The future of Calgary’s burgeoning iGaming market

At the moment, Calgary’s iGaming market is somewhat simple. There is only one officially licensed platform in Alberta, and may remain so for the foreseeable future. However, newer platforms to launch in the future.

Photo by Daven Froberg on Unsplash

iGaming in Calgary

As mentioned, if you want to play on online casinos, then you need to use the only officially licensed platform in the province.

Now, this is not something that most places around the world do. If online gambling is allowed (in any form), then there will be generally be multiple competing platforms that allow people to gamble online.

Alberta went down a different route. If you’re located in Calgary, the only place that you can legally gamble online (in any form) is through Play Alberta. It does work like most other online platforms you’ll find elsewhere, it is just the only one that will accept you.

We suppose that those in government decided that if online gambling were to be allowed in the province, they would make it as easy to administer as possible. This way, they only need to keep tabs on one website (cheap and easy), and it means that all the money from that website gets funnelled straight back into the government.

In fact, every single bit of profit that Play Alberta makes goes straight into the government’s pocket, which is ultimately beneficial to the residents. You can’t really say that with other online gambling platforms where the money is much harder to follow, or goes directly into one large business.

This platform has been incredibly popular in the province, particularly within Calgary, and it really comes as no surprise that many of those who are using this platform have decided they do want more competition in the market. Of course, they like the fact that there is an iGaming option in Calgary, but they want the area to function more like others, which means that we may see a bigger push in government shortly to expand gambling options, which leads us neatly on to the next point.

How the future of iGaming in Calgary may look

The future of iGaming in Calgary looks like it will expand.

While most of the gambling will likely still happen through Play Alberta, we wouldn’t be surprised if the government opens up other online gambling options. They will try and bring a few more websites into the fold, hoping that these platforms come up with a way to send cash through to the Alberta government from players who are in Alberta.

So, we wouldn’t really expect Calgary to have the wealth of online gambling options that you would find in some of the other provinces in Canada (particularly when there are so many things to see and do in Calgary), but we do expect the local government to likely change things at some point. They’ll open things up, create more competition, and hopefully, give players far more options for where they want to gamble.

This is something that really does need to happen. The gambling market in Calgary is growing at speed, and it doesn’t feel as if websites like Play Alberta are ready to cope with that sort of growth. It is a platform that is already developing a few cracks, and we don’t see any evidence that the government is capable or willing to fix them. If new platforms aren’t introduced into the mix soon, then we’ll likely see the rapidly growing Calgary iGaming market actually shrinking a little bit, which would not be beneficial to gamers or the government.

The only thing really stopping the Alberta government from opening things up is that they have always been somewhat dubious of the idea of gambling (look at provincial legislation for proof), but since it is something that has become so popular throughout Canada, we can’t help but feel they have no choice but to eventually accept it. Take Ontario as an example. If players there want to play with real money in online casinos, they’re met with a multitude of options that can fit their needs, meaning they can tailor the experience to themselves, rather than being confined to a one-size-fits-all approach.

It is likely that we’ll see many of the top online gambling platforms throughout Canada make a move for Alberta once the time is right, giving Calgary iGaming players more options than ever.

Final thoughts

The iGaming market in Calgary is growing apace, but unfortunately, the local government has seriously hindered growth by only allowing just one online platform to serve their customer base. This is likely to be something that changes in the future – it will just take a while for new platforms to be licensed.