Unibet fined by AGCO for alleged advertising breaches

Unibet is the latest operator to fall foul of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

The AGCO has issued the Kindred Group-owned brand with a $48,000 monetary penalty for alleged advertising and inducements infractions of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming. The AGCO states that between May 19 and May 22, Unibet allegedly posted or aired multiple broad gambling inducements that promoted “generous welcome offers”, which is in contravention of Standard 2.05 of the commission’s iGaming regulatory framework.

Standard 2.05 restricts “advertising of inducements, bonuses, or credits, except when they are on an operator’s site, or through direct advertising and marketing issued after receiving active player consent” in the Canadian province of Ontario.

“We expect all registered operators to achieve and maintain the high standards of responsible gambling, player protection, and game integrity,” commented Tom Mungham, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of the AGCO. “The AGCO will continue to monitor these gaming sites’ activities, and ensure they are meeting their obligations under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standards.”

Unibet has the right to appeal the commission’s penalty to the Licence Appeal Tribunal, which is an adjudicative tribunal independent of the commission and part of Tribunals Ontario.

Amanda Brewer, Canadian country manager for Unibet owners Kindred Group, told Gaming News Canada that “Kindred erred in its interpretation of inducement language when it developed advertising to launch Unibet in the Ontario market. We regret we were non-compliant with an important AGCO standard, and we will strengthen our internal processes to ensure we stay compliant. Kindred always aims to operate with high standards of responsible gambling and player protection, which includes how we market our products to our customers.”

The brand is far from the first to be fined for alleged infractions of these new advertising rules.

In May, PointsBet Canada and BetMGM Canada were fined $30,000 and $48,000 respectively for violating Standard 2.05 and also, in BetMGM’s case, Standard 2.04.

Then, in July, DraftKings was hit with a significantly higher punishment of $100,000 for allegedly distributing multiple broad gambling inducements via television and social media channels.

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