The Criminal Code of Canada
is amended to tolerate gambling under certain conditions.
An amendment to the Criminal Code of
Canada allows pari-mutuel betting and participation in games
of chance where profits are used for charitable or religious
purposes. Some gaming is allowed at agricultural fairs and
Bingo is played in community halls and
The popularity of horse racing grows.
Illegal sale of Lucky 7 jar tickets (pull
tickets) occurs until the 1970s, when the sale of pull tickets
Alberta’s first charitable casino
opens at Edmonton’s annual fair.
Amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada
authorize lotteries and sweepstakes. Provinces have the authority
to licence and operate lotteries and casinos.
Edmonton’s Northlands Park
and the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede start holding sweepstakes.
An Edmonton Kinsmen Club establishes
Alberta’s first not-for-profit casino.
The first-ever lottery ticket, The Western, is
Lotteries are now exclusively under
Cash Casino, Alberta’s first
permanent, privately operated charitable casino opens in
ABS, Alberta’s second permanent, privately operated
charitable casino opens in Edmonton.
Lotto 6/49 is launched.
A government lottery review gathers
Albertans’ views on the disbursement of unused lottery
An amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada allows provinces
to operate mechanical gaming devices.
Casino ABS South (now Casino Edmonton)
opens in Edmonton.
Revenue pooling becomes an option
for casinos and bingo associations.
Frontier Casino (later "Stampede
Casino") opens in Calgary.
Bill 10 establishes the Alberta
The first horseracing simulcast is run at Calgary’s
Elbow River Casino opens in Calgary.
Teletheatre betting is introduced.
Sandman Inn Casino in Edmonton opens but closes after
seven months in operation.
Palace Casino in Edmonton opens.
Video lottery terminals (VLTs) are
tested at summer fairs in Edmonton and Calgary.
The VLT program is officially introduced.
Casino ABS (now Casino Lethbridge)
opens a facility in Lethbridge.
Alberta Lotteries and Gaming releases
a commissioned report on gaming behaviour and problem gambling
The Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC) receives
funding for problem gambling treatment, research and education.
Gold Dust Casino opens in St. Albert.
Fort McMurray casino (now Boomtown Casino) opens as a
small temporary operation.
The Lotteries Review Committee releases "New
Directions for Lotteries and Gaming: Report and Recommendations
of the Lotteries Review Committee" following public
consultations. Government establishes new policies for
gaming in Alberta after adopting several recommendations
from the report.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) is created
by combining the responsibilities and operations of the
Alberta Liquor Control Board, Alberta Lotteries, the Alberta
Gaming Commission, Alberta Lotteries and Gaming and the
Gaming Control Branch.
Cash Casino opens a permanent facility in Red Deer.
The MLA Committee
on Native Gaming releases its report and recommendations
on native gaming in Alberta.
Slot machines are introduced into Alberta’s charitable
Satellite bingo is introduced.
The Alberta Racing Corporation is formed to help revitalize
the horse racing industry in Alberta.
Baccarat Casino opens in Edmonton.
Frank Sisson’s Silver Dollar Casino opens in Calgary.
Casino by Vanshaw opens in Medicine Hat.
VLTs are removed from Rocky Mountain
House and Sylvan Lake following local plebiscites.
Plebiscites are also held in Barrhead, Wood Buffalo (including
Fort McMurray) and Lacombe.
Barrhead votes to keep VLTs.
Wood Buffalo votes to remove VLTs, but retailers take
Casino Calgary opens.
Jackpot Casino opens in Red Deer.
Community Lottery Boards are established
by the Alberta government to oversee the distribution of
an additional $50 million in lottery funds.
The Alberta Lotteries and Gaming Summit ’98 is held
in Medicine Hat. Government accepts all eight summit recommendations.
During the October 19 civic elections, VLT plebiscites
are held in 36 Alberta municipalities. Six municipalities,
(County of Lethbridge No. 26; Town of Lacombe; Municipal
District of Opportunity No. 17; Town of Canmore; Town of
Coaldale; Town of Stony Plain; and the Regional Municipality
of Wood Buffalo) vote to have their VLTs removed. VLT retailers
take legal action.
Courts rule the Alberta government cannot direct the AGLC
to remove VLTs from municipalities unless there is specified
legislation in place. Government passes legislation to
remove VLTs from Wood Buffalo and the six communities that
voted against VLTs.
Bill 36, the Gaming and Liquor
Amendment Act, is passed on May 19, giving the Minister
authority to give policy direction to the AGLC and to
terminate VLT retailer agreements in municipalities that
voted in favour of VLT removal.
The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench grants an interim
injunction on May 20, prohibiting the AGLC from disabling
or removing VLTs pending the constitutional challenge of
AGLC launches a Bingo Industry Review to examine the bingo
industry and charities that take part in bingo activities.
The Ministry of Gaming is created, which incorporates
the Department of Gaming, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor
Commission, the Community Lottery Program Secretariat,
the Alberta Gaming Research Council. The new ministry also
has responsibility for the Horse Racing Alberta Act.
An agreement between the Government of Alberta and the
province’s three major universities results in a
leading-edge research institute to study gaming issues
in Alberta. The Alberta Gaming Research Institute, a consortium
of the Universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge,
will sponsor research into the social and economic aspects
of gaming, aboriginal gaming issues, gaming trends and
other related gaming topics.
Us In program is launched. The program
teaches registered gaming workers employed in casinos
and racing entertainment centres what responsible
gambling is and how to promote healthy attitudes
The Great Northern Casino opens in Grande Prairie.
Alberta Gaming initiates a review of gaming licensing
policies and processes. While the review is underway, consideration
of requests to licence or approve new casinos, casino expansions
and relocations, new games and gaming environments are
Government announces the implementation
of the majority of recommendations from the Bingo Review
The AGLC teams up with the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Commission (AADAC) and the gaming industry to develop new
programs to assist problem gamblers, including the Casino
and Racing Entertainment Centre (REC) Voluntary Self-Exclusion
(VSE) Program and Deal
The governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
signed a new agreement with the Western Canada Lottery
Corporation, resulting in cost savings to the AGLC of approximately
$2.2 million per year.
Casino Yellowhead opens in Edmonton as the largest gaming
facility (75,000 sq. feet).
Boomtown Casino opens permanently in Fort McMurray.
Alberta government introduces a new First Nations Gaming
Policy, based on Alberta’s unique charitable gaming
model. First Nation casinos will be located on reserve
land, will be regulated by the AGLC and operate under the
same terms and conditions as off-reserve casinos.
The government releases the Gaming licensing Policy Review
(GLPR), which includes 61 recommendations that were developed
during a comprehensive, 20-month review of gaming policies.
The moratorium respecting new casino
facilities is removed on March 1, after the AGLC developed
specific casino terms and conditions to manage and control
gaming expansion in the province, consistent with the policy
direction provided by government as a result of the Gaming
Licensing Policy Review.
The AGLC reviews the Gaming and Liquor Act and Gaming
and Liquor Regulation in order to ensure gaming
and liquor activities are conducted with integrity. This
review results in Bill 14, the Gaming and Liquor
Amendment Act, which was debated and passed in the
spring legislature session and came into effect in May.
Bill 16, the Racing Corporation Amendment Act,
is debated and passed in the spring legislature, effective
The Community Lottery Board program is discontinued.
The Community Initiatives Program is introduced on June
24 and commits $30 million per year for the next three
Lottery Fund website is launched, and funding increases
by 25 per cent to the foundations and granting programs
supported through the Alberta Lottery Fund.
The AGLC honours the 1997-1998 plebiscite results and
removes nearly 200 VLTs from seven communities across the
DIGI Bingo and Keno are introduced into bingo halls across
the province in order to help revitalize the bingo industry.
The VLT Replacement Project is completed.
Alberta’s 6,000 VLTs are replaced with updated machines
that feature new games and responsible gaming features.
The AGLC establishes a Social Responsibility Division
for the gaming and liquor industries.
The GAIN program
is introduced to assist charitable groups to better understand
the gaming industry, and the responsibilities and requirements
tied to a gaming licence. The goal is to make sure charitable
groups are accountable for the funds they raise and spend.
Deerfoot Inn & Casino opens in
The first private bingo facility to operate under Alberta’s
charitable gaming model is approved for Grande Prairie.
Lotto 6/49 is re-launched as a $2 ticket with larger jackpots
and more chances to win.
“Mystery” progressive slot machines that can
pay out any time on a winning or non-winning combination
are introduced at five Alberta casinos: Casino Yellowhead
and Palace Casino in Edmonton, and Casino Calgary, Cash
Casino and Elbow River Casino in Calgary.
River Cree Resort and Casino opens
on the Enoch Reserve adjacent to the City of Edmonton.
It is the first casino to open under the province’s
First Nations Gaming Policy. The Alberta government modifies
policies to allow First Nations charities more flexibility
to spend charitable gaming proceeds.
Century Casino & Hotel opens in Edmonton.
The AGLC, in partnership with the Alberta Alcohol and
Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC), launches a new responsible
gambling pilot. The two-year pilot project features a Responsible
Gambling Information Centre (RGIC) at the Palace
Casino in Edmonton. A second centre opens at Calgary’s
new Deerfoot Inn & Casino.
The Ministry of Gaming is eliminated following a December
government reorganization. The AGLC is added to the
portfolio of the Ministry of the Solicitor General and
Casino Camrose opens.
Casino Dene opens on the Cold Lake First Nation.
Grey Eagle Casino opens on the Tsuu T'ina First Nation
The responsible gambling awareness training program, A
Good Call , is launched. The program
teaches registered bingo workers employed in bingo
halls what responsible gambling is and how to promote
healthy attitudes towards gambling.
The Honourable Fred Lindsay, Solicitor General and Minister
of Public Security, responsible for the AGLC, announces Alberta’s
first annual Responsible
Gambling Awareness Week to be held October 22-28.
Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino opens
in Kananaskis on First Nations land.
Eagle River Casino and Travel Plaza opens in Whitecourt on
First Nations land.
Rocky Mountain House bar owners/operators
present a petition to town council to abolish the VLT ban.
A plebiscite is held in July and residents vote in favour
to maintain the ban.
There are now 16 Responsible Gaming Information Centres
(RGICs) in Alberta: 15 in casinos and one at Edmonton Northlands.
Lotto Max, Canada’s biggest lottery, replaces Super