2016 News Archive
AGLC Holiday Closure - Dec 23, 2016
On behalf of the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, we wish you happy holidays and a festive New Year. All AGLC offices will be closed from December 24, 2016 – January 2, 2017, including the prize payout offices. Should you have an inquiry during this time period, please email email@example.com and someone will respond in the new year. If you have a gaming or liquor related question/concern you can find our hotline numbers listed here. Hotlines will remain open for modified hours during the holidays, with the exception of a closure on December 25.
The AGLC 2015-16 Annual Report highlights the significant contributions gaming and liquor activities are making to Alberta’s revenue and the success of many community initiatives across the province.
Highlights from this year’s annual report include an overview of Alberta’s charitable gaming activities, which earned $352 million in revenue. As noted in the report, more than $1.5 billion from provincial gaming was placed in the Alberta Lottery Fund. From the liquor side of business, more than $855 million went to the General Revenue Fund from liquor and licensing operations.
New this year, the charitable gaming in review, which was previously a separate publication, is now included in the Annual Report.
This holiday season, Alberta’s youth are putting their pencils to paper to draw the line on drinking and driving. Contest winner’s design to be on 1 million liquor bags.
Seventy-nine Edmonton bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants received Best Bar None accreditation for their commitment to high service and safety standards. Venues that demonstrated outstanding commitment to make their nightspot a safer environment were recognized at the 7th annual Best Bar None Edmonton Accreditation & Awards Night on November 22 at the Santa Maria Goretti Centre.
This year’s winners include:
- Bar/Lounge: OTR Kitchen + Drink
- Hotel Bar: The Lion’s Head Pub – Radisson Edmonton South
- Restaurant and Bar-Independent: Teddy’s Palace
- Restaurant and Bar – Chain: Boston Pizza Lounge (Mill Woods)
- Small Pub: Kelly’s Pub
- Pub: Hudson Canada’s Pub (Whyte Avenue)
- Large Pub: O’Byrne’s Irish Pub
- Club: The Ranch Roadhouse
- Campus: The Nest Taphouse Grill (NAIT)
- Casino: The Casino at Northlands Park Racetrack and Casino
Best Bar None is a partnership between the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, the City of Edmonton and Edmonton Police Service with support from the Alberta Safer Bars Council. For a full list of accredited venues for Best Bar None Edmonton, visit bestbarnone.ab.ca.
Effective October 31, the AGLC is discontinuing the practice of issuing plastic SMART Training Certification cards. Liquor and gaming workers can download and print their certification card from their SMART account, or save the image on their mobile device. Workers who currently have plastic SMART Training cards can continue to use the card until it expires. If a worker requires a replacement card, they can download their card through their SMART account. Individuals who do not have the ability to print a card or save the image to a mobile device can contact the AGLC’s SMART Training Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-447-8600 (Toll Free at 1-800-272-8876) to receive a printed paper card via Canada Post.
Product Recall of DrinkSense liquor bags - Oct 7, 2016
The AGLC is advising all liquor retailers to refrain from using the DrinkSense “Enjoy Responsibly” liquor bags effective immediately due to an issue with the strength of the glue at the bottom of some of bags. To ensure no loss of product or personal injury we recommend that all liquor stores discontinue use and discard of the bags.
Questions? Please contact AGLC Corporate Responsibility and Reputation at 780-447-8600. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Lottery scam warning - Oct 6, 2016
If you receive a phone call from someone telling you you’ve won a prize and must transfer money in order to claim it — it is a scam.
The most recent version of this is someone identifying themselves as a lottery representative, claiming you have won a prize and in order for it to be shipped to you, you must first transfer a certain amount of money through Western Union.
At no time will a representative from the AGLC, or any other legitimate lottery request payment for delivery of a prize won.
If you receive such a call, please hang up, record the number calling, and then advise your local police department and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.
Join us on September 24th for the Community Connections event, and meet the charitable organizations that make a difference in St. Albert and area.
Do you ever wonder what happens to your body when you drink alcohol? Is it safe to drink at any stage of pregnancy? How much is “one drink” when you consume either beer, wine or spirits? How can I talk to kids about alcohol?
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) is launching DrinkSense, a responsible drinking campaign that will provide Albertans with information and resources to answer these questions.
Effective August 8, the AGLC is pleased to announce that current restrictions on hours of service, consumption and entertainment on patios has been eliminated.
Liquor service on patios will now be the same as licensed premise hours. Patios will no longer be required to end by midnight followed by a one-hour consumption period. The AGLC will no longer mandate restrictions with regard to recorded music, DJ booths, and live entertainment. For more information refer to... Patio Hours
Small brewers in Alberta will be able to invest and grow their business, thanks to a new grant that will support local entrepreneurship and economic diversification.
Beginning August 5, Alberta-based brewers who produce and sell no more than 300,000 hectolitres in Alberta annually will be eligible to participate in the Alberta Small Brewers Development Program.
In ongoing efforts to promote local jobs, economic development and trade consistency, the Government of Alberta is updating the markup for beer products sold throughout the province. The President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, Joe Ceci, has directed the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission board to set the beer markup to $1.25/L, regardless of the size of the company or location of production. The markup takes effect August 5. The change applies to beer only. For more information please refer to Liquor Markup
Sixty-two venues that follow top service standards were accredited with Best Bar None in 2016. From this group, nine venues also won awards for continuing to raise the bar on customer service and patron safety.
“The AGLC is proud of the Best Bar None participating venues. These establishments continue to raise the bar on service standards and redefine what being the ‘best’ in the hospitality industry means with respect to customer service and safety. Calgarians should take note - these are the places to visit for a fun, enjoyable night out.”
- Shane Loxterkamp, Vice President, Compliance and Social Responsibility.
The AGLC has eliminated the 8 p.m. limit on ‘happy hours’, allowing liquor establishments to offer reduced drink prices at any time during operating hours, provided the prices follow minimum drink pricing guidelines.
“The AGLC strives to make sure our policies support progressive business environments, are in the public interest, and, ultimately, help us deliver on our promise to provide choices Albertans can trust. We recognized the 8 p.m. limit on ‘happy hours’ was not meeting these objectives and, as a result, the limit was eliminated. The new policy responds to industry’s needs and is better aligned with our social responsibility mandate.”
- Bill Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer
Liquor licensees, please refer to the policy bulletin for details of this policy amendment.
Blanket approval for early liquor service during the Calgary Stampede - June 2, 2016
The Stampede is a major event in our province, bringing thousands of visitors to Calgary to enjoy the unique Stampede experience. Throughout the festivities, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission is pleased to support liquor-licensed businesses with more flexible liquor service hours.
Bars, restaurants and lounges in the City of Calgary have the option to start liquor service at 8 a.m. during the 2016 Stampede, July 8-17. This blanket approval applies to all Class A, B and C liquor licensees in the City of Calgary. Licensees do not have to apply for this particular extension, which is for early service only. Closing hours for liquor service are not changing and all other rules guiding the service remain in effect. Licensees are expected to continue to offer service in a socially responsible way to ensure the safety of their patrons during these special hours.
Businesses on the parade route can contact the AGLC to request early liquor service hours of 7 a.m. for the Parade Day, July 8. Anyone holding a special event with the intention of serving alcohol must apply for a liquor licence. Hours for special events are determined on a case-by-case basis.
The AGLC regularly considers early service hours for major international sporting events or for major community events such as the Calgary Stampede.
Scratch ticket vending machine trial expands to grocery stores - May 27, 2016
Albertans over 18 can now try self-service technology at four Real Canadian Superstore® locations
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) and Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) want to find out whether Albertans 18 and over are interested in using self-service machines as an additional, convenient way to purchase scratch tickets.
Over the last eight months, Instant Ticket Vending Machines have been tested at 20 age-controlled casinos and Gaming Entertainment Centres in Calgary and Edmonton as part of a pilot project. Now, four of the machines are being moved to select Real Canadian Superstore® locations to test their acceptance in a public setting.
The machines will be available at Real Canadian Superstore® locations at the following addresses:
- 3575 – 20 Ave. NE, Calgary
- 10505 Southport Road SW, Calgary
- 17303 Stony Plain Road NW, Edmonton
- 9711-23rd Ave. NW, Edmonton
In order to purchase a ticket, a player must first scan the 2D barcode on their driver’s licence to prove they are 18 years or older. The Instant Ticket Vending Machines simply scan the licence, and do not retain any information about the purchaser. The machines are cash-only, do not give change, sell tickets ranging from $1 to $30 and include several responsible gambling features.
The pilot is scheduled to run until September 17, 2016. The pilot results will be reviewed before determining whether to continue or expand Instant Ticket Vending Machine placement.
In tough economic times, it is not uncommon for individuals to dream about winning the big cash prize or jackpot by gambling on their favourite activities. Albertans are reminded that gambling is entertainment and not a way to make money as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week running May 3-10.
The AGLC Board welcomes Gael MacLeod as a new member. Ms. MacLeod’s appointment is effective immediately for a term ending April 1, 2019.
Former councillor for the City of Calgary, Ms. MacLeod also served in leadership roles on several government and community boards, including Calgary Community Lottery Board, Calgary Housing Company, and the City of Calgary Audit Committee. MacLeod’s professional experience covers specific areas of expertise such as strategic planning, grant decision-making, government relations and philanthropy.
A number of changes have been made to the liquor advertising and product promotion policies. Liquor licensees and registered agencies are encouraged to review the related Policy Handbooks or to refer to this summary document for an overview of the changes.
Grade 6 student’s powerful message on impaired driving selected as overall winner for provincial liquor bag contest.
One child’s powerful message on the dangers of impaired driving emphasizes the hope that Alberta’s roads will be safer.
Keana Hollmann, a Grade 6 student from Tofield School, is the overall winner of the inaugural Students Against Drinking and Driving (SADD) Alberta Liquor Bag Contest.
Selected from more than 150 entries province-wide, Keana’s winning
design and message will be printed on one million brown paper bags
distributed to liquor stores throughout the province starting May long
“My liquor bag states that you shouldn’t drink and drive becauseyou can hurt yourself and others. Never forget that others have feelings. If you hurt yourself, you’re also hurting others so never drink and drive.”
- Keana Hollmann, Grade six student, Tofield School
All submissions were judged based on originality, messaging and design. In
addition to the overall winner, nine entries were also selected from three
categories: Kindergarten to Grade 6, Grade 7 to Grade 9, and Grade 10 to
12. All winners will be awarded gift cards for their efforts.
“Congratulations to Keana, the winners and all the students and
schools for helping to spread these important messages on
impaired driving. This is a terrific partnership with SADD Alberta
which ties into our commitment to social responsibility to help
people make safe choices and avoid alcohol-related harms. All the submissions from students are a powerful reminder that we all play a role to help keep Albertans safe.”
- Bill Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
Now in its fourth year, the SADD Alberta Liquor Bag campaign works with participating elementary, junior high and high schools to have students create a message on the dangers of impaired driving. Once students create their messages about impaired driving on the bags, they are then delivered to select liquor stores in the student’s community by teachers or a SADD representative. More than 250 schools throughout the province created impaired driving messages on more than 60,000 liquor bags.
“We can all be impressed with the courage and the dedication that is demonstrated by Alberta’s youth when taking a stand against the dangers of driving while impaired. Congratulations to Keana, and all of the students across Alberta who participated in the campaign. Their messages will make someone think about their choices and in turn, will help to make Alberta’s roads safe. We have a responsibility to continue to share the messages of these students as well, and to ensure that we always drive safe and drive sober. Remember – ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink and Drive’.”
- Jason Stolz, Chair,
Students Against Drinking and Driving (SADD) Alberta
All winning designs and contest winners can be viewed at saddalberta.com.
Orders for the 2016 SADD Alberta Liquor Bag campaign will start again in Fall 2016. For more information on the SADD Alberta Liquor Bag campaign, the winners or how schools can participate in the liquor bag campaign, visit saddalberta.com or contact Arthur Lee at email@example.com
The low Canadian dollar paid off for Fort McMurray resident Sylvia Bennett, who became Alberta’s newest millionaire while taking a staycation in Edmonton.
“Friends of mine wanted to go to Vegas but because the Canadian dollar is so low, we decided we’d do a Canadian version of Vegas and we went to Edmonton for the weekend,” says Bennett. Bennett was at the River Cree Resort & Casino with her husband Dave and their friends on Friday, February 26, when she hit the jackpot on the Diamond Millions progressive slot machine. Bennett was so thrilled, she says she couldn’t believe her eyes.
“I thought no, no way! I’m looking at the zeros and I looked at the guy next to me and he’s like, ‘Yes, you won $1 million!’ and I still didn’t believe it.” The sawmill worker celebrated her windfall with champagne and a 30 oz. steak dinner, and says she’s taking her time before deciding what to do with the money.
Bennett hinted, however, that she is excited to be mortgage-free and would like to take a family vacation with her husband and their two sons.“I’d like to pick something that we thought was too expensive before and do that. My husband wants to see Rome and Cuba.”
Bennett is the fourteenth person in Alberta to win more than $1 million playing Diamond Millions since 2012. Diamond Millions can be found at all casinos and Racing Entertainment Centres in Alberta, and has a jackpot that starts at $1 million. The AGLC reminds Albertans to keep gambling fun; if you gamble, use your GameSense.
The region’s bars, pubs, clubs, lounges and casinos are invited to participate in Best Bar None, an accreditation and awards program aimed at improving public safety and rewarding higher customer service in the city’s nightlife industry.
“Everyone in the community has a role to play in helping to curb liquor-related harm and violence. With its proactive approach to addressing harmful behavior and a focus on providing more enjoyable entertainment environments, we are excited to launch Best Bar None in Wood Buffalo.”
- Bob Couture, Executive Director, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Community and Protective Services
Already operating in 120 accredited establishments in Edmonton, Calgary and Grande Prairie, the Best Bar None program aims to reduce alcohol-related problems by:
- encouraging businesses to adopt best practices related to customer safety and responsible service of alcohol;
- giving businesses the tools to be better prepared for any violent incidents; and,
- building positive relationships between the industry, enforcement agencies, governments and community.
“Best Bar None is a great opportunity for liquor licensed establishments to adopt some of the industry’s best practices and learn how to be more proactive in their operations. Since launching in Edmonton in 2010, it’s been a great success in Alberta. I encourage all eligible venues to take part in the program and show their patrons their commitment to great customer service and safety.”
- Bill Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
The program is a partnership between the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) and the community’s hospitality industry.
Awareness campaign encourages young adult Albertans to think about responsible drinking.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) is launching an awareness campaign on responsible drinking among young adult Albertans.
The goal of the Enjoy Responsibly campaign is to inform and educate young adults as to what and how much it means to drink in moderation and help them make responsible decisions by promoting Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines.
“This campaign is another example of our commitment to social responsibility. We are promoting a culture of moderation and ensuring young Albertans have the information they need to make responsible drinking choices. The tie-in to Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines provides a valuable opportunity to create greater awareness for both genders on how to enjoy responsibly without long-term health effects.”
- Bill Robinson, President and CEO, AGLC.
The campaign, which runs from February 22 to March 20, 2016, features Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines with the statement “Easier than you’d think” and depicts environments where young adults enjoy consuming alcohol. ...more.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has charged long-term Northlands Park employee Alice Marie Linton of Edmonton, Alberta, with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.
Ms. Linton is scheduled to appear in court on April 27, 2016.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission is committed to ensuring the integrity of Alberta’s gaming and liquor industries, generating revenue for the province and the people of Alberta, while recognizing and responding to the social impacts of its products and services.
Lottery scam warning - February 18, 2016
A lottery prize scam is currently operating across Canada.
Fraudsters have been contacting the public, claiming to be representatives of fictitious but legitimate-sounding organizations, such as the "International Gaming Commission" and the "Canadian Gaming and Lottery Commission." Neither organization exists.
The scam operates via fraudsters telling members of the public that they have been selected as winners of major prizes, which can be claimed by paying a fee. The AGLC does not call people to tell them that they have won a prize. There are also no prize claim fees.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is aware of this scam. Anyone who has been targeted in the scam may call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501, or online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.
More than 306 kilograms of contraband shisha tobacco, contraband cigarettes, and flavoured cigars were seized by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC). The total potential lost tax revenue is estimated to be more than $116,000.
The contraband products were found as a result of a search warrant in Edmonton at Alex’s Convenience Store in January. Hiwot Atnafu and Alemayehu (Alex) Girma have been charged with several violations, including Criminal Code charges for fraud over $5,000, trafficking in contraband tobacco as well as charges under the provincial Tobacco Tax Act for possession of more than 1,000 grams of tobacco. Both are scheduled to appear in Edmonton Provincial Court on March 16, 2016.
Our 2014-15 Annual Report demonstrates the AGLC’s continued commitment to ensuring the integrity of Alberta’s gaming and liquor industries, generating revenue for the province and the people of Alberta, while recognizing and responding to the social impacts of our products and services. As noted in the report, more than $1.5 billion from provincial gaming was placed in the Alberta Lottery Fund and nearly $766 million went to the General Revenue Fund from liquor and licensing operations.
Additionally, the Charitable Gaming in Review provides important insight into Alberta’s charitable gaming model, defining which groups are eligible for gaming licences and how charitable gaming funds are used. This report also details the amount of revenue generated by charities from each gaming activity and how the province maintains the integrity of gaming activities. In 2014-15, Alberta charities earned $342 million through charitable gaming activities.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) is promoting a holiday message to remind all Albertans that lottery products are not appropriate gifts to minors for Christmas or any time of year.
Buying, scratching and cashing in lottery products is reserved for adults only and is considered just as much a gambling activity as playing vlts.
“While lottery tickets and scratch cards are a joy to give, they are gambling activities for adults and not for kids,” said Bill Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. “Whether it’s the holiday season or any time of year, the AGLC encourages everyone not to purchase lottery products for minors.”
Research has previously shown that nearly one fifth of Alberta parents reported that they had given their child a lottery ticket as a holiday or birthday gift. Gambling at an earlier age is also a risk factor associated with problem gambling later in life.
The AGLC’s holiday minors awareness campaign is part of an ongoing educational campaign to ensure both retailers and Albertans know they are key partners in helping to prevent underage gambling.
The AGLC is committed to providing safe and responsible gaming entertainment options for Alberta players. The AGLC also supports provincial efforts to reduce gambling-related harm, with a goal to enable Albertans to make positive choices for themselves and enjoy gambling activities in a fun and responsible way.