On November 5, the Government of Ontario announced it has mandated the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to be the commercial “conduct and manage” entity for Ontario’s online gaming market. The AGCO will continue in its role of regulator for all areas of gaming in Ontario.
The AGCO will work in close partnership with the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Finance to establish a competitive market, and one that will bring the unregulated market’s online gaming operators into Ontario’s legal market and will include a robust consumer protection framework.
In order to eliminate any perception of a potential conflict between the AGCO’s existing role as gaming regulator and its new responsibility for the conduct and management of privately operated internet gaming sites, the bill introduced today would, if passed, permit the creation of an AGCO subsidiary to carry out this new function independently from its regulatory oversight role. For greater clarity, the AGCO’s subsidiary will not be operating internet gaming sites. Instead, it will be responsible for the conduct and management of internet gaming sites otherwise operated by third parties, in accordance with the requirements for conducting and managing gaming under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Over the next several months, the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ministry of Finance and the AGCO will be holding consultations with interested stakeholders. These consultations will help inform a model that will ensure a competitive market for internet gaming operators and a safe online environment for consumers. The AGCO will post a link to the Government of Ontario’s consultation page when it becomes available.