As you may already know, Alberta is an incredibly scenic province in Western Canada. Here you’ll find the Canadian Rocky Mountains, desert badlands, miles and miles of forests, and as many as 600 lakes. But what you may not know is that aside from all that natural beauty, Alberta is also home to more than 20 casinos.
But before we get down to business and point you towards the best the province has to offer, let’s take a quick look at the gambling industry in Alberta.
GAMBLING IN ALBERTA
Alberta’s gambling industry has a long and storied history and casino games and sports betting accounts for a significant percentage of the province’s annual revenue.
So as you can imagine, there are plenty of options available.
- Horse Racing — Races at Alberta Downs, Century Downs, and Northlands Park. There are also numerous teletheatres scattered throughout the province where fans can watch live races.
- Video Lottery Terminals — There are over 6,000 terminals located in age-restricted premises across the province with no more than ten allowed in one location.
- Online Gaming — There are no limitations on playing at online casinos or using online sportsbooks.
- Sports Betting — Alberta allows sports betting through Sport Select. Players can make parlay bets on two or more games.
- Lottery — The Western Canada Lottery Corporation runs daily local draws as well as nationwide lottery games that have resulted in some huge jackpot wins.
- Charitable Gaming — There are bingo games and pull tickets available throughout the province.
- Casinos — Yep, as we mentioned earlier, there are over twenty casinos in Alberta. These include government owned properties, tribal casinos, and commercial casinos that split profits with local charitable organizations.
So now that we know what’s available, let’s take a look at the casinos that are popular with both locals and tourists alike.
THE TOP 5 CASINOS IN ALBERTA
EAGLE RIVER CASINO AND TRAVEL PLAZA – WOODLANDS
This is one of the smaller casinos on our list, but what Eagle River Casino lacks in size, it makes up for in charm and personality.
The property is a popular venue for watching sports so there’s usually a good buzz about the place and plenty of action on the casino floor. The floor is split into smoking and non-smoking sections with 250 slots across both sections — we did say it was small!
When it comes to table games, this place doesn’t disappoint. There are tables featuring blackjack, three card poker, ultimate Texas Hold’em, Spanish 21, and Roulette. The fact that the place is small means that there’s always games on, but you may have to wait to get a seat at the table. That said, while you’re waiting you can always back a few horses and watch races from Canada and the US on the casino’s big screens.
The Eagle River Casino only opens at set times with slots available 7 days a week from 12pm to 12am. However table games are a little different and are only available Wednesday to Sunday from 4pm to midnight.
Yeah, we know, it’s not even a 24-hour casino so why are we recommending it?
It’s just got that small casino charm that makes it a great place to play and the shortened hours means there’s always a great lively atmosphere here.
DEERFOOT INN AND CASINO – CALGARY
The Deerfoot Inn & Casino is a great spot for gaming and live entertainment with live acts performing in the Inn’s Chrome Showroom usually on a Saturday night.
From a gaming perspective, the casino is very well-run and like Eagle River Casino, it has that small casino charm and friendliness that is so hard to replicate on a larger scale.
The casino floor has 814 slots that range from penny machines to progressive jackpots some of which can reach over a million dollars! There are also 24 video lottery terminals and 10 high-limit slots.
The casino’s ten-table poker room plays host to regular Hold’em tournaments and there are plenty of games going on throughout the week. Other table games on the floor include baccarat, roulette, and chase the flush.
The poker room is open 24 hours a day while the rest of the casino is open from 9.30am to 3am.
CENTURY DOWNS RACETRACK AND CASINO – ROCKY VIEW
Century Downs is one of the most famous venues in Western Canadian horse racing, but today we’re talking about the casino.
As with all the casinos on our list, this place has rave reviews for the friendliness and professionalism of the staff both at the tables and on the floor.
As far as the gaming goes, well you’re spoiled for choice. There are over 600 slots machines in operation on the floor with all of the classics you’d come to expect at a casino of this size. These include standalone progressives alongside province-wide progressives with nice jackpots.
There are also quite a few Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) and if you’re feeling lucky you can play some electronic roulette.
Now, it may come as a surprise to you that we’re recommending a casino with no live table games, but that’s how great this place actually is.
PURE CASINO – YELLOWHEAD, EDMONTON
What makes this one of the best casinos in Alberta is the sheer size of the place. It’s a huge casino and one of the largest in Western Canada covering 75,000 square feet.
It’s got a great reputation for having friendly staff and clientele which makes it such a pleasant place to visit.
So the staff are great, but what about the games?
Well, if slots are your thing, and who doesn’t love a slot, then you’re in luck. Here you’ll find 739 slot machines on the floor with all the classics including progressive jackpots.
If you’re after some poker, then there’s a 13-table poker room that’s open 24-hours a day. The tables are usually busy enough with plenty of limit/no-limit games during the peak hours of the afternoon and evening while late night and mornings are a little quieter.
There’s also a VIP high-limit room where you can book private tables and create a custom casino experience for you and your guests. The room has 7 baccarat tables, 2 blackjack, and 1 pai gow table.
All in all, this is a great place for an evening of gaming and that’s before we even get started on the live entertainment and food. Trust us, if you’re in Edmonton, then this is the place to be.
RIVER CREE CASINO AND RESORT – ENOCH
Now, we did say that PURE Casino at Yellowhead was pretty big, right? But the River Cree Casino & Resort certainly gives it a run for its money.
This casino is jam packed full of slots and tables so there’s no chance you’ll ever get bored here. Believe it or not, there’s an incredible 1,350 slot machines packed onto two casino floors.
These two floors are non-smoking and smoking friendly casinos. The non-smoking casino floor has 945 slots while the smoking casino (weirdly called Embers) has 405.
Table games are also split between the two floors with 26 on the main floor and 14 on the smoking floor. The main floor’s 26 tables include 15 tables for blackjack, roulette, ultimate Texas Hold’em, three card poker, chase the flush, and craps. There are another 11 high-limit tables that include baccarat, poker, and blackjack.
It’s worth noting that all the casinos listed have loyalty programs and players clubs that offer various incentives to revisit. The majority of these bonuses and incentives are quite similar but can change from time to time. So it’s best to check the casino’s website to make sure you understand any current or upcoming promotions.
PLAY ONLINE CASINOS IN ALBERTA
Of course, if you are living in Alberta you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to gamble any more. You can just as easily log onto one of the many real money online casinos available at any time of the day or night on your desktop or mobile. The selection of video slots and live dealer tables is as good as any you will find in the casinos we have described on this page, and with all the extra rewards that come with playing online – including welcome bonuses and no deposit free spins – these are not to be missed.
The team here at The Casino Heat has reviewed and rated the very best casinos for Alberta’s real money gamblers and this is our pick of the best.
Good luck and have fun!