February 10, 2019

Millarville woman’s win-a-house essay contest draws ire of Alberta’s “lottery police”

David MenziesMission Specialist

Thanks to a depressed Alberta housing market, Alla Wagner was having difficulty selling her $1.7 million, 5,000-square-foot home in Millarville, so she came up with an innovative idea and launched an essay-writing contest in which the best writer would snag the house.

Those interested in taking part would submit a $25 entry fee, and an independent judging panel would be tasked with choosing the best essay. Wagner hopes she’ll receive enough entries the world-over to result in a better price than she can get selling on the open market.

But according to a CBC story, Wagner has rubbed Alberta’s lottery regulator the wrong way.

The essay-writing contest has been referred to Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC), which includes police officers, to investigate the legality of her contest – even though she claims she worked with an AGLC agent in the gambling department to ensure she was following the rules.

It’s good to see that law enforcement in Alberta has their priorities in order these days!

But of course, Alberta, like all provinces in Canada, has a virtual state-sanctioned monopoly on gambling based on “social responsibility.”

Translation: the private sector is far too corrupt to be entrusted to sell lottery tickets.

Funny that, considering the crown entity known as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, has long been mired in scandals resulting in the most scathing Ombudsman’s report I’ve ever read –namely, the 2009 paper entitled: “A Game of Trust.”

Meanwhile, back in Alberta, when Jane Q. Citizen comes up with a novel idea to sell her house, the province literally calls the cops to try to shut her down to protect their monopoly.

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