AGLC to pursue online gambling site

In this April 15, 2015 photo, an employee at Resorts Casino Hotel tries a touch-screen tablet device in the Atlantic City, N.J. casino's new Internet gambling lounge. The Quebec government is introducing a bill that seeks to force Internet service providers to block access to online gambling sites that aren't approved by the government. Sunday, April 3, 2016. Wayne Parry/AP Photo

The AGLC is looking to expand its services and get into the business of online gambling — a move the agency hopes will keep it relevant to Albertans.

The agency has put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a contractor to provide online gambling services. The proposal states Albertans spend more than $350 million every year on unregulated gambling websites.

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The RFP states an online gambling site will help “capture a portion of the annual (spending) by Albertans on gambling internet sites that are not regulated by Canadian authorities.”

“Online gambling isn’t new and many Albertans already play on offshore sites. These sites are unregulated and do not provide any tools for responsible play,” said AGLC spokesperson Angelle Sasseville.

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The document also states online gambling will allow the AGLC to pursue new revenue opportunities beyond brick and mortar options.

“Without an online gambling presence, the AGLC and its products are not relevant to Albertans who are seeking their gaming environment in the channel that best suits their style,” the RFP reads.

Sasseville said a provincially regulated online gambling site would allow it to provide a secure service with age-verification procedures, thereby preventing minors from participating.

The AGLC said Alberta is one of two provinces that currently do not have a provincially run online gambling site.

Sasseville said it may take up to 18 months from January 2019 for the online gambling site to launch. A vendor will be picked in the summer of 2019.

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