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Alberta Still Says No to Online Gambling

31 May 2011 by admin

Here is the thing with the North American continent: it is dominated by the United States, which is a tad odd considering that it is not the largest country on the continent (Canada is the largest at 3.86 million square miles as compared to the US’s 3.79 million). When it comes to online gambling, the US is not the only North American county to be turning over the idea of regulating it nationally.

In Canada three provinces are looking at online gambling as a source of revenue. And to keep their people happy since they want to play online casino games anyway. This would be similar to individual states in the US considering online gambling except Canada does not have an Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) to work around. Oh, and provinces are a lot bigger than states…except for maybe Alaska.

As it stands now British Columbia and Ontario are moving forward to regulate online gambling in their provinces. These two are the front runners in the Canadian realm of online gambling. British Columbia launched their own online gambling portal last year; while the site has met with some hiccups, including a privacy issue at its onset, the site is now functioning quite well and has a good future. Ontario is set to launch their own online gambling portal this coming fall.

But Alberta is still saying no to online gambling for their province. But unlike the US Conservatives, they are not trying to judge what is morally right and wrong for its residents. Instead they would rather focus on gaining some control over problem gambling in their province and to establish a method of help for those with problem gambling before moving forward with any online gambling regulation. “We found that between 36 and 39% of Alberta government gaming revenue is generated by people who have a gambling problem,” said Robert Wood, who is a professor at the University of Lethbridge and has studied gambling in Alberta.

That is a pretty high percentage, so it is commendable that Alberta would want to establish a system o deal with problem gambling before moving forward with a program that would potentially increase problem gambling in their province. “We have been talking about it all along, and the last is three or four months back now, and my recommendation, as I say to Cabinet, is that we do not proceed and we are not planning to,” said Alberta Solicitor General Frank Oberle.

It appears at this time that Alberta will not have regulated online gambling or online poker anytime in the foreseeable future. However once they establish a structure for dealing with problem gambling. Alberta may turn around and create a regulation infrastructure at some point in the future.

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