The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has updated its advertising and marketing guidelines for operators in the Canadian province’s newly launched iGaming market, offering further transparency around the rules regarding bonuses and offers.
Private sportsbooks had already been prohibited from advertising sign-up offers to potential customers in the Ontario market. Now, in response to applicant and registrant queries, the AGCO has clarified that within Standard 2.05 of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, the “Inducements, Bonuses, and Credits” section stipulates that “public advertising of inducements, bonuses and credits is strictly prohibited, including targeted advertising and algorithm-based ads” no matter if they are advertised directly or indirectly, as reported by SBC.
For example, direct inducements include “sign-up offers, deposit offers, offers of a reward, bonus or ‘boosted’ odds, refund/stake-back offers, multi-bet offers, or winnings paid on losing bets”, while indirect inducements “includes, but is not limited to, the display of promotional codes and/or general references that invite individuals or the general public to learn more about inducements on the gaming site”.
However, such offers may be displayed on the betting brand’s own platforms and may also be delivered via “direct marketing to individuals that have first consented, on the gaming site, to receive them”. Consent must be obtained from players on a registered Ontario gaming site and any permission obtained elsewhere or before the market opened does not meet the standard.
Displayed inducement, bonus and credit offers must declare “all material conditions and limitations at the offer’s first presentation” to give players the information they need before they make a decision on the offer.