The AGCO promotes compliance with relevant legislation, regulations and Registrar’s Standards to protect the public interest in alignment with government and ministry priorities. The following core activities enable the AGCO to effectively fulfill its mandate in Ontario’s alcohol, lottery and gaming, horse racing, and cannabis sectors:

Licensing, Registration and Other Activities

  • Licensing and regulating establishments that sell or serve liquor, liquor delivery services, liquor manufacturers, their representatives and representatives of foreign manufacturers, and ferment on premise facilities.

Number of AGCO Licence, Registration and Permit Holders (2020)

In addition, 2,992 SOPs were issued by the AGCO for events such as weddings, private receptions, charity fundraisers, festivals and industry promotional events.

  • Administering the SOP program to allow alcohol to be sold at temporary events such as weddings and festivals.
  • Authorizing manufacturers’ retail stores, which includes on-site and off-site winery retail stores, on-site distillery retail stores and brewery retail stores, and Brewers Retail Inc. stores (“The Beer Store”).
  • Authorizing grocery stores to retail alcohol to the public.
  • Registering operators, suppliers, retailers/sellers and gaming assistants in the lottery and gaming sectors.
  • Administering, in partnership with municipalities and First Nations licensing authorities, the regulatory framework governing the issuance of charitable lottery licences (e.g. bingo, raffle and break open ticket events).
  • Licensing games of chance at fairs and exhibitions.
  • Approving rules of play or changes to rules of play for games of chance conducted and managed by the OLG.
  • Preventing excluded persons (i.e. youth, self-excluded individuals) from accessing gaming premises in Ontario pursuant to the Gaming Control Act, 1992.
  • Regulating the conduct of horse racing at Ontario’s licensed racetracks through the Rules of Racing for Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter Horse breeds and exercising authority for the overall governance of horse racing in Ontario.
  • Promoting safety and integrity of the sport for horse racing participants, equine athletes and the betting public.
  • Licensing and regulating individuals and businesses involved in the horse racing industry, including the processing of applications from racing participants and for racetracks and teletheatre locations and conducting due diligence reviews and investigations of applicants.
  • Licensing and regulating participants in the storefront recreational cannabis sector, including retail operators and retail managers, as well as authorizing retail store locations.

Compliance Activities

  • Ensuring compliance with the Liquor Licence Act and its regulations, including in licensed establishments, on and off-site retail stores, grocery stores and SOP events.
  • Ensuring compliance with the Gaming Control Act, 1992 and its regulations, licence/registration requirements and standards and requirements established by the Registrar of the AGCO in the gaming sector (i.e. casinos,, charitable gaming events/facilities and retail locations where OLG lottery products are sold).
  • Testing, approving and monitoring slot machines and gaming and lottery management systems.

Total Number of Education Activities Conducted by Line of Business

Gaming and Lottery includes both charitable gaming and commercial gaming.

  • Proactively providing education to all sectors and those who are regulated to increase their understanding of regulatory obligations and to improve overall compliance.
  • Ensuring compliance with the Rules of Racing by investigating alleged rule infractions, having Race Officials present to officiate races, monitoring and enforcing the Equine Medication and Drug Control Program and investigating race horse deaths.
  • Supporting the health and welfare of race horses and participants by ensuring an Official Veterinarian is in attendance to supervise live racing and confirm that horses are fit to race, as well as administering and overseeing the Human Alcohol and Drug Program for participants to detect and deter substance abuse and offer programs of intervention, rehabilitation and support.
  • Ensuring the safe, responsible and lawful sale of cannabis, consistent with the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018.
  • Ensuring the safe, responsible and lawful operation of the expanded iGaming market, if the proposed enabling legislation is passed.


  • Hearing appeals of rulings made by Judges, Stewards and Racing Officials under the Rules of Racing (note this responsibility lies with the HRAP, which is an independent adjudicative tribunal, the members of which are appointed by the AGCO Board of Directors).


  • Conducting arbitration of lottery disputes.


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