AGCO meets with CGA and operators to discuss ads

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has been meeting with the Canadian Gaming Association, along with sportsbook and casino operators and other interested parties in discussions on new gambling advertising changes.

Among those involved in discussions were President and CEO of CGA Paul Burns, Deputy COO of AGCO Brent McCurdy, Director of Strategic Policy at AGCO Ben Valido, and three further members of the commission.

In preparation for the meetings, AGCO released several questions it intended to ask to help clarify its new gambling marketing regulations:

  • What sections of the new standard are most in need of guidance to create greater clarity and certainty for your stakeholders?
  • We would welcome your thoughts regarding potential differences of opinion amongst stakeholders on what most needs guidance and the priority of those needs.
  • Is there a particular marketing or advertising practice, activity or idea that you are unclear about because of the new standard?

AGCO also held meetings with representatives from Ontario-licensed sportsbooks, including DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet. Meetings are also planned with broadcasters to discuss new advertising standards and understand why some media outlets still accept advertising money from companies not licensed and approved by AGCO and iGaming Ontario.

These changes were initially introduced in late August, with AGCO saying in a statement to Gaming News Canada, “AGCO committed to providing some additional guidance to further support registered operators to ensure they understand and meet their obligations in the updated Standard.”

These changes are scheduled to take effect at the end of February 2024. The changes to the regulation will aim to protect children and younger people from being affected by gambling marketing by restricting how athletes and celebrities can appear in advertising campaigns.

AGCO said it has “received inquiries and requests for clarification from various groups that will be required to comply with the updated standards. As part of our collaborative approach and in an effort to offer additional support, the AGCO will engage with these groups to gain a comprehensive understanding of their questions.”

Speaking to Gaming News Canada, Burns said: “We’re grateful to have entered into this dialogue, and from what I’ve heard so far, it’s been a good exercise.”

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