The AGCO employs a standards-based approach to the regulation of gaming, recreational cannabis retailing and liquor. The objective of a standards-based regulatory model is to shift the focus from requiring licensees and registrants to comply with a specific set of rules or processes, towards the broader regulatory outcomes they are expected to achieve. This approach strengthens regulatory outcomes in a way that does not needlessly burden regulated entities.
The authority to establish risk-based standards to regulate Ontario’s gaming sector is under the Gaming Control Act, 1992 (GCA) and Regulation 78/12. The authority to establish standards and requirements to regulate Ontario’s cannabis retail stores is the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 (CLA). The authority to establish standards and requirements to regulate the sale, service and delivery of liquor in Ontario is the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA).
Registrar’s Standards for Gaming
The GCA provides the Registrar with the authority to establish standards and requirements. These standards and requirements are referred to as “the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming”, and are concerned with the conduct, management and operation of gaming sites, lottery schemes or businesses related to a gaming site or a lottery scheme or for related goods or services.
The Registrar’s Standards for Gaming were developed based on risk assessments and consultations with key stakeholders, including the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and industry and social responsibility groups. In order to keep the highest standards of integrity, periodic risk assessments will be conducted to ensure that the standards continue to be relevant.
Currently, the Registrar’s Standards apply to OLG charitable gaming sites, the OLG’s internet gaming platform, the OLG lottery sector, and all Casinos. Other Standards and Guidelines are in place for other lines of business.
Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores
The CLA provides the Registrar with authority to establish Standards and Requirements. These Standards and Requirements are referred to as “the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores” and are concerned with the conduct, management and operation of cannabis retail stores.
The Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores were developed based on risk assessments and consultations with key stakeholders. In order to keep the highest standards of integrity, periodic risk assessments will be conducted to ensure that the standards continue to be relevant.
Registrar’s Interim Standards and Requirements for Liquor
The Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) provides the Registrar with the authority to establish standards and requirements in the following areas of liquor regulation:
- The responsible sale, wholesale, supply, delivery, and consumption of liquor
- Training related to the responsible sale, wholesale, supply, delivery and consumption of liquor
- Addressing unlawful activities in licensed or permitted premises
- Licensed and permitted premises, accommodation, equipment and facilities
- Advertising and promotional activities
- Keeping of records, including financial records
- Other matters related to the conduct of licensees and permit holders or the operation of licensed or permitted premises
The Interim Registrar’s Standards and Requirements (Interim Standards) came into effect on November 29, 2021, and apply to licensees and permit holders in the liquor sector.
The first set of standards and requirements under the LLCA are “interim” because they will be replaced by Registrar’s Standards and Requirements for Liquor, which are still in development. The Interim Standards will simply maintain and consolidate many of the current rules and will also introduce some new rules for new activities and new AGCO authorities. Other rules for the liquor sector will remain in statutes and regulations.
The AGCO is working to develop the Registrar’s Standards and Requirements for Liquor that will build the outcomes-based regulatory model enabled by the LLCA.
Applicable Standards by Line of Business
- Registrar’s Standards for Gaming
- Casino Electronic Gaming Devices and Gaming Systems Minimum Technical Standards
- Server-Assisted and Server-Based Gaming Minimum Technical Standards
- Standards for Suppliers of Goods and Services Bingo
- Standards for Suppliers of Goods and Services Break Open Tickets
- Financial Management and Administration of Pooling Bingo Halls – Terms and Conditions
- Financial Management and Administration of Non-Pooling Bingo Halls – Terms and Conditions
- Pooling Bingo Halls: Advertising and Marketing Guidelines
- Electronic cGaming Systems and Minimum Technical Standards
- Electronic Raffle Systems Minimum Technical Standards
- Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector
- Electronic Lottery Systems Minimum Technical Standards
- Registrar’s Standards for Gaming (iGaming — Additional Standards and Requirements applicable to OLG)
- Registrar’s Interim Standards and Requirements for Liquor
Standards Interpretation Protocol
The AGCO has established the Standards Interpretation Protocol, which acts as a single point of contact for inquiries from the gaming industry related to the interpretation of the Standards. In order to promote transparency and better understanding, interpretations will be posted on the AGCO’s website, with the exception of certain instances when confidentiality must be maintained.
Inquiries may be emailed to: Standards.Coordinator@agco.ca
|2.8, 10.1, 10.14||13-012||Game Design: Online and Land-Based Game Themes||All Sectors|
|10.15, 10.20||13-014||Reel Weight - iGaming||iGaming|
|3.2, 2.6||13-016||Disentitlement for iGaming Lottery Ticket Group Purchase||iGaming|
|2.4, 2.8, 10.1||13-018||Help Screens - iGaming||iGaming|
|2.8||13-019||Game Design: Online and Land-Based Game Themes||iGaming|
|1.2||14-001||Security and Surveillance Controls||All Sectors|
|1.34||14-002||Detection of Unauthorized Changes||All Sectors|
|5.8||14-005||Gaming-Related Financial Transactions||All Sectors|
|10.29||14-006||Continuous Play Functionality for iGaming||iGaming|
|3.2||14-009||Eligible Individuals: Employees of Registered Suppliers||All Sectors|
|2.8, 10.1, 10.14||14-010||Gaming Design: Mobile and Online Functionality||iGaming|
|10.33||14-017||Game Session Security||iGaming|
|7.18, 7.20, 7.21||14-020||Requirements to Deactivate Account||iGaming|
|1.37||14-032||Definition of Player Personal Information||All Sectors|
|3.1, 3.2||14-033||Prohibited Access: Court Order||All Sectors|
|3.2||14-034||Eligibility - Gaming Assistants||All Sectors|
|5.1||14-035||Information Identified in Floor Plans||Land-Based|
|2.7||15-005||Removal from Mailing Lists||All Sectors|
|5.7||15-006||Supervision of Destruction of Sensitive Inventories||All Sectors|
|1.20||15-007||Use of Generic Accounts for IT Support Staff||All Sectors|
|3.1.2, 3.2.1||16-009||Jurisdictional Scope of Court Ordered Gaming Prohibitions||All Sectors|
|2.1||16-010||Minors in Corporate Advertising||All Sectors|
|1.7||17-001||Management Override Board Reporting Timelines||All Sectors|
|2.4, 4.5, 4.17, 4.18, 10.14, 12.8, 12.9||18-001||Definition of Live Table Games||Casino|
|10.1.1.a.||18-002||Accumulator Mechanism Percentage Disclosure||iGaming|
|3.1.2.b||19-001||Gaming Site Access and Minimum Age Requirements||iGaming|