Alberta’s New Online Casino Raises Concerns12th October 2020 |
Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) has recently unveiled a new all-comprehensive online gaming platform that is sure to get all gaming enthusiasts going. The website has already launched, with thousands of players across the province visiting the site daily, but its aim is to become the only desired gaming platform for local gambling aficionados. Since the lockdown, players have had to resort to playing or purchasing their lottery tickets online, but gambling platforms still left much to be desired. Playalberta.ca website is designed to meet all the players’ expectations and more.
Alberta’s new online casino site was given approval by the provincial government, and is the only regulated online gambling platform in the province. One reason for this could be the hefty CA$31.7 million the site is expected to rake in each year, money which will be put directly into Alberta’s general revenue fund. For anyone who is good at math, that’s over $150 million in 5 years. This revenue will then be put towards various community-building projects, and programs which will help improve the lives of many locals. Another reason could also be prepared. A second lockdown of casinos and gaming halls could be in the cards for the near future, so Alberta might be getting ready to be able to provide casino players with all their gambling needs.
Issues Raised over Alberta’s new online casino site
However, not everyone has looked upon this venture favourably. Bonnie Lee, an Associate Professor in Addictions Counselling at the University of Lethbridge, has raised alarm bells about the negative impact the timing of the gambling site could have. “The government gambling website is launched at a very opportune moment, with thousands of Albertans stranded at home,” she said, explaining that more and more people are spending their time online.
The neighbouring provinces of Québec and British Columbia have already recorded a surge in the popularity of online gambling. Dr Lee’s worry is that Alberta will see a rise in gambling addiction in the upcoming months. Posting on Twitter, she wrote that ‘gambling does have alluring qualities that people have to be aware of”, and gambling online could be more addictive than in-person gambling as it is convenient and always open, making it possible for an individual to lose their sense of time. Money can also stop feeling real as wagers and payments are made online.
A recovering gambling addict who wants to stay anonymous has also come out in support of what Dr Lee is stating. Like her, he is also concerned about the negative consequences gambling on the new gaming platform could have as in his experience, online gambling is a fast way to lose money, with players losing sight of how much they are actually losing. “You know how fast people can lose money on their credit cards?” he asked. “I know friends who lose $5,000 to $10,000 on their credit cards in a day.” He is also calling for more awareness on gambling addiction, saying that “You can tell if someone is drunk, you can tell if someone is high, but you can’t tell if someone is a compulsive gambler.”
Promises to protect gamblers
AGLC has responded to these concerns by saying that responsible gaming has always been of the utmost importance to it, and in their online venture will demonstrate the same “social responsibility presence” as can be found in their casinos and entertainment centres. To help with this, Alberta’s new online casino site also has feature gamers can turn on to “set daily, weekly and monthly deposit limits to control how much they are spending.” In their statement, AGLC also points out that “unregulated online gambling sites implement little to no responsible gambling features, leaving the player with limited protections or means of responsible play, education or access to other responsible gambling tools.” Alberta’s new online casino site Playalberta.ca is also regulated, and gambling tools like gamesenseab.ca and the Self-Exclusion Program are available to all those who might need them.
If you or anyone you know are experiencing any problems please check out our responsible gambling page which lists all the Canadian Organisations who can help.
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