Canadian Gaming Association working to advance responsible play

CGA meeting for responsible play guidelines next week

Canadian Gaming Association CEO and President Paul Burns discusses why operators need to step up and take ownership of promoting responsible gambling in advance of the CGA’s symposium on the subject in Toronto next week.

The last two years have seen an important and exciting evolution in the Canadian gaming space – with global implications. As artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things have pushed electronic globalization forward, Ontario and Canada have been on the cutting edge in the gaming world as we seek to become global leaders in gaming platforms and innovation.

At a time when Canada has fallen behind in other strategic industries, we are finding a niche in online gambling – helping to deliver jobs and economic growth. Recent progress has been dramatic, and has included:

  • The legalization of single-event sports betting, allowing for effective, transparent regulation and ensuring proper player protection,
  • The opening up of a fully regulated online gaming market in Ontario, with similar implications as the legalization of single-event sports betting, and
  • The expansion of regulated online gambling with further growth potential across the country – and the world.

In less than a thousand days, Canada has regained lost ground in our competitiveness in the online gaming industry, and the massive services and technology sectors that surround it. However, we cannot take our important gains for granted, as jurisdictions from Macau to Malta will work to leapfrog us once again.

Progressive gambling policies – like those we are building in Canada – require sophistication and leadership. That includes not only leading in our regulatory flexibility but also policy that encourages and facilitates responsible play.

We at the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), along with our members, take responsible play very seriously. This is why we continue to advocate for some of the most advanced regulations and practices in the world.

Collaborating with our members and partners, the CGA has worked hard to encourage policies related to responsible play that are meaningful and based on learnings from other sectors.

But we should always be looking to do better. Continuous improvement when it comes to player wellbeing is a responsibility that we must own.

That’s why the CGA is leading the development of an Action Plan to Encourage Responsible Play.

On Dec. 5, the CGA will be hosting an Industry Symposium to discuss best practices in responsible play and establish an industry-led way forward. Working with the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) and Ad Standards Canada, we’re launching a process to establish Responsible Gambling Guiding Principles, an Industry Responsible Advertising Code and more, as part of an overall Action Plan to Encourage Responsible Play.

As an industry, we have a tremendous opportunity – and responsibility – to come together to advance the evolution of a regulated, responsible and sustainable Canadian gambling industry.

Canada is a world leader in creating an environment that encourages responsible play. Excellent work is already underway across the country and the results are truly impressive. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) Registrar’s Standards for iGaming, for instance, provide industry-leading standards that work to support player wellbeing. In addition, RGC recently launched a global, independent study to conduct ground-breaking research on marketing and advertising that will have a particular focus on online gambling in Canada, with a goal of better understanding the impacts of increased marketing and advertising on all stakeholders. This collaborative project will lead to evidence-informed best practices reflecting the evolving needs of players and the industry. Through this project – and others like it – we are collaborating to build a world-class strategy to encourage responsible play.

At the CGA, we see part of our role as telling this story, rolling up the impact, and helping to ensure a coordinated industry-led effort. The wellbeing of our players and communities is of utmost importance.

As an industry, we are leading the way in evolution and innovation in terms of gaming platforms, responsible play technology, artificial intelligence, and more – which is at an all-time high – resulting in important job and economic growth in our country.

We will continue to collaborate as an industry on pan-Canadian approaches and world-leading practices, research, and regulations to allow and encourage Canadian technology companies and entrepreneurs to continue innovating at home. We are proud of the evolution of gaming in our country, and we believe it is time that we celebrate, leverage, and capitalize on successes in land-based and online gaming to continue pushing our industry forward in a responsible and sustainable way.

If we continue to do what’s right, and if our industry comes together, gaming can be Canada’s next growth industry.

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