If you are located in the beautiful province of Alberta, know that there is currently only one fully legal online sports betting operator for you: that of PlayAlberta-dot-ca, which is owned and run by the AGLC (Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis). Unfortunately, as we'll discuss below, this is a pretty poor platform, unlike the provincially-owned betting brands in BC, Ontario and Quebec that actually offer excellent options. This means that many Albertans will look for superior options, but we know that things can really be confusing on this subject right now, in terms of where you can play and the numerous shady brands to avoid.
When Ontario opened their own legal and fully regulated market, the floodgates of sportsbook ads opened up across all major national sporting broadcasts. While the legal Ontario sportsbook market is only for people actually located in that province, people in Alberta can play on many of these brands' offshore, "grey market" sites, while other advertised sportsbook brands remain off limits.
Then, there is the issue of avoiding scam operators, or those that don't even offer Canadian Dollar accounts. We cut through these issues in a concise manner, so you can get started betting from Alberta with a great brand, that you know you can trust. We start with a brief review, our opinion of PlayAlberta. Or, simply find our article links to navigate directly to your topic of interest on this page.
Alberta Sports Betting Topics & FAQs
Are these sportsbooks available in AB?
Unlike the Provincially-owned lottery corporations in Ontario, BC and Quebec that have opted to offer online sports betting through industry-leading sportsbook technology platform providers, Alberta decided to go another route. If you look at the other customers around the world that use the same betting platforms as OLG's Proline+, BCLC's PlayNow and Loto-Quebec's Miseojeu+, you will find that numerous other major private betting brands and national lottery corporations have decided to use the same platforms. These are provided by FDJ Gaming Solutions & OpenBet.
The AGLC however, decided to opt for the platform owned by a Canadian company known for its lottery ticket solutions: NeoPollard Interactive. So rather than having a leading sportsbook platform for Alberta's one and only fully legal online sports betting option, Alberta's lottery corporation chose a provider that specialises in digital lottery game technology.
Say it again: ALGC's online sportsbook platform comes from a lottery ticket provider.
When you browse their website at neopollard.com, you cannot even find a section talking about their sportsbook technology. When we look at what PlayAlberta.ca has to offer, it is no wonder they have nothing to discuss - the PlayAlberta platform could politely be descibed as "below average". If we were more blunt, we would say that it is severely lacking compared to its competitors in the "grey market". We've given really honest and positive reviews on all the provincial lottery sportsbooks in ON, BC and QC that actually hold up well against the "grey market" options, but we cannot in any honesty do the same in AB, but we will start with the positive points to discuss.
1) The odds value at PlayAlberta is at least average on the leagues that tend to be most popular in Alberta, that being the CFL, NHL, NFL and MLB. When you look to bet the main betting markets, like an NFL or CFL point spread or total (over/under), you will find odds that look like 1.90/1.90 or -110/-110. This is in line with most of the reputable offshore options, with margins or "sportsbook hold" around 5% on these leagues and markets.
2) PlayAlberta offers Interac as a payment method. Given that credit card payments to all gaming sites in Canada are treated as "cash advances", this convenient bank transfer option is really a must-have in order to avoid high interest rates and fees on your deposits.
3) If your mobile phone will be your main touch-point for betting, the PlayAlberta mobile site is quick and simple to navigate.
4) Separate to sports betting, PlayAlberta does provide an extensive array of online casino, slots and live dealer games. If this will actually take a priority position in terms of your play, this is key. PlayAlberta should be your first option. However, if you are looking for trusted options from the "grey market", we do list our top Interac online casinos for people within the "rest of Canada" market, outside Ontario. (All of our "grey" casino brands are licensed in Ontario.)
Poor desktop layout: The interface is awful from a computer or tablet, as it does not use the full screen display in an efficient manner, so things are squished, when there is no need.
Lack of betting market variety & player props: In general, very few betting markets are available, even for the most important leagues in Alberta like the CFL, NHL, NFL and MLB. If you enjoy player props, we did not find any available in the CFL or MLB during our review during the summer months.
No cashout feature: With PlayAlberta, there is no early cashout feature, to take a partial win or protect stake money before an event has ended.
Many sports completely unavailable: There is also no betting available at all on golf, Formula 1, NASCAR, the WHL, or sports with a more international flavour, like cricket, rugby or Australian Rules. Zero coverage here. These sports simply cannot be found in the main sports navigation on PlayAlberta.
Terrible soccer odds: While soccer is not the most popular sport in Alberta, plenty of people will enjoy a wager on International matches or those within any number of leagues. If you enjoy soccer betting on a more frequent basis, beyond the odd wager here and there, know that PlayAlberta uses odds with margins or "sportsbook hold" around 10%. This margin rate is double that of most reputable sportsbooks that serve Alberta frrom the "grey market" - meaning low odds and low payouts for you if you win. This is extraordinarily uncompetitive from a value perspective. Do you like paying double the going-rate for anything? No? That's what PlayAlberta is charging you to take your action on soccer here.
Yes. If you visit PlayAlberta, they have a new player offer for a $50 free bet. To get this offer you must be physically situated in Alberta to participate. Make a deposit of $10 or more with the promo code: SPORTS50. This offer cannot be combined with any other offer on PlayAlberta. Free bets have no cash value. The Free Bet must be used in a single bet slip; however, the bet can be on a single, system or parlay. Minimum odds for the Free Bet are that the game has odds of 1.5 or higher. Winnings from the Free Bet bonus do not include the Free Bet amount. Unused free bets expire after 7 days. Compare this to other Canadian sportsbook bonuses available to new players in Alberta.
If you just want to get a basic bet down on the CFL, NFL or NHL, PlayAlberta will be just fine, and they should be your priority option here, given all proceeds from play stay in Alberta, and you can be assured of getting paid when you win.
However, we've shown you that a lot of now very basic elements of contemporary online sports betting are missing, or inferior within the PlayAlberta offering. Alberta bettors just can't get these aspects of play with their one and only 100% legal option. This is why so many people in Alberta look for offshore alternatives in the so-called "grey market". Next, we'll breakdown the "grey market" so you can understand it better, avoid the pitfalls, and perhaps, choose a reputable sportsbook option that can actually give you all you want.
The "grey market" is the often-used term to describe the pool of offshore betting providers that serve people in Canadian provinces, outside the newly regulated market of Ontario. Since there is no legal framework within either the Canadian federal context, nor the Alberta one, that prevents offshore betting and gaming providers from serving its people, there are thousands of such operators.
They legally operate in jurisdictions like Malta, Gibraltar, Kanhawake (in Quebec), Curacao, among others, and tend to serve populations in countries where local market regulation has not occured. Since Canada & Alberta have no jurisdiction or legal precendent to stop these operators as of yet, players in Canada are free from any legal consequences in playing at such providers. Unfortunately, with so many available providers, often based in jurisdictions with lax oversight and regulation, Albertans can often stumble into registering at offshore betting sites that are highly disreputable. So how can Albertans know which "grey market" betting sites are trustworthy? That's next.
First, note that if you are in Alberta, you cannot actually play on any legal iGaming Ontario betting site or app. You must be physically in Ontario to play on these platforms. However, the reality is that Ontario was very smart in how they created there system. They wanted to ensure that they could attract all the brands that were serving Ontario from the "grey market". Rather than blacklist them, these "grey" brands were invited in. People in Ontario with long-standing, existing accounts were essentially migrated to the new legal, regulated & taxed system, from the "grey" one.
Crucially, while these "grey" brands were invited to serve the legal Ontario market in a legal capacity, they were not asked to stop serving the rest of Canada from their "grey", offshore jurisdictions. Ontario is in charge of Ontario, and only concerned with Ontario. In order to attract all the operators that they could, they decided not to police operators for their activities in serving other provinces from the "grey market."
This is the group of sports betting brands that we recommend and highlight for people that want choice outside their local lottery corporation's online sportsbook. All of the brands that we recommend for Alberta are licensed in Ontario and in our opinion have superior sports betting and online casino platforms.
When you use this frame of reference as your guide, you avoid the pitfalls of the larger "grey market". With the brands that we list, you know that your provider offers Canadian Dollar accounts and payment methods, so you won't get stuck with any of several USD-only sportsbooks that would require costly exchange fees. Furthermore, you will avoid all of the shady Russia-connected brands that have been flooding various "sportsbook review" sites that even have pages targeted for Canada and/or Alberta.
No, not all brands have "grey market", offshore sites. Several of the sportsbook brands that have moved to serve the legal Ontario market have come from companies that only ever served fully legal and locally regulated markets. These brands just simply do not have website versions based in Malta, Gibraltar or Kahnawake for an "international" player base.
For the most part, though not exclusively, these are brands that have become staples within the various legal US state markets for sports betting. These American brands moved to the legal Ontario market because they knew they had gained brand recognition in Canada through considerable marketing during US sporting broadcasts and highly visible partnerships with US leagues, teams and even athletes. All of this leaks into Canada via US media, so they know that their brands are already recognizable in the Ontario market, without requiring extensive additional marketing.
However, while these brands are recognized in Ontario where legal and available, they are also recognized in every other province, including Alberta, leading many Albertans to wonder if they can play at any number of these online sportsbook brands. We've got the answers to these questions.
No. FanDuel Sportsbook is not available in Alberta. (But the FanDuel Daily Fantasy Sports product is available in AB.)
Again, no. DraftKings Sportsbook isn't available in Alberta. (but again, their Daily Fantasy Sports product is available in AB.)
No. BetMGM is only available in Ontario's legal market and various legal state markets in the USA. This might seem pretty strange or confusing, given that BetMGM has two Alberta sports icons in Connor McDavid and Wayne Gretzky as brand ambassadors. Unfortunately, these nationally-run ads in Canada are only meant for Ontario-viewers.
Unfortunately, no. While they are an excellent operator, the ads you may have seen featuring former TSN anchor Dan O'Toole are for BetRivers Ontario. They do not have a "grey market" site to serve Alberta.
Nope. While PointsBet Canada indicated their interest in potentially serving Alberta in some eventual legal capacity, in this 2022 press release about "eyeing" an innovation hub with Invest Alberta, the fact remains that they are only legally allowed to serve Ontario. Thus the official sportsbook brand of Curling Canada, Alpine Canada, with ads featuring the Trailer Park Boys is not yet available in Alberta.
Again, no. While Caesars Sportsbook is available in Ontario and many US states, they do not operate a "grey market" site.
While the original "theScore" app is available in Alberta, their betting and casino app remains available only in Ontario. theScore Bet does not operate from a "grey market" offshore jurisdiction.
The Western Hockey League is home to five Alberta clubs, in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. If you support one of these CHL teams or you just love Canadian Major Junior Hockey, and you'd like to know a reputable sportsbook brand that offers WHL betting, know that the list is shrinking. Given the age of the players involved, many brands avoid offering betting on WHL, OHL and QMJHL games. However, at last check, one of our top brands did provide pretty good coverage through their site based in Malta - it's Betway.