The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has served Apollo Entertainment with a Notice of Monetary Penalty totalling $100,000 for failing to adhere to its responsible gambling standards.
Apollo entered the Ontario market last September, receiving licenses from the AGCO for seven igaming sites:
- Zodiac Casino
- Yukon Gold Casino
- Luxury Casino
- Grand Mondial Casino
- Casino Classic
- Captain-Cooks Casino
- Golden Tiger Casino
However, the regulator announced last week that the firm has violated multiple responsible gaming provisions in the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, including:
- Failing to conduct required interventions with players who may be experiencing gambling related harms. This included the case of a player experiencing over $2m in losses in under four months without receiving interventions from the gaming site operator during that period.
- Failing to implement an adequate voluntary self-exclusion program, as well as providing insufficient tools for players to set financial and time-based gambling limits (i.e., loss and deposit limits).
- Failing to ensure their employees understood the importance of responsible gambling, including assisting players who may be experiencing gambling related harms.
Canadian Gaming Business reached out to the AGCO to ascertain which of the sites operated by Apollo had fallen foul of its standards.
“The violations were against the operator, Apollo Entertainment Ltd,” the regulator responded.
Meanwhile, Tom Mungham, CEO and Registrar, of the AGCO, explained: “The AGCO’s goal is to ensure Ontarians can enjoy online gambling on sites that operate fairly, responsibly and provide important player protections.
“All registered operators have an obligation to proactively monitor patron play for signs of high-risk gambling, and must take appropriate actions to intervene and reduce the potential for gambling-related harm.”
The seriousness of the allegations laid against Apollo is evident in the severity of the fine issued by the Crown agency, which has taken action against numerous operators already this year.
Fitzdares Canada and BV Gaming were each handed a Notice of Monetary Penalty in June for alleged breaches of its Standards pertaining to minor league sports, while LeoVegas Gaming, Bunchberry and Mobile Incorporated were sanctioned in April for providing games on their Ontario sites that had not been approved by the Registrar.
The highest fine imposed on any of these operators, though, was $30,000 – under a third of that handed to Apollo.
Apollo, meanwhile, retains the right to appeal the Registrar’s action to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT), which is an adjudicative tribunal independent of the AGCO and part of Tribunals Ontario.