Alberta Sports Betting in 2021

On Sept. 1, 2021, Alberta became the eighth Canadian province to offer single-game sports betting. The move coincided with the launch of online sports betting on Play Alberta, the province’s only online gambling platform.

Should Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) decide to welcome third-party platforms into the fold, it could give new meaning to the Battle of Alberta. With over 4 million residents, Alberta would be a highly desirable market for heavy hitters like DraftKings, FanDuel, and others.

Follow this guide for the latest news and updates on sports betting in Alberta.

Alberta, Canada
Alberta Flag
Alberta, Canada
Sports Wagering in “Wild Rose Country”
Alberta Map
  • User Icon

    Population: 4.4 million

  • 18+ Icon

    Legal age for sports betting: 18

  • Dice Icon

    Online sports betting: Yes

  • Book Icon

    Retail sportsbooks: No

  • Percent Icon

    Sports betting revenue: $108 million

Alberta Map

Alberta’s best sportsbooks

Covers Seal #1 Top-rated sportsbook
#1
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.8/5
  • Popular and licensed in Canada
  • Terrific live betting platform
  • 24/7 customer support
Payout speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#2
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.7/5
  • Top-rated online sportsbook
  • Outstanding coverage of sports
  • Fast and secure banking system
Payout Speed: 0-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#3
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.6/5
  • Modern online betting platform
  • Large welcome bonus up to $300
  • Frequent promos and free bet offers
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#4
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.5/5
  • Reputable sportsbook
  • Sharp odds for many sports
  • One of the slickest and best mobile betting apps
Payout Speed: 0-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#5
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.5/5
  • Low margins across the board
  • High betting limits for users
  • Fast processing for withdrawals
Payout Speed: 0-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#6
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.4/5
  • Multi-language site (French and English)
  • Professional 24/7 customer support
  • Wide range of banking methods
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#7
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.3/5
  • Packed schedule for live betting
  • Multi-language site (French and English)
  • Mobile site optimized for easy navigation
Payout Speed: 2-7 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#8
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.2/5
  • Very experienced and trusted bookmaker
  • Great betting odds across the board
  • Complete range of sports and markets
Payout speed 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#9
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.2/5
  • Awesome sportsbook interface
  • Big bonus and frequent promos
  • Top bookmaker with great lines
Payout Speed: 4-8 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#10
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.9/5
  • Comprehensive list of sports to bet on
  • Licensed in Gibraltar and in the UK
  • Great offering of markets and betting options
Payout Speed: 3-7 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#11
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.9/5
  • Reduced margins for sports betting
  • Trusted and licensed operator
  • Convenient deposit methods for Canadians
Payout Speed: 3-8 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#12
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.9/5
  • Sharp betting odds for many sports
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Three-part welcome bonus package
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#13
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.9/5
  • Very modern sportsbook interface
  • Great range of sports and markets
  • Fast payouts processed in 6 hours
Payout Speed: 0-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#14
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.8/5
  • Wide selection of sports and markets
  • Good betting odds across the site
  • 24/7 professional customer service support
Payout Speed: 0-7 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#15
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.8/5
  • Aims to provide the best betting odds
  • Very fast withdrawals processed in 6 hours
  • The first transparent online sportsbook
Payout Speed: 0-3 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#16
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.7/5
  • Big sportsbook welcome bonus
  • Offers a lot of betting markets
  • Live betting and cash out features
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#17
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.6/5
  • Rich offering for live streaming
  • Award-winning mobile betting platform
  • Supports English and French language
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#18
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.6/5
  • Modern and sleek sportsbook interface
  • No transaction fees and fast payouts
  • Award-winning online betting operator
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#19
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.6/5
  • Choose from more than 30 sports
  • Various exclusive bonuses and promos
  • Withdrawals processed quickly and without fees
Payout Speed: 0-2 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#20
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.6/5
  • Accepts Bitcoin and other cryptos
  • Very fast withdrawals from the site
  • Large betting limits for big matches
Payout Speed: Within 24 hours

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#21
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.5/5
  • Established reputation
  • Terrific online betting interface
  • Excellent mobile apps
Payout Speed: 2-7 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

#22
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 3.5/5
  • New and modern online sportsbook
  • Rich in-play sports betting offering
  • Large online casino on the platform
Payout Speed: 2-6 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

 

How we rate Alberta’s sportsbooks

Covers Bonuses Icon
Bonuses and Promotions
Larger rewards and offers do not always translate to a better betting experience.
Covers banking Icon
Banking and Payout Speed
Our team only recommends sportsbooks that process withdrawals and deposits quickly and efficiently.
Covers banking Icon
Covers Key Features Icon
Key Features
We look for sportsbooks that offer live streaming, early cash out and in-play wagering in their overall betting interface.
 
Covers Security Icon
Security and Trust
We value regulatory transparency and accountability with regard to licences and security features.
Covers Security Icon
Covers Customer Service Icon
Customer Support
Clear, concise, and quick communication with real representatives should be standard at most betting sites.

Is sports betting legal in Alberta?

Yes, it is legal to bet on sports in Alberta. Online single-game wagers can be submitted on PlayAlberta.ca. Alternatively, Albertans can place in-person bets at a participating retail location via Sport Select, a Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) product.

Single-game betting is only available online, but Sport Select plans to offer this type of wager in the near future.

Timeline of sports betting in Alberta

Sept. 1, 2021, marked the birth of both online and single-game betting in Alberta. Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, allowed the province to move forward with this expanded roster of gaming options in Wild Rose Country.

Here’s a look back at how Alberta came to offer single-event sports wagering:

Who can bet on sports in Alberta?

Legal online sports betting is for those who are 18+ and residents of Alberta. Wagers can be placed online with a mobile phone or computer or in person at any retailer that takes Sport Select bets.

Consider the following before placing your first bet in AB:

18plus Legal age

Alberta sports gambling is open to adults 18 and older, though some offshore sportsbooks set the minimum age requirement at 19 years of age.

bank Retail sportsbooks

While many of Alberta’s casinos could house retail sportsbooks in the future, no such facilities exist at present. Bettors must submit all in-person sports wagers at a WCLC retailer in Alberta.

21plus Mobile betting

Alberta sports bettors looking to bet on the go can confirm their picks from anywhere in the province on the Play Alberta website. Play Alberta has yet to launch a mobile app, but plenty of offshore sportsbooks offer dedicated apps to gamblers in Alberta.

21plus Remote registration

Alberta residents can complete the sign-up process from anywhere in or outside of Alberta.

globe Within provincial borders

When betting with Play Alberta, users will be required to enable location services to confirm they are in the province. As each Canadian province has established its own sports betting regulations, AGLC is permitted to offer its online product only to those physically present in Alberta. 

Notably, users can complete the registration process and make deposits from outside Alberta.

percent Taxable winnings

Albertans, like all other Canadians, do not pay tax on gambling winnings.  

The pros and cons of AB sports betting

Alberta acted quickly by rolling out a new online product just five days after The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act (Bill C-218) came into effect nationwide.

Unfortunately, the initial reviews of Play Alberta’s sports betting section are less than inspiring, meaning most Albertans will continue to take their business offshore.

Alberta sports betting
Pros
  • Single-game betting is live
  • Online betting has finally arrived
  • Tax-free winnings
Cons
  • Lackluster AGLC online product
  • No retail sportsbooks
  • Play Alberta is for Alberta residents only

How to start betting in Alberta

Alberta sports betting now includes AGLC-regulated online and single-event wagers with the Play Alberta. Still, top offshore sportsbooks offer superior betting lines, bigger sign-up bonuses, and a better overall experience for Albertans.

1

Select a sportsbook

Alberta sports bettors need to do their due diligence when choosing a sportsbook. This means reading reviews, testing out customer service, and identifying the book that makes it easiest to deposit and withdraw funds. Of course, tracking down the best betting lines is a must as well.

2

Register online

Albertans can choose to register with a local product, Play Alberta, or one of several reputable offshore sportsbooks. Expect to enter some personal information, confirm your identity, and claim any bonuses offered.

3

Claim a bonus

As mentioned, most sportsbooks offer enticing sign-up bonuses to convince bettors to try their platforms. Play Alberta offers a small deposit bonus, but this pales in comparison to some of the more established sportsbooks operating in the province. These websites provide larger risk-free bets, deposit matches, and no-deposit bonuses.

4

Deposit funds

Bettors can quickly add funds to a Play Alberta account with a credit or debit card. Offshore sportsbooks offer a much more comprehensive list of deposit methods such as Interac e-Transfers, bank transfers, ecopayz, and more.

5

Choose your bet types

All of the popular bet types are available in Alberta. Users placing wagers with Play Alberta can expect to choose from a selection of bets that include the point spread, moneyline, Over/Unders (totals), and player props.

6

Start betting

Once you’ve identified the sportsbook that best meets your legal sports betting needs, it’ll be time to start betting. Remember, nothing is stopping you from line shopping and registering with multiple sportsbooks in Alberta. So take advantage of those sign-up bonuses and lock in the most favourable betting lines available. 

For beginner bettors, our how to bet guides are a great place to start.

7

Withdraw funds

When looking to access your winnings, be sure to read the relevant terms and conditions. In all likelihood, Alberta sports bettors will have to wait up to five days to see their bankroll show up in their bank account. Choose the sportsbook that allows you to use your preferred withdrawal method to ensure easy access to funds. 

odds icon Reading the odds 

Decimal odds are the most commonly used way to display odds in Alberta. When odds are shown as decimals, bettors can quickly calculate their potential winnings by multiplying their wager by the odds given. For example, a bettor looking to place $50 on the Oilers (1.50 odds) to beat the Canucks (2.55) can conclude that this bet would result in a total win of $75 ($50 x 1.50) — and $25 in profit ($75 - the original $50 bet).

It’s easy to identify favourites and underdogs when using decimal odds. As favourites are more likely to win, they will be accompanied by a smaller number. In the above example, you can see that the Oilers (1.50) are favoured to beat the Canucks (2.55).

Play Alberta uses decimal odds as the default option to display odds in Alberta. Check out our odds converter to toggle between the three main types of betting odds — American, decimal, and fractional odds.

 

What else can you bet on in Alberta?

While Play Alberta covers most major sports, bettors will have to look elsewhere for a full library of coverage. Luckily, there's no shortage of alternatives for Albertans.

Green check Awards ceremonies

Bettors looking to wager on the Oscars or Academy Awards on Play Alberta will be out of luck. Fortunately, this type of novelty bet is prevalent on most offshore sportsbooks.

Green check Politics

Play Alberta does not offer betting lines for elections or any other political event. Interested Albertans can bet on politics with offshore sportsbooks, however.

Green check Esports

Esports betting is offered by most of the top offshore sportsbooks operating in Alberta. Play Alberta has yet to include esports in its betting library.

What about Alberta university sports?

U Sports doesn’t generate the same sports betting interest as its NCAA counterpart. You’ll be hard-pressed to find consistent betting opportunities to wager on Golden Bears football or Dinos basketball.

Home team advantage: Alberta sports

Chippy and intense are just two adjectives used to describe the Battle of Alberta. The decades-long rivalry between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames is circled in red on the NHL calendar.

The CFL has carved out an inter-province grudge match of its own, with the 14-time Grey Cup winners Edmonton Elks lining up against the eight-time champion Calgary Stampeders.

This prairie province swaps skates for spurs in July during the Calgary Stampede. More than one million visitors descend on Calgary for the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” a boot-stomping celebration of western heritage.

Read our betting site reviews to learn more about which sites to use and learn about the Covers BetSmart System™.

NHL
Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
CFL
Calgary Stampeders
Edmonton Elks
NBA
Toronto Raptors
NFL
Seattle Seahawks
Minnesota Vikings
MLB
Toronto Blue Jays

Other types of gambling

Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) regulates all forms of gambling (excluding pari-mutuel horse race betting) in Alberta. There are more than two dozen land-based casinos and gaming facilities in the province, while Play Alberta serves as AGLC’s online gambling platform.

casino Casino

AGLC oversees Alberta's online and brick-and-mortar casino operations. Play Alberta is the only government-regulated online gambling website in the province. Here, gamblers can play table games like three card stud, roulette, blackjack, and five-play draw poker, and indulge in over 50 slot games.

poker Poker

Poker rooms and online poker are legal in Alberta. With many casinos temporarily closing poker rooms due to COVID-19, players have deferred to offshore poker sites to get their poker fix. Play Alberta does not offer online poker.

Horse and jockey Horse racing

The Calgary Stampede is not the only event within the province to feature horses. Century Mile Racetrack and Casino (Edmonton) and Century Downs (Calgary) are two of the most popular venues for horse racing in Alberta. Both tracks offer live horse racing and are attached to casinos. The following venues also play host to various horse racing events in Alberta: Evergreen Park (Grande Prairie), Millarville Racing (Millarville), Rocky Mountain Turf Club (Lethbridge).

WCLC and its Sport Select product offer in-person betting on horse racing in Alberta. Additionally, horse racing bets in Alberta can be placed through any of the sportsbooks mentioned earlier in the guide.

Horse and jockey Daily fantasy sports

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) are legal in AB. Alberta bettors have competed in DFS contests for years on well-known platforms DraftKings and FanDuel.

Responsible gaming in Alberta

AGLC provides policies, regulations, program tools, and resources that educate and inform Albertans on responsible gambling. The agency operates ‘GameSense,’ an online portal designed to provide recommendations to bettors and resources for how to gamble responsibly.

Provincial betting guides

With more than 25 years of excellence within the sports betting industry, Covers continues to provide Canadians with independent sportsbook reviews.

Whether you are looking for the best NFL sportsbook or the best site for live NHL betting, Covers has vetted the best places to bet online in Alberta. Canada is a big place, but we’ve gone local and assembled a list of the best online sports betting sites near you.

Sportsbooks to avoid in Alberta

The following online sportsbooks should be avoided due to their questionable tactics and failure to provide adequate services.

Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Allegations of withdrawal issues
  • No license information available on site
  • Poor customer service
Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Multiple reports of slow payments
  • Allegations of non-payments
  • Risk of account closure simply for winning bets
Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Reports of confiscated winnings
  • Slow customer support response times

Alberta sports betting FAQs

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