Ontario police arrest two for iGaming fraud

Pair alleged to have defrauded OLG online gaming site

Two Toronto residents have been arrested following an investigation into fraudulent activities at Ontario’s regulated igaming platforms. The two will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto.

The joint investigation of the Ontario Provincial Police and Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) started in 2022, following reports of identity theft on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG) online igaming site, olg.ca. More suspicions of fraud on an online sports betting site surfaced in August 2022, expanding the scope of the inquiry.

A police raid on a residence in North York on July 13, 2023, led to the seizure of numerous electronic devices and fraudulent documents, also uncovering instruments associated with non-gaming criminal activities.

On Dec. 21, 2023, charges were formally brought against 38-year-old Ernesto Rasing and 20-year-old Elaiza Mae Paculanan. Rasing was charged with fraud over $5,000, fraud under $5,000, identity fraud, using an instrument to copy credit cards, and possessing property obtained by crime. Paculanan faces similar charges, with an additional charge for breaching probation.

Canadian gaming regulators are cracking down on criminals following a series of warnings over the last 12 months about a rise in fraud in the sector. In April 2023, on the first anniversary of legal Ontario igaming, GeoComply issued a report that revealed fraudsters were targeting ON gambling sites in greater numbers.

“Online fraud is not uniquely a sports betting or igaming problem. Recent data shows that cybercrimes were up 50% in 2022 across all forms of e-commerce,” Danny DiRienzo, GeoComply Director of Risk Services, commented in the report.

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