EDMONTON -- Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC) launched its online gambling site Thursday afternoon.

Touted as Alberta’s only provincially regulated gambling website, PlayAlberta.ca is available to Albertans over the age of 18 while within the province’s borders.

“This online option provides a new opportunity for players who choose to gamble online to become less reliant on the unregulated market,” said AGLC chief operating officer, Niaz Nejad in a remote video news conference. 

Back in June the AGLC announced it had contracted third-party operator NeoPollard to run the online gambling platform for the next seven years 

According to AGLC officials, proceeds earned from the gaming platform will contribute to Alberta’s General Revenue Fund, which is used to support programs and services in the province. They say $1.4 billion in net gaming income was generated for the fund in 2018-19.

The site, which includes casino games such as Black Jack and Roulette, features a GameSense responsible gaming function that allows players to set deposit limits.

“The site has strong social responsibility features and a presence that’s important, as it mirrors what can be found in land-based casinos and racing entertainment centres throughout Alberta today,” said Alain Maisonneuve, AGLC president and CEO.

During the news conference, Maisonneuve said the new site is not meant to cannibalize Alberta’s land-based casinos that have been impacted by the pandemic.

“We work very closely with our partners in the casino industry, both the charitable casinos as well as the first nations casinos, racing entertainment centres and bingo halls across Alberta,” said Maisonneuve. 

“We know that times have been tough for our partners in the gaming industry and we’ve been working hard with them to recover as Alberta’s relaunch continues.”

Meant to support the site’s relationship with existing venues, AGLC established an online gambling advisory committee with representatives from the province’s gaming industry.

The AGLC anticipates its new site will generate $3.74 million in 2021 and $150 million within the next five years.