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Essay Contest for Lavish CA$1.7M House in Alberta is Legal, AGLC Probe Confirms

January saw one essay contest promising its winner a CA$1.7-million mansion in Millarville, Alberta going viral. Shortly after that the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis launched investigation aiming to clarify whether the contest aligns with the existing gambling regulations in the province. As it turned out, the contest is not in direct breach of any existing gaming regulations and this is the conclusion of the investigation.

Around the globe people were fascinated by the seemingly incredible opportunity of winning a spacious house in Alberta with the help of a simple essay in which they have to share how living in the new house would transform their lives. The only fee they have to cover when they send the essay to the current homeowner Alla Wagner is a CA$25 one covering the taxes for sending the letter. The woman decided to try this contest approach, as she found out that selling it the regular way could take way too long.

Investigation Issues Reassuring Conclusion

The controversial thing about it was that ALGC decided to launch an investigation on the nature of the contest. Ever since the beginning of February, an integrated investigation team bringing together the lottery regulator and police officers has been looking into the essay contests details. They wanted to reassure the community that the contest that could grant one convincing individual an impressive home in rural Alberta does not contravene the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Act or the Criminal Code.

While it allowed the contest to take place, AGLC never issued licensing for a lottery, as the contest has been commonly referred to in the past few weeks. In conclusion, it issued the evaluation that the contest does not breach any existing gaming regulations with its rules and Mrs. Wagner is allowed to continue receiving letters from potential future homeowners. Such investigation was considered necessary, as many complaints were filed with the regulator in the wake of its announcement.

The current homeowner was surprised by the need of investigation, as she pointed out that prior to the launch of the contest she referred to Alberta’s gaming regulator and consulted the entire process. While the conversation was in progress, they established that the contest does not match the definition of a traditional lottery and therefore should not be considered one.

April 5 is the Deadline for Participation

She is going to pick the winning letter based on how convincing the writer is and how motivated they are to claim the spacious home. There is no going to be anything random in the choice she makes, therefore the element of chance intrinsic to gambling would not be observed. Mrs. Wagner was well prepared for any potential controversy surrounding her contest and she had prepared in advance by reading all regulations.

As soon as she learned that a probe is in progress she was convinced that the ultimate decision of the regulator would be that the essay contest is legal. Prior to the investigation, the interest in participation was high, but shortly after the announcement, it saw a plunge. In order to reach the CA$1.7-million price tag, there have to be 65,000 individuals sending their one-page essays on the topic.

April 5 is the cut-off date for this contest and after that, the overall number of letters would have to be reduced to the 500 best. A panel of judges is going to pick the best essay among them that would eventually award its author a lavish house. Now that the legality of the contest is set, more people are expected to put pen to paper, or more likely open a new document and enter the contest.