Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has released an updated version of the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming  that strengthen player protections for sport and event betting that takes place in land-based gaming establishments, like casinos. These updated standards came into effect on January 31st, 2022.

The AGCO is committed to the effective regulation of Ontario’s land-based gaming sector to protect the public interest. The main objectives of expanding the regulatory framework to include specific sport and event betting standards are to establish effective responsible gaming protections and to help ensure the integrity of the betting markets against activities such as insider betting or game manipulation, including:

  • Requiring operators to actively monitor the betting markets for suspicious betting activity.
  • Prohibiting insiders, including coaches, athletes and referees, from betting on certain events.
  • Ensuring sport and event bet offerings meet a strong set of criteria (as outlined in the standards), giving the operator the flexibility to respond to new opportunities and changing market needs while protecting Ontario players.

Overview of Sport and Event Betting-Related Changes to the Gaming Standards

The most significant additions and/or revisions to the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming require that:      

  • Sport and event bets are clear and understandable; resources must be available to players on how to place bets.
  • Acceptable betting criteria are applied to determine allowable bets and bet types.
  • Operators mitigate the specific integrity risks associated with land-based sport and event betting (including scanning for unusual/suspicious betting patterns) and partner with an independent integrity monitor.
  • Operators mitigate risks associated with anonymous play, including by monitoring transactions to detect players seeking to avoid sport and event betting integrity and/or anti-money laundering reporting requirements.
  • Operators provide players with a record of placed bets.
  • Operators will not be required to submit sport and event betting Rules of Play to the Registrar for approval, but if a bet is presented as being a commonly understood type of bet, it must operate as players would expect.

Other Changes to the Standards

In addition to the changes related to sport and event betting, the following general changes are being made to Registrar’s Standards for Gaming:

  •  Removing the requirement for prize disentitlement of self-excluded individuals as supported by problem gambling research.
  • Gaming infrastructure used by gaming-related suppliers registered with the AGCO are no longer restricted to being located within Ontario.
  • Including previously announced anti-money laundering changes that came into force December 31, 2021. Please see here for additional information.

The advertising inducement-related standards, as well as Casino Electronic Gaming Devices and Gaming Systems Minimum Technical Standards have also been reviewed, and the AGCO will continue to work with industry and stakeholders to refine, finalize and share updated documents soon.

If you require more information, contact our customer service at AGCO Customer Service anytime via the iAGCO online portal, or by phone at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876, Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm.

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