Global sports betting and gaming entertainment group Entain has announced its non-profit foundation will fund research conducted by the Responsible Gambling Council into consumer practices, preferences, and behaviours in Ontario as regulators prepare to legalize gaming and sports betting for the first time.
As Bill C-218 looks to pave the way for the legalization of single-event sports betting across Canada, and Ontario considers liberalization of its provincial iGaming market, the research project aims to draw on consumer insights in Canada and elsewhere to help regulators to make balanced and appropriate recommendations.
A key focus will be on ensuring those recommendations balance the mandates of online operators with the identified behaviours and risk factors for consumers.
The research will use a same group of around 4,000 adult bettors and gamers to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of responsible online sports betting and gaming needs and interests. The work will also review other key international jurisdictions to assess regulatory approaches to identify effective responsible betting and gaming practices.
Research is expected to begin shortly with the full report due later this year.
Ontario is expected to become the first Canadian province to introduce online gambling, with a view to initial licences potentially being granted netx year.
Shelley White, CEO of RGC, said: “As a global leader in responsible gambling, RGC is committed to working with regulators, operators and the public to establish the development and implementation of a robust responsible gambling culture. RGC’s work with Entain will contribute to vital advancements in consumer safeguards.”
Martin Lycka, Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs & Responsible Gambling at Entain, added: “We know from similar research in many markets in which we operate, including the United States, that regulators value research which supports an evidence-based approach to decision-making and effective regulation from a wide range of other international jurisdictions. Entain, which operates across five continents and over 20 countries, has unparalleled experience with different regulatory approaches taken around the world in the past 15 years. “
Entain operates across five continents and over 20 countries and has experience with different regulatory approaches around the world in the past 15 years. The company has already expressed interest in applying for a licence in Ontario if, and when, they are available, and recently extended its iGaming partnership with Scientific Games.