PlayAlberta Site Both Welcome And Worrying

PlayAlberta Site Both Welcome And Worrying

Lillie Mcguire
Posted on October 07, 2020 at 1:10am

Thursday’s online casino platform launch by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) has since been praised by many to be a step in the right direction in terms of generating desperately needed revenue for the benefit of those living in Alberta.

PlayAlberta.ca is the first legal online casino launched in Alberta, and since the platform belongs to a Crown corporation, all proceeds generated by the site will go towards supporting local communities and charity initiatives. Created and rolled out on behalf of the Crown corporation by casino tech giant NeoPollard Interactive, online gaming enthusiasts living in Alberta can now take advantage of premium-quality online slots, instant-win games, and various Lottery-style titles for their entertainment.

Major Contributing Potential

According to the results of early estimations, once up and running for a period spanning 12 months, PlayAlberta.ca will potentially have generated at least CA$3.71 million in revenue. This money can be expected to go a long way in terms of helping those people most affected by the global health crisis. And since a second wave of local infections may very well be soon in the offing, the money generated by legalised online gaming is considered a potential future lifeline for many in the community.

In the event that a second wave of infections were to hit the province, local land-based casinos will once again be made to shutter their doors indefinitely. This is a situation that not too long ago created countless challenges for local residents. Casino workers suddenly no longer enjoyed the benefits of job security or of being able to provide for their families. A repeat of a situation such as the one Albertans were made to survive up until not too long ago will only exacerbate the crisis and dump even more Canadians into hunger and poverty.

On the other hand, now that there exists a legal alternative, its reasonable to expect a massive amount of financial relief because of the aforementioned addition income about to be on the table for province-wide distribution.

The Pros Vs The Cons

There is however another side to the story. Because so many people now spend their days working from home, or even just staying home due to an absence of gainful employment, many now fear that the online offering will end up having a counter-productive effect.

According to Bonnie Lee, an Associate Professor specialising in Addictions Counselling at Lethbridge University, the situation isn’t quite as cut and dry as assumed. The online domain may bring immediate relief once the revenue generated begins streaming into local community coffers, but it may not be a positive trend completely free of negative consequences further down the line, says Lee.

What with so many people suddenly having free time on their hands, Lee says there exists a definite risk of easy-access online gambling becoming the very thing that feeds addictive behaviour. And people have for the same reason been exploring the wonders of a cyberspace they probably never would have discovered had it not been for the crisis.

A Potential Threat

The result of this sudden influx has according to Lee’s research, led to a definite spike in online gaming activities in neighbouring British Columbia and Québec. What makes online gaming particularly attractive an activity is its instant accessibility, says Lee.

And that which makes it dangerous to those suffering from addictive behaviour is according to the expert the fact that players often lose track of exactly how much money they happen to be in the process of spending – especially since online gaming does not require of the player to handle any physical paper money. Lee says she believes this to be the main culprit behind online overspending.


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