The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis is the only state-run agency to allow charitable gaming organizations to host bingo and raffle nights to raise funds for their operations. This unique gaming model is tremendous news for the Albertan community and charitable groups which are heavily rewarded by it. Proceeds are invested into food banks, seniors’ groups, amateur sports and more.
Based in St. Albert, the Crown corporation is responsible for providing regulated gambling entertainment to the Province of Alberta. This includes land-based casino properties across the province, lottery sales, and sports betting. In addition to that, the Crown organization also oversees PlayAlberta which is the only legal online gaming and sports betting platform in the province.
Discussing AGLC’s Activities and Values
Policy analyst for AGLC, Heather Fitzpatrick, said that the Crown is always working on guaranteeing that its policy support stakeholders and makes things accessible. She notes that the final goal is to support communities and charitable groups while also maintaining safety for Albertans. The Crown takes pride in promoting integrity, respect, collaboration, innovation and inclusion.
CEO of AGLC, Kandice Machado elaborates that the agency’s core values are infused into every sector of the organization’s activities. She commented that the commission works to diverse stakeholders and on complex business challenges. Ms. Machado explained that the Crown is looking for new team members who would be willing to live slightly off their comfort zone and not just settle for the status quo.
During the 2020 and 2021 closures, AGLC’s inspectors, gaming technicians and other field staff continued to work on-site. Meanwhile, office employees were transferred to work remotely from home and can proceed to do so. Ms. Machado says the organization is considering different hybrid models, which will keep its culture strong and provide maximum flexibility for its workforce.
In order to keep all employees connected, the CEO often organizes online town halls with Q&As. Also, hosting social events and charitable initiatives also keeps staff engaged, for instance, its employees are long-standing and passionate supporters of the United Way. It is expected that in 2023 they will reach an amazing milestone of raising more than CA$1 million for charity.
Changes to the Industry
The closure of casino properties has however taken a great toll on local charities, which rely on a portion of their revenue. On top of that Grand Villa Casino in Edmonton remained closed for an even extended period. Due to that, the Crown introduced a new licensed condition, which required gaming businesses to run slot and table games seven days a week.
In addition to that, the regulator has been dealing with a request for the relocation of Camrose Casino Resort. The request was denied but the owner of the casino came up with some concerning reports. It revealed that St. Albert’s gambling fundraiser events generated nearly the lowest amount of revenue per gaming night. That is why the company is urging for changes in the charitable gaming model since rural non-profits are at disadvantage.
Source: “Charities and communities win big through AGLC” Edmonton Journal, January 30, 2023