So you thought that most of Alberta's revenues came from oil and gas, did you? Well, technically they do, but there's another revenue source that's very lucrative for the province - government-controlled gambling.
When we first moved here, I started to volunteer at my kid's school and was very quickly asked if I wanted to work the casino. "The what?", I sputtered. "At the school?" Oh no, they quickly assured me, this would be at a REAL casino and the money raised would go toward a new playground. "We have them every year", they told me proudly, "and they're very profitable."
Yeah, I'll bet they are and what a great message to send to our kids: don't work hard for something you want, just rely on luck to get it for you. Buy a bunch of lottery tickets every week! Try the VLTs if you need some more cash!
Now I'll admit I've never understood the lure of Las Vegas. I've always considered it to be tacky and have never had the desire to see Wayne Newton, Celine Dion, or Siegfried and Roy (although that tiger attack would have been kinda cool to see, but what are the chances you would have actually caught that? Might as well have stayed at the slots, I think.) But do you know how many casinos there are in Calgary? Neither do I, but it's a bunch and they're building even more. And there are a shitload of VLTs in the province.
Of course, the Alberta Gaming Commission has wisely set up a gambling addiction program to deal with the aftermath.
So now, there a senior's group in Lethbridge who get together every week to play cribbage and they collect $10.00/couple/month to cover the costs of coffee and cookies and a small cash prize for the winner. The largest payout has been $100.00. The AGC wants them to cease and desist, because they are "generating illegal gambling revenues".
Give me a fucking break! It's cribbage for Christ's sake! And a bunch of seniors who want to socialise a wee bit!
This government sure has its priorities fucked.