Canada – BetMGM and PointsBet fined by Ontario regulator for breaching advertising restrictionsBy Phil - 6 May 2022
In order to protect the public interest and ensure Ontario’s igaming market operates responsibly and with integrity, the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), has served two AGCO-registered internet gaming operators with Notices of Monetary Penalty for alleged infractions of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming (the Standards), pertaining to advertising and inducements.
The Standards were put in place to protect Ontarians. They include clear restrictions on the advertising of inducements, bonuses or credits, except when they are on an operator’s site, or through direct advertising and marketing issued after receiving active player consent (Standard 2.05). Standards also require that all operator marketing, advertising and promotions must be truthful, not mislead players or misrepresent products. This includes requiring that materials not imply that chances of winning increase the more one spends (Standard 2.04).
BetMGM Canada has been served Notice of Monetary Penalties totalling $48,000 for their alleged failure to comply with Standards 2.04 and 2.05.
PointsBet Canada has been served Notice of Monetary Penalties totalling $30,000 for their alleged failure to comply with Standard 2.05.
Ontario is one of the only jurisdictions in the world to prohibit broad public advertising of bonuses and other gambling inducements.
A registered operator served with Notice of Monetary Penalty by the AGCO has 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.
Tom Mungham, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar – AGCO, said: “The AGCO holds all registered operators to high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity, and monitors their activities to ensure they are meeting their obligations under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standards.”