2. Responsible Gambling

2.1    Advertising and marketing materials and communications shall not target underage or self-excluded persons to participate in lottery schemes.

Requirements – At a minimum, materials and communications shall not:

  1. Be based on themes, or use language, intended to appeal primarily to minors.
  2. Appear on billboards or other outdoor displays that are directly adjacent to schools or other primarily youth-oriented locations.
  3. Contain cartoon figures, symbols, role models, and/or celebrity/entertainer endorsers whose primary appeal is to minors.
  4. Use individuals who are, or appear to be, minors to promote gambling.
  5. Appear in media and venues directed primarily to minors, or where most of the audience is reasonably expected to be minors.
  6. Persons depicted as lottery purchasers or players in lottery advertising should not be, nor appear to be, minors.

2.2    Advertising and marketing materials and communications shall not be misleading.

Requirements – At a minimum, materials and communications shall not:

  1. Imply that playing a lottery scheme is required in order to fulfil family or social obligations or solve personal problems. 
  2. Promote playing a lottery scheme as an alternative to employment, as a financial investment, or as a requirement for financial security. 
  3. Contain endorsements by well-known personalities that suggest that playing lottery schemes has contributed to their success.
  4. Encourage play as a means of recovering past gambling or other financial losses.
  5. Be designed so as to make false promises or present winning as the probable outcome. 
  6. Imply that chances of winning increase:
    1. the longer one plays
    2. the more one spends
    3. suggest that skill can influence the outcome (for games where skill is not a factor).

2.2.1   Advertising and marketing materials that communicate gambling inducements, bonuses and credits related to sport and event betting are prohibited, except in the following:

  1. on OLG’s websites, including the landing page and electronic channel;
  2. a lottery terminal;
  3. signage inside the premises, on the property on which the premises are situated or immediately adjacent to the premises; or
  4. through direct advertising and marketing after receiving active player consent.


  • This standard does not prohibit the use of inducements, bonuses and credits.
  • Except as outlined in the Standard, all public advertising of gambling inducements, bonuses and credits related to sport and event betting is otherwise prohibited, including targeted advertising and algorithm-based ads.
  • Direct marketing and advertising includes but is not limited to: direct messaging via social media, emails, texts, and phone calls.

2.2.2    Permitted advertising and marketing materials that communicate gambling inducements, bonuses and credits must, at a minimum:

  1. Disclose all material conditions and limitations of the offer at its first presentation.
  2. Not be described as free unless the inducement, bonus or credit is free. If the player has to risk or lose their own money or if there are conditions attached to their own money, the offer must disclose those terms and may not be described as free.
  3. Not be described as risk-free if the player needs to incur any loss or risk their own money to use or withdraw winnings from the risk-free bet.

2.2.3   Players must be provided an opt-in process whereby they actively consent to receiving any direct advertising and marketing of inducements, bonuses and credits, and must be provided a method to withdraw their consent at any time, where such marketing and advertising materials are available.

Guidance: direct marketing and advertising includes but is not limited to: direct messaging via social media, emails, texts, and phone calls.

2.3    Information about the risks of gambling and where to obtain additional information or assistance shall be made readily available.

Requirements – At a minimum:

  1. Responsible gambling materials and information about obtaining help, including the number for Connex Ontario, shall be available, visible and accessible.
  2. Information about setting betting limits, if applicable, shall be made available.
  3. Information about self-exclusion programs shall be available, visible and accessible. 
  4. Advertising and marketing materials shall, where effective, contain a responsible gambling message.
  5. All information related to responsible gambling shall be regularly and periodically reviewed and updated to ensure that it is accurate, up to date and in line with industry good practice.

2.4    Meaningful and accurate information shall be available to enable individuals to make informed choices.

Requirements – At a minimum:

  1. Meaningful and accurate information on the rules of play shall be clearly stated and made available.
  2. Meaningful and accurate information on the odds of winning, payout odds or returns shall be clearly stated and made available.
  3. Odds in sport and event betting sometimes change prior to or during an event. Changes in odds must be updated and publicly available to all players. This is not intended to entitle a player who has previously placed a bet to receive new odds on that bet.
  4. For sport and event betting, provide any other information on elements that will affect play (e.g., how the results of pool betting work, and the procedures for confirming the results).
  5. Cash out options and how to redeem winning bets in sport and event betting.

2.5    Support shall be provided to persons showing signs of potentially problematic gambling behavior.

Requirements – At a minimum:

  1. All Operator employees who interact with players as well as Sellers and Sellers’ registered gaming assistants shall receive training in a Registrar-approved program, appropriate for their level of responsibility, designed to identify and respond appropriately to individuals who may be showing signs of problem gambling. 
  2. Individuals shall be provided with easily accessible contact information of at least one organization dedicated to treating and assisting problem gamblers.
  3. OLG shall develop and enforce responsible gambling policies, procedures and training, ensure they are available, kept up to date and relevant, and that the Operator complies with them.
  4. Responsible gambling policies shall be reviewed periodically for effectiveness.

2.6    OLG shall provide a common voluntary self-exclusion program.

Requirements – At a minimum:

  1. At the time of signing up for self-exclusion, individuals shall have the option to be excluded from Casino, cGaming, iGaming and applicable online lottery channels. 
  2. Despite requirement 1, if a player self-excludes from a Casino, the player is not eligible to gamble on OLG’s iGaming site for the duration of the self-exclusion period. 
  3. Individuals shall have the option to sign up for the self-exclusion program at gaming sites or at an off-site location.
  4. Self-exclusions shall have a term of at least six months.
  5. Operators shall take active steps to identify, and if required, remove self-excluded persons when they are found to be in breach of their self-exclusion agreement.

Guidance: OLG’s self-exclusion program may be executed in each of the gaming sectors using different processes and technologies to reflect the distinct operational circumstances of that sector, however, the long term expectation is that OLG will be able to identify, track and prohibit access to self-excluded persons in and between the various gaming sectors.

Lottery-Specific Guidance: At this time, given the operational realities of the lottery sector, the intent of this Standard is not to require OLG to provide a self-exclusion program for lottery products purchased and sold anonymously at a Sellers’ physical site, unlike an online lottery channel. The existing self-exclusion programs at other gaming sites (Casinos, cGaming or iGaming) would prevent self-excluded individuals from accessing lottery products at those sites.

2.7    Individuals who have decided to voluntarily self-exclude shall be removed from mailing lists and shall not receive incentives or promotions for any products and services during the period of self-exclusion. 

2.8    Game designs and features shall be clear and shall not mislead the player. This Standard does not apply to sport and event betting products.

Requirements – At a minimum:

  1. Where a game simulates a physical device, the theoretical probabilities and visual representation of the game shall correspond to the features and actions of the physical device, unless otherwise disclosed to the player.
  2. Game design shall not give the player the perception that speed of play or skill affects the outcome of the game when it does not.
  3. After the selection of game outcome, the game shall not make a variable secondary decision which affects the result shown to the player. If the outcome is chosen that the game will lose then the game shall not substitute a particular type of loss to show to the player (i.e. near miss). 
  4. Where the game requires a pre-determined pattern (for example, hidden prizes on a map), the locations of the winning spots shall not change during play, except as provided for in the rules of play.
  5. Games shall not display amounts or symbols that are unachievable.
  6. Games shall not contain intentionally programmed subliminal messaging.
  7. Where games involve reels:
    1. For single line games, jackpot symbols shall not appear in their entirety more than 12 times on average, adjacent to the pay-line, for every time they appear on the pay-line.
    2. For multi-line games, jackpot symbols shall not appear in their entirety more than 12 times, on average, not on any pay-line, for every time they appear on any pay-line.
  8. Free-to-play games shall not misrepresent or mislead players as to the likelihood of winning or prize distribution of similar games played for money.
  9. The denomination of each credit shall be clearly displayed on game screens.

2.8.1    The method of making bets in sport and event betting must be straightforward and understandable. Information must be made available so that the player is clearly informed of the details of the bet prior to making the bet. All selections in a bet must be displayed made clear to the player.

Requirements – At a minimum:

  1. Bets on multiple events (parlays) must be identified as parlays.
  2. The player must be informed that a bet selected by the player has or has not been accepted.
  3. Where the player has placed a bet and the odds, payout odds, or prices of the bet change prior to the bet being accepted by the operator, the player must have the option of confirming or withdrawing the bet (with refund of the bet).
  4. The option of automatic acceptance of changes in bets by the player is prohibited.
  5. The player must be informed of the period in which bets can be made on an event or series of events and bets cannot be placed after the close of the betting period.
  6. Free to play sport and event betting games must not mislead players about the odds, payouts or any element of a bet for value available in sport and event betting.
  7. All bets and payouts must be expressed in Canadian currency.

2.8.2    Players must be able to access information regarding available sport and event bets without having to place a bet. This information includes:

Requirements – At a minimum:

  1. Information on the bets available;
  2. Odds, payouts and prices for available bets;
  1. In a dynamic betting environment, including those where individuals’ wagers are gathered into pools:
    1. The most up-to-date odds and payouts (not applicable to pools);
    2. The up-to-date total value of the pool for market pools and pool bets that are offered.

2.8.3    Reputable and legitimate data source(s) must be used to determine the outcome of a bet. These data source(s) shall be made available to the player upon request.

2.9   Free-to-play games shall provide the same responsible gambling and player protection information as games played for money.

2.10    Only eligible individuals are permitted to play free-to-play games.

2.11    Games shall not encourage players to chase their losses, or increase the amount they have decided to gamble, or continue to gamble after they have indicated that they want to stop.

2.12    Not applicable to lottery sector.

2.13    Games shall not appeal primarily to underage individuals.

2.14    Credit shall not be extended or lent to individuals to gamble.

Guidance: This standard does not prohibit the use of credit cards for the purchase of lottery tickets.