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Important information for Albertans

AGLC is taking the COVID-19 coronavirus matter seriously. Please visit AGLC.ca/COVID19 for the latest updates.

Gaming Q & A

While not exhaustive, AGLC has prepared the Questions & Answers below to answer many of the questions that you or your organization may have related to COVID-19.

If you belong to a charitable organization and have additional questions, please contact:

If you are calling on behalf of a casino facility, racing entertainment centre, bingo hall or VLT retailer and have any additional questions, please follow up with your usual Gaming and Regulatory Services associates or contact the AGLC Hotline at 1.800.561.4415 or HotlineRequests@aglc.ca.

For all other inquiries, please call 1-800-272-8876 or submit your questions at aglc.ca/contact-us

Please refer to Alberta Health guidance found at Alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx.

 

Questions and answers

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Gaming and charitable gaming for the general public

Are gaming venues open in Alberta?
Casinos, bingo halls, racing entertainment centres, horse tracks and private clubs remain closed until further notice.

More information on sector guidelines can be found at Alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx.

Can restaurants and lounges in Alberta gaming venues offer liquor and food service?
Effective at noon on Friday, April 9, in-person services is no longer permitted in restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes that have Class A licences within gaming facilities.

  • Takeout, curbside pickup and delivery services are permitted.
  • Outdoor patio dining is also allowed.
  • Tables and dining parties must be two metres apart or separated by an impermeable barrier that will prevent droplet transmission.
  • Household members only, or two close contacts of someone who lives alone.
  • Contact information must be collected from one person of the dining party.

What will the further easing of restrictions look like based on hospitalization benchmarks?
On January 29, 2021, the Alberta government announced an easing of provincewide health measures will occur in steps based on COVID-19 hospitalization benchmarks.  

A roadmap was developed to help Albertans understand how restrictions will be eased in steps over the coming months. A Path Forward outlines the sectors that will see gradual restriction changes at each step based on hospitalization benchmarks.

At what step will casinos, bingo halls, racing entertainment centres, horse tracks and nightclubs be able to reopen to the public?
Potential easing of restrictions related to casinos, bingo halls, racing entertainment centres, horse tracks and nightclubs will be considered once benchmarks are reached in Step 3.

A roadmap was developed to help Albertans understand how restrictions will be eased in steps over the coming months. A Path Forward outlines the sectors that will see gradual restriction changes at each step based on hospitalization benchmarks.

How do I make a complaint about a licensed premises that is not adhering to provincial health directives?
AGLC continues to work with all licensed venues and asks all owners/operators to comply with public health guidance from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health on the new restrictions. Venues that contravene public health directives risk immediate suspension of their licence.

Complaints can be submitted by email at Inspections.Mailbox@aglc.ca. Please be sure to include the premises operating name and address, including town, along with the details of your complaint.

Are charitable casino events cancelled?
Yes. Charitable casino events were cancelled effective November 27, 2020, when table games closed. All provincial gaming venues remain closed for the duration of the current public health order until further notice. Charitable casino events will be rescheduled at the next available opportunity when table games resume.

When can charities expect casino events to be re-scheduled?
AGLC will confirm charity attendance in advance of their scheduled event dates. As this is an evolving situation, AGLC will continue to work with charities and communicate updates as they become available. To accommodate all charities, it will take AGLC staff some time to reschedule casino events. Casino event inquiries may be directed to Licensing.Casino@aglc.ca.

Is there financial support for charities?
AGLC recognizes the significant financial impact the closures have on Alberta’s charities. As the gaming regulator, AGLC is not in a position to offer stimulus; however AGLC will continue to share information we have about available programs. 

Who will enforce these rules?
Local public health officials will do so under public emergency declaration. AGLC inspectors will also be checking for compliance.

Bingo halls

Are gaming venues open in Alberta?
Casinos, bingo halls, racing entertainment centres, horse tracks and private clubs remain closed until further notice.

More information on sector guidelines can be found at Alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx.

Can restaurants and lounges in Alberta gaming venues offer liquor and food service?
Effective at noon on Friday, April 9, in-person services is no longer permitted in restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes that have Class A licences within gaming facilities. They may continue to offer food and alcohol sales through takeout, curbside pickup and delivery.

A roadmap was developed to help Albertans understand how restrictions will be eased in steps over the coming months. A Path Forward outlines the sectors that will see gradual restriction changes at each step based on hospitalization benchmarks.

At what step will casinos, bingo halls, racing entertainment centres, horse tracks and nightclubs be able to reopen to the public?
Potential easing of restrictions related to casinos, bingo halls, racing entertainment centres, horse tracks and nightclubs will be considered once benchmarks are reached in Step 3. 

A roadmap was developed to help Albertans understand how restrictions will be eased in steps over the coming months. A Path Forward outlines the sectors that will see gradual restriction changes at each step based on hospitalization benchmarks.

Is there financial support for gaming venues?
We recognize the impact this mandatory closure may have on businesses and their employees. As the gaming regulator, AGLC is not in a position to offer stimulus; however AGLC will continue to share information we have about available programs. There are online resources to provincial and federal supports for employers including the co-lending program from the Business Development Bank of Canada, for which we understand the gaming industry is now eligible: 

How do I make a complaint about a licensed premises that is not adhering to provincial health directives?
AGLC continues to work with all licensed venues and asks all owners/operators to comply with public health guidance from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health on the new restrictions. Venues that public health directives risk immediate suspension of their licence. 

Complaints may be submitted by email at Inspections.Mailbox@aglc.ca. Please be sure to include the facility operating name and address, including town, along with the details of your complaint.
 
Who will enforce these rules?
Local public health officials will do so under public emergency declaration. AGLC inspectors will also be checking for compliance. 
 

VLT retailers

Are gaming venues open in Alberta?
Casinos, bingo halls, VLTs, racing entertainment centres, horse tracks and private clubs remain closed until further notice.

More information on sector guidelines can be found at Alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx.

Can restaurants and lounges offer liquor and food service?Effective at noon on Friday, April 9, in-person services is no longer permitted in restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes that have Class A licences within gaming facilities.

  • Takeout, curbside pickup and delivery services are permitted.
  • Outdoor patio dining is also allowed.
  • Tables and dining parties must be two metres apart or separated by an impermeable barrier that will prevent droplet transmission.
  • Household members only, or two close contacts of someone who lives alone.
  • Contact information must be collected from one person of the dining party.

At this time, entertainment activities such as VLTs, pool tables, dancing and live music are not permitted.

Is there financial support for gaming venues?
We recognize the impact this mandatory closure may have on businesses and their employees. As the gaming regulator, AGLC is not in a position to offer stimulus; however AGLC will continue to share information we have about available programs. There are online resources to provincial and federal supports for employers including the co-lending program from the Business Development Bank of Canada, for which we understand the gaming industry is now eligible: 

How do I make a complaint about a licensed premises that is not adhering to provincial health directives?
AGLC continues to work with all licensed venues and asks all owners/operators to comply with public health guidance from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health on the new restrictions. Venues that contravene public health measures risk immediate suspension of their licence.

Complaints can be submitted by email at Inspections.Mailbox@aglc.ca. Please be sure to include the premises operating name and address, including town, along with the details of your complaint.

For any questions, please contact Hotline at 1.800.561.4415 or HotlineRequests@aglc.ca

Who will enforce these rules?
Local public health officials will do so under public emergency declaration. AGLC inspectors will also be checking for compliance of the public health order.
 

Charitable organizations: Casino events

Are charitable casino events cancelled?
Yes. Under the previous public health order, charitable casino events were cancelled effective November 27, 2020, when table games closed. All provincial gaming venues remain closed until further notice.. Charitable casino events will be rescheduled at the next available opportunity when table games resume.

When can charities expect casino events to be re-scheduled?
AGLC will confirm charity attendance in advance of their scheduled event dates. This is an evolving situation. AGLC will continue to work with charities and communicate updates as they become available.  To accommodate all charities, it will take AGLC staff some time to reschedule casino events. Casino event inquiries may be directed to Licensing.Casino@aglc.ca.

Is there financial support for charities?
AGLC recognizes the significant financial impact the closures have on Alberta’s charities. As the gaming regulator, AGLC is not in a position to offer stimulus; however AGLC will continue to share information we have about available programs.

Charitable organizations: Use of proceeds

How are charitable gaming proceeds eligible to be used? 
Charitable proceeds are intended for eligible charitable purposes. AGLC works directly with charitable groups to support charitable program delivery. The Charitable Gaming Policies Handbook includes a wide range of eligible purposes for use in direct charitable program delivery, such as equipment, donations, emergencies, travel, wages, etc.

Are there any changes to how charitable gaming proceeds may be used during the COVID-19 crisis?
AGLC recognizes that charitable groups may need expanded use of proceeds temporarily in order to maintain key charitable programs while addressing impacts of the crisis. The following uses are eligible without the requirement for prior approval normally required for these requests: 

  • Facility: groups that normally use a maximum 50 per cent use from gaming proceeds may use 100 per cent for operating expenses.
  • Wages/Salaries: groups may use gaming proceeds for any positions that provide charitable or administrative services, even if the group is not able to carry out normal operations during the crisis.
  • Charities may use gaming proceeds to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to their members for gaming events; however, prior to purchasing PPE, charities should contact their respective bingo or casino facility to determine what equipment may be made available to them.
  • Emergency Assistance: groups may use gaming proceeds to assist members or individuals who are facing serious circumstances. 
  • Donations: groups may use gaming proceeds for donations to other licensed groups or non-licensed groups to assist with charitable purposes. If the donation is made outside Alberta or Canada, AGLC staff are available to provide prior approval upon submission of the Request to Donate Proceeds Outside Alberta along with the Statutory Declaration and Recipient Agreement forms. 
  • Canadian Red Cross: groups may use gaming proceeds for emergency purposes relating to COVID-19 anywhere in the world if the proceeds are provided directly to the Canadian Red Cross.
  • Aid of the Distressed: groups may use gaming proceeds for programs and services that address issues of social concern such as poverty, mental or physical illness, or disability. 
  • Case by case: upon request, gaming proceeds may be considered for other uses not included above. Inquiries may be directed to Gaming.UseofProceeds@aglc.ca with the subject line: COVID-19 UOP Request. AGLC staff are operating remotely and responses to requests may be delayed. We thank you in advance for your patience.
     

Charitable organizations: Raffles

Can our group have an online raffle?
Only eligible organizations currently registered with AGLC may obtain a raffle licence. More information can be found here.

Can we conduct the draw if there are no members of the public available to witness the draw?
Yes.  If members of the public are unavailable to attend a draw, or if the draw cannot be conducted in a public space, groups may still conduct the draw(s) with these requirements: video and voice record the draw (using a cell phone is acceptable), and document the names and contact information of the individuals present. Prior approval is not required.

Can our group cancel its raffle or extend the draw date(s)?
A group may cancel its raffle or extend its draw date by completing the Raffle Amendments Draw Date Extension Request or Changes form and submitting it to AGLC at Gaming.Licensing@aglc.ca.