Last Updated May 4, 2022, 02:13 PM ET
On Sept. 1, 2021, Alberta became the 8th 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.
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.
As of Nov. 1, 2021, single-game betting is available both online and in person.
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:
March 4, 2022: Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid becomes BetMGM's newest brand ambassador.
Feb. 17, 2022: A number of major sportsbooks (including BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel) show interest in the AGLC's request for proposals (RFP), which was submitted in December 2021. The agency extends the window for possible bidders by another two weeks.
Feb. 11, 2022: PointsBet Canada expresses interest in entering the Alberta sports betting market.
Jan. 10, 2022: AGLC introduces virtual sign-up for its Self-Exclusion program, allowing problem gamblers to voluntarily ban themselves from Play Alberta for six months, one year, two years, or three years.
Dec. 10, 2021: AGLC begins accepting applications from vendors interested in entering the Alberta sports betting market. The crown corporation is looking for two operators to offer legal sports betting in the province's casinos and work with Alberta's professional sports teams in 2022.
Dec. 9, 2021: AGLC is believed to be honing in on a limited-operator model. Provincial regulations could call for as few as two sports betting operators in Alberta.
Nov. 1, 2021: Sport Select begins offering single-game wagers and futures betting. Albertans can now confirm single-event picks at a WCLC authorized retailer.
Sep. 1, 2021: AGLC announces that sports betting is live on Play Alberta. Single-game wagers are available on the province’s first-ever regulated online sportsbook.
Aug. 12, 2021: The official launch date, Aug. 27, 2021, of single-game sports betting in Canada is announced. Minister of Justice and Attorney General, David Lametti, makes the announcement from Niagara Falls, ON.
Aug. 3, 2021: ALGC announces that single-game sports will be available “later in 2021” on Play Alberta.
June 29, 2021: Bill C-218 receives royal assent from Chief Justice of Canada, Richard Wagner. Single-game sports betting is legal in Canada.
June 22, 2021: Bill C-218 receives overwhelming approval from the Senate. To become law, C-218 needs royal assent.
Feb. 25, 2020: Bill C-218, a private member’s bill, is introduced. The proposed legislation aims to amend the Criminal Code and legalize single-game sports betting in Canada.
April 22, 2021: Bill C-218 glides through the House of Commons with all-party support.
Oct. 1, 2020: Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) unveils PlayAlberta.ca, the province’s first and only regulated gambling website.
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:
Alberta sports gambling is open to adults 18 and older, though some offshore sportsbooks set the minimum age requirement at 19 years of age.
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. Unfortunately, Albertans don't have access to some of the biggest names in the industry like FanDuel Ontario, DraftKings, BetRivers Ontario, and others.
Alberta residents can complete the sign-up process from anywhere in or outside of Alberta.
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.
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.
Albertans, like all other Canadians, do not pay tax on gambling winnings.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Play Alberta does not offer betting lines for elections or any other political event. Interested Albertans can bet on politics with offshore sportsbooks, however.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.Visit GameSense
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.
The following online sportsbooks should be avoided due to their questionable tactics and failure to provide adequate services.
Yes, sports betting is legal in Alberta. Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) regulates all local sports betting in the province. Many excellent offshore websites operate legally in Alberta as well.
Alberta bettors can gamble on sports online or at a Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) retail outlet.
Single-game betting is now available via Play Alberta, a local online product. Sports bettors can place moneyline bets, point spread bets, Over/Unders (total), parlays, and more. All of these bets (and more) can be found on legal offshore websites operating in AB.
Like other Canadian markets, Alberta online sports betting is monopolized. The AGLC’s Play Alberta is the only online product serving local bettors. Luckily, it is perfectly legal for Albertans to register and bet with all of the best offshore sportsbooks.
Yes, online betting was introduced on Play Alberta on Sep. 1, 2021. As long as you’re physically located in AB, you can use this betting platform. Many offshore online sportsbooks are available in Alberta as well.
No. All physical bets must be placed with Sports Select at a WCLC retailer, such as a convenience store.
Sports bettors in Alberta must be 18 years of age or older.
Yes, bet365 is legal and among the top sportsbooks operating in Alberta.
No, but you must be physically present in Alberta to bet with Play Alberta. The online platform uses geofencing software to confirm that users haven’t wandered into another province before placing a wager.
No, occasional lottery winnings in Canada are considered a windfall. Income earned from sports gambling does not need to be declared on tax returns.
No, PlayNow the provincial lottery-run sports betting platform in British Columbia and Manitoba. PlayAlberta is the provincial offering in Alberta.
Jeff Watters is a content editor at Covers. Before he began supporting Covers experts in making smarter sports bettors in 2021, the well-traveled Nova Scotian and Atlanta Braves fanatic spent time writing about education, software, and NHL prospects.