This week Alberta launched province regulated online gambling and expects to generate revenue of $150 million in five years.
The website PlayArberta intends to keep Albertans’ money in Alberta itself as close to $378 million are spent by citizens of Alberta on off shore gambling websites which are mostly unregulated.
The government has made sure to incorporate features in the website that prevent and restrict problem gambling as well.
However, professionals and gambling addicts in Alberta differ in opinion about this website and state that it could prove to be destructive.
Bonnie Lee, an Associate Professor in Addictions Counselling at the University of Lethbridge, said the timing of this launch that is during the COVID-19 pandemic, could have negative impacts.
She stated that, “The government gambling website is launched at a very opportune moment, with thousands of Albertans stranded at home”, reported Global News Canada.
A recovering gambling addict told Global News that it is easy very easy to lose money online and not be aware of it.
The person stated that, “It’s very destructive. Now it’s going to be 24-hour accessibility on the phone or on the computer for people to gamble, and that’s not a good thing to hear.”
However, responding to these criticisms, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) stated that these is limit to putting and staking money and the customer may customize the notifications accordingly.
The player can also set the amount of time to be spent while playing. To check problem gambling, the signs of addictive gambling would be read by the agency, AGLC said.
In the year 2021 AGLC hopes to generate close to $31 million while the controversy around online gambling continues in Alberta.