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Alberta Dragging Heels Regarding Online Gambling


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One by one Canada’s provinces are starting to embrace government-sanctioned online gambling, with the popular internet activity already green lit in British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario. But Alberta is dragging its heels.

According to Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission spokesperson  Lynn Hutchings-Mah, the decision to offer some form of regulated online gambling in the province is the responsibility of local politicians, but they have not acted as yet.

‘To the best of my knowledge, the Alberta government has not yet considered online gambling,’ said Hutchings-Mah. ‘We are monitoring what is happening in other Canadian jurisdictions, but we are only in that monitoring mode.’

It seems Alberta is taking a ‘wait and see’ stance to online gambling, and will watch with interest how the other provinces get on. But as they watch millions of dollars in online gambling taxes pour into their coffers, they too will likely follow suit.

Last month BC became the first province in North America to launch a government approved online casino called PlayNow.com. Unfortunately, the operators were left with egg on their face when it was hacked shortly after its launch.

But teething problems aside, the launch of PlayNow.com is expected to open the way for legalised and regulated online gambling across the board in Canada. For instance, Quebec is planning to roll out an online poker room in the fall.

And just last week government officials in Canada’s biggest province Ontario said that they were looking to launch their own online betting facilities in 2012. The big question is whether Alberta will jump on the online gambling bandwagon.

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