrary to betting online, landbased betting has decreased recently with 2020 showing the lowest activity of all time (most likely due to covid-19).

Interactive Gaming (Betting Online)

Compared to landbased sports betting, betting online has grown tremendously since 2003.

Year 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Total Betting Online $12.3m
$14.4m
$16.5m
$18.1m
$20.7m
$20.7m
$23.3m
$25.3m
$32.6m
$36.3m
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020e
Total Betting Online $43.8m
$50.4m
$56.0m
$59.3m
$63.9m
$68.5m
$71.4m
$70.1m

How Does Sports Betting Work in Alberta?

Even though the sports lottery kiosks are spread all over Alberta and available at almost every supermarket, gas station, and retail shop, the number of betting options Albertans can choose from is somewhat limited. Let’s take a look at the most wanted betting products in the province:

  • Proline — This is by far the most wanted betting product in Alberta. You have to combine at least three selections on your proline, while the maximum number is six. These two rules make it look like a regular parlay bet. To win, you have to successfully predict the outcome of every selection on your ticket. Similarly to parlay betting, all odds are multiplied together. Should you win, your stake will be multiplied by the overall odds number, and the outcome of that multiplication will be your prize.
  • Point Spread — Another very popular betting option among Albertans are point spreads. The bookmaker determines it, and players try to predict if the result is going to be above, or under the spread. You have to put at least two games on your ticket, while the maximum number is 12. Of course, the more games you put on the ticket, the higher your multiplier will be.
  • Pools — Those who prefer big risky bets with potentially huge profits, often opt for pools. All you have to do is to guess the winner. You don’t care about the odds and point spreads. Your ticket is your bet, and the more tickets they sell, the higher the pot. It’s something like the progressive jackpot games offered in casinos.
  • Props — This type is also known as proposition betting. It doesn’t have much to do with the outcome of the game you’re betting on, but rather with the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain events during the game. For example, bettors often try to predict which player is going to score the first point.

Are Offshore Betting Sites Illegal in Alberta?

As we already mentioned, the popularity of international offshore sports betting sites in Alberta is going through the roof these days. And, while most of the Canadian bettors enjoy the lucrative promotions and bonuses they offer, some still wonder if they’re legal.

The truth is, they are in the so-called grey zone. There aren’t any laws that prohibit Albertans, or Canadians, to gamble in these sports betting platforms, as long as they are at least 18 years old. At the same time, these offshore sports betting sites are not subject to local legislation, and their licenses are issued overseas. Furthermore, local lawmakers don’t seem to care about introducing any additional regulations.

Aside from the bonuses that they’re quickly becoming famous for, offshore sports betting sites stand out from the crowd in many other ways. They implement some of the latest encryption technologies and safety algorithms, which guarantee the safety of every player’s private and financial data. And, they collaborate with well-established payment providers and pay special attention to quick and safe money processing.

If the current trend continues, we expect more and more bettors to notice the potential of offshore sports betting sites, and try their luck on some of the famous platforms.

Author:

Chief editor and creator, Tom drives the direction of CanadianCasinos.ca with the goal to provide the best and most honest resource for online gambling enthusiasts in Canada