Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has released an updated version of the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector that strengthen player protections for sport and event betting for lottery games that are conducted by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and products sold at lottery retailers in convenience stores, gas, grocery and drugstores across Ontario. These updated standards came into effect on January 31st, 2022.

The AGCO is committed to effectively regulating Ontario’s lottery sector to protect the public interest. The main objectives of updating 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; and
  • 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 Lottery Standards

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

  • Enhanced responsible gambling requirements be in place to restrict the marketing and advertising of inducements for sport and event betting products.
  • 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 must mitigate against the specific integrity risks associated with lottery-based sport and event betting (including scanning for unusual/suspicious betting patterns) and partner with an independent integrity monitor.
  • Certain types of bets are not permitted including in-game and peer-to-peer betting.
  • Individual bets over $100 and bets over $500 on any “Pools” product are not permitted.
  • Enhanced anti-money laundering requirements be in place related to the monitoring of sport and event betting transactions.

Other Changes to the Standards

In addition to the changes related to sport and event betting, the following general changes have been made to the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector:

  • 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.

The Electronic Lottery Systems Minimum Technical Standards have also been reviewed, and the AGCO is working with industry and stakeholders to refine, finalize, and share an updated version 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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