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Alberta will become the second Canadian jurisdiction to regulate online gambling, the minister of service and red tape reduction Dale Nally (pictured) confirmed yesterday (20 June).

The province will ape Ontario’s iGaming market as a model, which is largely considered to be a success by stakeholders.

Speaking at the Canadian Gaming Summit yesterday, Nally highlighted Ontario as inspiration for Alberta’s gaming push.

He said: “Let me tell you a little bit about what our gaming site is going to look like. It’s going to be very similar to Ontario, because we’re following their model.

“As far as I’m concerned, they build the roadmap. We’ll massage it a little bit but it’s been inspired by the experience in Ontario. It’s going to be an open and free market.”

The system will allow private business to complete with the provincial lottery corporation’s online platform PlayAlberta, as first reported by Play Canada.

The ministerial commitment to open up the provinces’ Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) operated monopoly follows on from the legislature’s recent passage of Bill 16.

This legislation would permit the provincial expansion of online gambling tied to several commitments to reduce red tape.

AGLC will not act as regulator

Also in line with Ontario’s example, Nally said the system would not be regulated by the AGLC.

Third-party operators had expressed concern of sharing confidential information with a competitor.

Ontario is regulated by Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), as opposed to the province’s AGLC equivalent – the OLGC.

Meanwhile, a smaller regulatory organisation, iGaming Ontario, is responsible for conducting and managing Internet gaming operations.

Alberta premier Danielle Smith has commissioned Nally to investigate new paths for online gambling in the province.

Despite PlayAlberta’s nominal monopoly, the province has significant grey market, with many international offshore operators present.

Just as in the Ontario case, channelling players to regulated market offerings is likely to be among the primary goals of legalisation.

The minister did not reveal the timelines for the process to complete. However, many observers have predicted 2025 to be a realistic prospect.

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