Industry Reports

Alberta’s Charity Gambling Revamp Would Take Years, People Already Worry About Impact

Alberta is on the verge of major changes when it comes to charitable gambling and the support it offers to organizations throughout the province. The upgrade is a needed one that would replace the current outdated and defined as an inefficient model, but it also succeeded in triggering a response from charities worried for their future operation. Karen Link, Executive Director of Volunteer Alberta stated that charity organizations worry that their revenue could slump as a result.

The potential of an overhaul of the existing charity gaming model has been debated in the past few weeks, as projections are that it would provide the field with a fairer manner of funds distribution. Charities in larger cities and ones in smaller communities are currently divided by a wide gap in the amount they are able to bag. The ultimate goal of the new model would be for all licensed charity groups to receive a better opportunity for development, but concerns abound at the moment.

Phase One Survey Ends on February 1

Charity organizations now have the chance to provide their feedback via a special online poll that would help guide Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis on its way to introducing improvements. The consultations and public input are essential at this stage of the overhaul, as it would give the gaming regulator adequate feedback from people directly affected by this system. Heather Holmen, Spokesperson for AGLC stated that the charity groups feedback would boost the process.

However, the introduction of a new approach and rules could backfire, according to some individuals actively participating in the gaming offering. Current volunteers operating casino venues and bingos as part of this gaming model might exit the field for good. The survey that is still collecting input from individuals features a question that is directly linked to the number of volunteers preferring the activity.

Charity organizations have to provide information about the levels of interest they observe from volunteers and whether there is a drop in their overall number when it comes to gaming fundraisers. At the moment there are as many as 10,000 charities licensed by the gaming regulator and many of the express their concerns with the general direction the field could take.

Phase Two Would Seek Public Input

Mrs. Holmen pointed out that the changes would need time in order to be implemented and this is all in its beginning stages. Charitable gaming revenue generated via the special events is not going to be allocated to the general government revenue. Instead, it would aim to provide both rural and urban charity organizations with the revenue they need to continue operation and to ensure that their efforts are worth it.

For reference, Calgary charitable event is able to generate some CA$66,524 for a charitable organization related to it. In the meantime, a similar gaming event taking place in the Lethbridge area has the potential to generate CA$30,226, barely reaching half of what the urban gaming could offer.

The entire overhaul could take several years, as it is a massive change, but when it comes to the consultation phase, interested parties have until February 8 to chime in. Once this phase is over, the second one will commence and it will aim to seek guidance from residents of the province that feel like they could improve the gaming model with their pieces of advice.