Ontario’s online casino market undergoes regulatory changes

The rules officially took effect on Feb. 28

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has updated its regulatory framework for online casino gaming.

The AGCO has implemented amendments to the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming to ensure safe and fair practices for marketing and advertising. The updated standards help curtail the marketing of iGaming toward minors and the use of athletes in gambling advertisements.

“This approach offers greater flexibility for regulated entities to make decisions that best suit their business needs while meeting the regulatory outcomes,” said the AGCO.

The new requirements, which went into effect on Feb. 28, include the prohibited use of cartoon figures, social media influencers, and celebrities who are likely to appeal to minors in all materials and communications provided by operators. Operators are also barred from using active or retired athletes who have secured deals with gambling companies. However, athletes may be used in marketing exclusively for promoting RG practices. The AGCO’s new standards also call for a lack of marketing toward high-risk players.

Last year, the AGCO fined three iGaming operators for breaching its standards. The operators, which included LeoVegas, Bunchberry, and Mobile Incorporated, were issued fines for providing games in Ontario that were not approved by the AGCO Registrar. Mobile Incorporated also violated rules by providing games offered by an unregistered supplier.

The Malta-based iGaming operator was handed a $30,000 fine while MGM Resorts-owned LeoVegas was issued a $25,000 fine. Bunchberry was ordered to pay the AGCO $15,000.

The AGCO had previously amended its standards in 2022, which led to the operators’ fines.

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