Report: Ontario operators in dispute with Canadian Lottery Coalition over cease & desist letters

The issue purportedly centres on the issue of alleged illegal gaming operators in Canada

A battle of the coalitions has ensued following alleged cease and desist letters sent by the Canadian Lottery Coalition to the Coalition of Ontario Online Gaming Operators.

As reported by Gaming News Canada, the CLC – consisting of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation, Loto-Quebec, and the Atlantic Lottery Corporation – is alleged to have instructed its legal representatives to send letters to registered sports betting and gaming operators in Ontario with a “Cease and Desist Notice” in the subject line.

The allegation was made by the Coalition of Ontario Online Gaming Operators, which claims that Tom Mungham, the Registrar and CEO of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, was also copied on the letters.

Pertinently, the AGCO – alongside BCLC, MBLL, ALC and Loto-Quebec – is part of a coalition formed last August, collectively known as the Provincial Lotteries Corporation, which has encouraged the federal government to take action against black-market online gambling operators and their methods of advertising.

Speaking at the time, Kandice Machado – President and CEO of AGLC – labelled Canada “favourable” to illegal operators, and the corporation subsequently launched a campaign to warn residents against using operators other than the approved Play Alberta.

Fast forward to more recent times and the CLC now stands accused of “making serious, unsupported and false allegations clearly threatening and targeted at inducing some disciplinary action or termination of the Member’s registration as an operator in Ontario and/or the termination of the Member’s Operating Agreement with iGO”.

As stated by the Coalition of Ontario Online Gaming Operators’ legal counsel in a letter sent to the ALC – subsequently obtained by Gaming News Canada – the Members have “categorically” denied these allegations.

The letter also makes a Freedom of Information request on a few issues, including:

  • Did the individual provincial lottery corporations brief their respective Attorneys General about the CLC’s legal positions and the “CLC intimidation campaign”?
  • Records relating to the CLC retaining legal counsel and how much money the lottery corporations have contributed to the CLC to date.
  • Questions around funding for the coalition to hire a public relations company, and what PR services that firm are/will provide.

Gaming News Canada added that “there’s been no response from the CLC to the latest letter” while law firm McCarthy Tetrault – representing the Ontario coalition – has declined to comment.

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