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New Government-run Nova Scotia Online Casino - Good or Bad?

Atlantic Lottery Logo

On July 21, 2022, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) launched a new online casino for residents of Nova Scotia, Canada. The casino joins the other gaming products available on the ALC's website, which include various lottery games, sports betting, and bingo. The casino was already available in New Brunswick beginning in August 2020.

The ALC is jointly owned by the governments of four Atlantic Canadian provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. It develops and manages government-regulated lottery products although it has, in recent years, expanded its portfolio to include other types of gambling.

There's a new Nova Scotia online casino from Atlantic Lottery

ALC Online Casino Overview

Pair of Binoculars

The casino is available at Anyone can browse the website, but to create an account, a user must be at least 19 years old and reside in one of the four provinces that comprise the ALC's service area. Furthermore, in order to play any of the games, one must be physically present in Atlantic Canada.

The games, which number 160, are divided into several categories: Slots, Table Games, Video Poker, and Jackpots. These titles can be played for real money or in demo mode, but one must sign up for an account first before even being able to partake in practice play. The games were developed by a variety of well-known software houses, like Light & Wonder (formerly SG Digital), IGT, Everi, Bally Technologies, and Barcrest.

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation Casino's WebsiteHome Page of the ALC Casino

What we like about ALC Casino

  • Fully licensed and regulated
  • Attached sportsbook, bingo hall, and lottery products
  • Solid responsible gaming features

What we don't like about ALC Casino

  • Small library of games available
  • No poker room
  • Restricted to customers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
  • Limited promotions and no welcome bonus
  • No loyalty program or comp points

Casino Lobby

Pair of Binoculars

Clicking on a category in the casino will show you the games contained within that section of the platform. They're displayed as squares with graphics representing the game occupying most of the area and the name of the title printed at the bottom of each box. Hovering the mouse over one of the games gives you the options to “Play Now” or “Try Demo.”

There are 160 games to play at the Atlantic Lottery Corporation CasinoALC Casino Game Lobby

A blue info icon in the top-right of each square brings up additional information about the game:

Game summary screen for Cleopatra, showing bet sizes, # of paylines, and prize payout percentageGame Info Screen for the Cleopatra Slot

The informational screen contains screenshots of the game, the range of valid bet amounts, and the theoretical prize payout (also known in the industry as “RTP” or return to player). You can download a .pdf file that explains even more about the game. Some of the games are noted as “Only available in New Brunswick,” which indicates that Nova Scotians cannot play them.


The Jackpots category lists games with progressive jackpots. As of August 2022, there are two jackpot values shown: $848,720 and $1,041,261. Two of the titles show the former figure while four other games display the latter amount. Thus, these jackpots each cover multiple games.

The progressive jackpots sometimes exceed $1 millionJackpot Games

All of the games in the Jackpots area are slots, which is not exactly unusual although some internet casinos do feature scratchcards or table games like Caribbean Poker that also have progressives available to hit.


Slots are the meat and potatoes of most casinos, and the Atlantic Lottery Corporation is no exception. More than 120 slot machines await your gaming delight. However, though this represents three-quarters of the ALC's total casino games, in absolute terms, it's a pretty small number. Most competing online casinos boast hundreds of such games occasionally reaching close to 1,000 in total.

Slots comprise the largest category of games in ALC CasinoSlot Games

It's forgivable that a brand-new casino might not have quite the gaming selection as a more established operator, and we expect new games to be regularly added to the ALC's portfolio. Yet, when we consider that this casino has already been in operation, exclusively serving New Brunswick, for close to two years, the paucity of games makes less sense.

Surely, there has been enough time by now for the gaming menu to have been more thoroughly fleshed out. This is especially true when we consider that ALC evidently has relationships with numerous software providers, so it could surely broaden its menu without too much trouble.

Most of these slots permit bet sizes as low as less than a dollar and as high as $40 or $50. RTP figures tend to be in the ballpark of 90% to 96%: about average for an online casino.

Table Games

A fairly respectable lineup of table games is listed at the ALG Casino, including several varieties of blackjack, American and European Roulette, Baccarat, and a small selection of carnival games, such as Ultimate Texas Hold'em and Let It Ride. Minimum bets tend to be from $0.10 to $1 while maximums are generally a few hundred dollars.

Roulette, blackjack, pai gow, baccarat, and other table games at ALC CasinoTable Games

There are no Live Dealer games here. Live Dealer casinos, which feature real-life, human dealers who operate the gaming apparatus, are an increasingly popular diversion these days. Therefore, the absence of these games from the ALC casino may hinder its ability to appeal to users.

Video Poker

There are only five video poker titles, but this count is deceptive. Each of the video poker options is a multi-game collection, so there are effectively a couple dozen varieties present.

ALC Casino has single-line and multi-line video pokerVideo Poker Games

Each of these titles lets you bet less than $1 if you want, but at the other end of the scale, you can bet as high as $50 or $60 per round depending on the game. Payout schedules are pretty competitive with RTPs ranging from 96.86% to 99.72%.

If the limited number of games at ALC Casino isn't enough to satisfy you, then you might wish to explore alternative casinos. Many of these offshore sites also contain sportsbooks and poker rooms.



Golden Currency Bills

All balances and transactions for online gaming with the ALC are conducted in Canadian dollars. The methods available to fund your casino account are listed in the terms and conditions on the ALC's website. They are:

  • WebCash or Promo Rewards
  • Electronic bank transfer through a Canadian bank or financial institution
  • Visa or MasterCard credit card issued by a Canadian bank or financial institution
  • Visa debit card issued by a Canadian bank or financial institution
  • Interac Online payment from a bank or financial institution located in Atlantic Canada
  • PayPal

The ALC does not guarantee that every single one of these methods will be available at all times to all users.

There's only one payout channel specified on the ALC's website: electronic funds transfer to a bank or other financial institution. Before processing a payment, the ALC may require you to submit certain documents in order to verify your identity.


Pot of Gold

One area in which the ALC's casino appears to be very weak is in promotions for its customers. There's no kind of first deposit bonus, no deposit bonus, free spins, or any other freebie for new users. Not only that, but there don't appear to be any reload bonuses or loyalty program for frequent players either.

We did notice a “Days of Summer” promo awarding a total of $50,000 being advertised in one of the slider images on the ALC Casino's homepage. It seems to work by granting players entries as they play games, and then winners are selected via random drawing. This is a time-sensitive offer that runs for only a couple of months, and it's not clear how often the casino runs these kinds of promos.

Responsible Gaming

PlayWise Logo

For a smaller online gaming entity, ALC Casino appears to have put a lot of work into its responsible gambling efforts. It has developed a set of features to this end that it calls PlayWise tools.

Before making any deposit, users must set a weekly deposit limit, which can be lowered at any time. In addition, they have the option to set a wager limit too. Setting a session time limit lets players limit the amount of time they spend gaming, and once the time limit is reached, the player cannot bet again for 24 hours.

Whenever someone is logged into their account, a break button is always visible. Pressing this button initiates a 24-hour pause during which time no new wagers are possible. Longer breaks are possible with self-exclusion, which provides a mechanism for suspending your account for 6-month to 36-month period. While an account is suspended, its owner cannot log in, make a purchase, or bet on any games.

Everyone who has been active on the website for 30 days or longer is given a PlayWise Rating. This is an evaluation of playing patterns that takes into account the games that a user plays, how much they bet, and the responsible gaming tools that they use. The purpose is to alert those customers who may be developing problem gaming habits.

ALC Casino Philosophy

Man Pushing Large Ball

The strengths and weaknesses of the ALC's casino website begin to make sense when we consider the philosophy behind it. Nova Scotia Finance Minister Allan MacMaster indicated that the purpose of the provincial casino is to provide an alternative to offshore casinos. The provincial government doesn't make any money when residents play at international casino websites, and so the ALC's offering at least keeps the gaming within Nova Scotia's borders and allows the government to collect revenue from it whilst simultaneously protecting consumers from the depredations of rogue gambling sites.

"We didn't want to make a big announcement about this. We're not trying to really promote it," MacMaster said. “It's up and running now, and it's there for people who want to play.” He stated that the government would monitor the operations of the website and be willing to make changes going forward.

Better Options Available

VCR Play Button

Nova Scotia's leaders are correct in surmising that many of its residents like to bet with overseas online casinos, and the debut of the ALC Casino is unlikely to change this. Simply put, these savvy operators tend to offer better product packages than the anemic government-run gambling portal.

Perhaps the best all-round destination for Nova Scotians and other Canadians looking to engage in real money online gaming is Bodog. This reputable concern not only provides casino and sports betting entertainment, but it also contains a poker room, which lacks.

Bodog's 600+ casino titles comfortably exceed anything the ALC has to offer, and you'll also get a casino deposit bonus of 100% up to $600. If you deposit in Bitcoin, then this bonus grows to 150% up to $900. To learn more about the reasons to play at Bodog, check out this fact-filled Bodog review.

If you seek an alternative internet poker room, then don't worry. We have prepared a guide to the best Canadian offshore poker rooms, and many of them host casino games as well.