The world of online sports betting in Alberta, and across Canada in general is undergoing changes, good changes. The market is expanding, giving bettors new freedoms and access. Below, we will discuss all the details of the Alberta online sports betting scene as it stands today.
Best Alberta Sports Betting Apps
Legal sports betting update for Canada
Why is sports betting in Alberta getting a facelift? Well, it’s because sports betting across all of Canada is getting an upgrade.
Until recently, there was a lot of uncertainty around sports betting in Canada. Luckily, legislators have come together to make things clearer about the criminal code surrounding the topic. It’s a sign that soon, sports betting will become even more widely available throughout the provinces – from Ontario to British Columbia,
In early and mid-2021, the House of Commons and the Senate passed C-218, a bill that has changed the way sports betting is handled in Canada. C-218 bill has made single game wagering legal. The bill clearly outlines the legal practices of sports betting and allows each province to lay out the rules of single-game sports betting as they see fit. Although the bill mostly prohibits horse racing, single sports events, fights, and athletic contests gain legality as it exits from the category of “lottery scheme.”
Several things have happened in response to the new law change. That includes partnerships and other new advances toward the Canadian sports betting market.
Legal sports betting in Alberta
Alberta became the 8th province to allow single-game sports betting in September of 2021. Residents are currently able to wager on a wide range of athletic competitions. These include soccer, football, golf, and many more. In addition to current games, players will have the option to bet on future championships, as well as divisional and conference wins. Although there are several companies from outside of Alberta working to integrate the sports betting model into Canada, Alberta still has a measure of time to go before it happens. Legal sports betting in Alberta is restricted to persons aged 18 and up.
PlayAlberta sets the stage for sports betting
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission currently oversees the regulation of sports betting in the province. They have already begun to smoothly integrate sports betting into parlay betting from previous years through the PlayAlberta platform.
PlayAlberta has begun introducing under/over, money line, and point spread services to the platform. The company will allow players access to both single and multi-event wagers. In addition, players continue to practice healthy gambling habits with the resources available through AGLC’s Gamesense Responsible Gambling Program.
In addition to Canadian sports teams like the Calgary Flames, players can bet on American sports as well, such as college football and basketball. The platform also offers specified betting options such as winning margin, alternative point spreads, and halftime results.
Offshore sportsbooks in Alberta
Currently there are still “offshore” sportsbooks that are still acceptable in Alberta, however they operate in a sort of ‘grey market’. They are unregulated by the Canadian government, but have found a way to service the province. Sites like bet365 and Sports Interaction fall into this category.
Legal sportsbooks coming to Alberta
PlayAlberta won’t be the only ‘legal’ game in town for long. However, the Alberta sports betting market is not going to be quite as open as we once assumed. Legislators moved towards a ‘limited operator’ model. This means that instead of having an open online sports betting structure with a lot of operators – there may only be a couple that end up hitting the market.
With this ‘less is more’ approach, the province is facing stiff competition for the available positions. The following brands will all have their eye on Canada’s fourth most populous province:
BetMGM is one of the biggest players in online sports betting in North America. Everyone is familiar with the brand due to their iconic casino’s located across the country. From the Las Vegas strip to the National Harbor in Maryland, MGM is a force. As sports betting grows into the province of Alberta, expect BetMGM to have a say in shaping the market.
BetMGM is well on its way to setting up its sports betting presence in Canada. They’ve worked to bring their Canadian focus to hockey. BetMGMG even brought hockey legend Wayne Gretzky in as a potential brand ambassador.
FanDuel, originally (and still) a daily fantasy sports provider, has blossomed into a sports betting juggernaut. The company, which was founded in 2009, quickly became a top source for online casinos, fantasy sports, and sportsbook betting in the United States, paving the way for regulation practices for the country.
FanDuel is extremely kind to loyal fans. Points given after gameplay can be accumulated to earn rewards at as low as 50 FanDuel points. Through the Players Club program, users can earn up to 5 free plays a month. Players will have to redeem their rewards quickly because, as of right now, FandDuel Points reset after one year.
In October 2021, the company announced its Canadian General Manager that will usher in the introduction of FanDuel to the provinces. The GM Dale Hooper has experience with Canada’s regulation through his occupation as CEO of Cannabis Compliance, the consultant for the cannabis industry in Canada.
DraftKings is one of the largest sports betting platforms. The company was a significant part in paving the way for companies in the United States, and it’s highly possible that Alberta could be on their radar as well. With the brand’s history of being first, moving into Alberta could be a natural progression.
Currently, DraftKings awards its players by simply logging in. These daily rewards qualify members for tiers that allow them to claim rewards. Players contribute to the tiers of bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond, and black by playing warning “crowns” that the company claims players can use to earn excellent prizes.
As of now, DraftKings is well on its way to opening in Ontario, which with good reception will no doubt lead to it coming to other provinces. Also, as a part of DraftKings’ move to Canada, they have offered Canadian exclusive NFT drops from Hockey star Wayne Gretzky.
In addition to standard betting options, PointsBet boasts a high-risk, high-reward system that rewards or docks points based on how accurate your prediction was – known as PointsBetting. The way of betting is unique to PointsBet and adds a degree of intensity to in-game situations. The company burst on the scene in the US in 2019 and has quickly gained popularity with its unique bets like QB completion %, time of the first basket, and Longest mad field goal.
As of right now, PointsBet allows its users to earn rewards in direct relation to how much they bet. There is one reward point given for parlay bets, fixed odds pets, and wins/losses. In addition to more reward points for other scenarios, players can win money for free bets.
Recently the company has entered into a partnership with Daily Faceoff, which provides players with the information that may help them make their bets. This includes breaking news, stats, opinion pieces, and insider information. Along with the partnership comes integration in The Nation Network and its partners.
The Toronto-based company founded in 2012 spent years working alongside the sports betting market to provide news, scores, and data. With Canada beginning its surge of betting regulation, theScore Bet is looking to become a key player in the market. The company has expressed excitement about launching its sportsbook in Ontario and spreading it to the rest of Canada.
The company grew exponentially since 2012 when the company transferred to Rogers communications. Since then, the app has entertained around 3.9 million people monthly. TheScore currently offers deposit bonuses, as well as other prizes for their players in the United States. With the company based in Canada, they are sure to transfer there as well.
With theScore having its beginnings as a sports media company, the sports betting aspect fits seamlessly with the news, stats, and hot takes associated with the app. It’s projected that the betting app will primarily consist of in-depth analysis. theScore Bet is looking forward to becoming a key player in the Canadian sports betting market.
bet365 has maintained a presence in Canada for some time. As mentioned above, they are currently operating in a grey market, but not the expressly legal market. That could be changing soon. bet365 has made a push to acquire a license in the newly legalized province of Ontario, and could continue that through to Alberta.
This company has maintained its structure of safe and reliable betting for many years. bet365 has over 20 years of experience in taking online wagers and has become a staple in many countries. The largely popular betting platform has millions of customers and has many awards, including the E-Gaming Review Power 50 betting companies award in 2016.
Since the early 2000’s, bet365 has worked to create new ways to bring sports gaming to its audience. Customer service is also essential to the company. Quick and accurate responses along with kindness and availability are what Bet365 implies about its customer service efforts. You can reach out to them through a toll-free number, email, or 24/7 on their live chat.
Along with a bet365 membership, there are also benefits for continuing to play and win money while watching your favorite teams. They continue to seek new ways to add to their customer experience by improving their platform frequently. What they lack in the stylish designs other platforms may have, they more than make up for in solid sports betting.
Top sports teams in Alberta
Alberta is one of the more populated provinces in Canada, and is absolutely chalked full of excitable sports fans. With the expansion of legal betting imminent, expect for local teams to draw a lot of attention. They include:
Calgary Flames (NHL)
The rival of the Oilers, the Calgary Flames, has a loyal fanbase that embraced the team after their move from Atlanta in 1980. Although the team has experienced some troubles as of late, having early season success but failing to reach playoffs success.
Calgary Stampeders (CFL)
McMohan Stadium is home to one of Alberta’s favorite athletic teams. They are the recipient of a Northern Division Championship, as well as 20 western division championships. In addition to being rivals to the Elks, they also have intense battles with the BC Lions and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Edmonton Oilers (NHL)
One of the two teams in the battle of Alberta is the Edmonton Oilers. They play in the Western Conference, and since the league’s 1967 expansion, the Oilers have been the second-most successful team, claiming several championships and “dynasty” status by the Hockey Hall of Fame in the 1980s.
Edmonton Elks (CFL)
Rivals to the Stampeders, the Edmonton Elks have had a successful history as a Canadian football team. They have been in the Canadian Football League’s western division with 14 Grey Cup wins since their run as the Edmonton Eskimos. Their most recent win was in 2015.
Casinos in Alberta
Alberta is home to a handful of exciting retail casinos. With sports betting expansion already underway, retail sports betting may come in to focus at each location.
Great Northern Casino
Located in Peace Country, Great Northern is a local favorite for good times and exciting nights. The Great Northern Casino is a 3,000 square foot venue that offers VLTs, slots, and table games. In addition to gaming, they have the finest dining at the Platinum House and weekly comedy/ live music performances. You can find the Great Northern Casino in Grand Prairie, Alberta, which is about a 5 hour drive north west from Edmonton.
Pure Casino Yellowhead
One of Alberta’s most popular casinos located in Edmonton, Pure Casino Yellowhead contains many enjoyable activities. The property gives guests access to no-limit/limit games, food, and entertainment. The company boasts services that allow you to personalize your gaming experience. The company also holds events centered around events, games, and fights.
This casino is located at the corner of 170th St and 87th Ave in Edmonton and is filled with fun and pleasant gambling opportunities. The company boasts that it will give you the feeling of retro Vegas with the atmosphere that it holds. Here you can enjoy 32 gaming tables, hundreds of slots, and a poker room.
Alberta sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Alberta?
Yes. Canada passed C-218 in August of 2021, paving the way for each province to legalize sports betting. Alberta has elected to do so.
What online sportsbooks are legal in Alberta?
Right now your options are sparse. PlayAlberta, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s in-house book is the best option. As Alberta opens up tough, more competition will arrive through the ‘limited operator’ model.
Are popular US sportsbooks going to come to Alberta? and when?
Yes! Some of the top sports betting brands in the United States will eventually be available in Alberta. While we don’t know which operators will get the OK to open in Alberta, we anticipate that the market will open up at some time during 2022.
What is the legal age to bet on sports in Alberta?
You have to be 18 years old to legally bet on sports in the province of Alberta.