About the AGCO



A world-class regulator that is innovative, proactive, inclusive and socially responsible.


To regulate in accordance with the principles of honesty and integrity, and in the public interest.


The AGCO commits to conducting business in a manner that will:

  • develop, implement and enforce fair policies and procedures
  • establish a framework of critical regulatory controls in the public interest that are sensitive to the economic viability of the alcohol, gaming, horse racing and cannabis industries and sectors
  • be client focused in the way we respond to and manage client and stakeholder needs
  • educate clients and stakeholders and develop partnerships
  • create a supportive work environment that respects and values the contributions of AGCO staff and provides them with opportunities for growth and professional achievement.

Governing legislation

Alcohol, Cannabis and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996, Regulations (141/01; 469/18)

Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 (CLA), Regulation 468/18

Gaming Control Act, 1992 (GCA), Regulation 78/12

Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015 (HRLA), Regulation 61/16

Liquor Control Act (LCA), clauses 3(1)b, e, e.1, f, g and 3(2)a, subsections 3.0.1(1), (2), 3.0.2(1), (2), 3.0.3 (1),(2),(3), (5), and section 4.1, Ontario Regulation 232/16

Liquor Licence Act (LLA), Regulations 58/00; 718/90; 719/90; 720/90; 70/09; 783/94; 389/91

Wine Content and Labelling Act, 2000, Regulation 659/00

Order-in-Council 208/2024

Social responsibility: Evolving social attitudes

With the evolving views of society and to better reflect their maturity, the AGCO continues to refine its role in the promotion of social responsibility in the alcohol, gaming, horse racing and cannabis industries and sectors.

A focus on responsible gambling is a key factor in the public’s confidence in the gaming industry. A greater emphasis on responsible use is a continued focus during the continued modernization of the liquor sector. Public interest in the wellbeing of racehorses spotlights our ongoing commitment to the integrity and safety of horse racing. With the legalization of cannabis, the AGCO works to ensure that the retail sale of cannabis in Ontario is carried out with honesty, integrity, and in the public interest.

Social responsibility is an integral part of the AGCO as an organization and as a regulator. In 2019 the AGCO formally launched its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, which aims to embed CSR into the cultural fabric of the agency and to ensure that it is taken into account in regulatory and operational decisions. CSR encapsulates a range of initiatives at the AGCO that focus on supporting people both internally and externally, reducing environmental impacts and supporting its regulated industries. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGCO continued to find ways to advance CSR, including through a new employer-funded Volunteer Time Off program that provides employees with the opportunity to use one day to support a charitable cause. This program is another step in the AGCO’s journey to enhance its commitment to social responsibility as an organization and make a positive impact and difference in the local community.

CSR helps provide the AGCO and its employees with a sense of purpose and motivation, and ultimately drives them to do good work.

The AGCO’s changing public profile

The AGCO places a priority on digital and enhanced communications to inform and engage with audiences, based on its “Digital by Default” approach. Over this past year, under the spotlight of significant interest in the regulation of recreational cannabis, the AGCO had a unique opportunity to reinforce its communications commitment of sustaining the agency’s reputation by expanding its website content, amplifying its social media presence, proactively engaging with media and taking a direct communication approach with licensees.

AGCO website

The AGCO website had more than 1.2 million views in 2020–2021 by 667,000 users. Overall traffic to the site was 14% lower than the previous fiscal year. This is likely due to the spike in interest seen in 2019– 2020 due to the opening of cannabis stores, as well as the economic effects of COVID-19 in 2020–2021. Sixteen new videos were added in 2020–2021 for a total of 61 videos available on the AGCO’s Vimeo page or via the website. These videos generated a total of 8,500 views during the fiscal year, which is down from 34,000 views the previous year. This decrease can be attributed to the significant interest the cannabis industry received the previous year.

Social media

The AGCO continued to increase the reach of its regulatory announcements and build its social media communities and online engagement through its English and French Twitter accounts, @Ont_AGCO, @Ont_CAJO, @AGCO_Racing and @CAJO_Courses. There were 734 new followers in 2020–2021, for a total of 4,346 followers (a 20% year/year increase). A total of 4,297 tweets were sent during this fiscal year, with 2,750 engagements (retweets, replies, and likes) from users. Twitter and other social media platforms continue to be an important part of the AGCO’s communications strategy, and increasing the rate of follower growth remains a key objective.

Email distribution list

As part of its continual efforts to provide support during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGCO focused its external email campaigns primarily on existing licensees and stakeholders, by informing them of the impacts of government and public health measures on their businesses. In 2020–2021, the AGCO sent over 372,000 emails during 95 direct email campaigns (in both official languages) to licensee and stakeholder groups across all regulated lines of business. This included the launch of the AGCO’s electronic Lottery Line and Race Line newsletters. The average email open rate of 65% exceeds industry standards.

AGCO media requests

Working with media outlets to share information continued to be a priority over the year.

TABLE 1: Media requests by month




Percentage Change





















































1 First Cannabis stores opening. 2 Lottery draw for Second Allocation of stores

Corporate structure

In 2020–2021, the AGCO undertook significant organizational structural change to better advance its strategic priorities and operational needs. Its organizational structure is based on functional responsibilities and consists of seven divisions, each led by a member of the Executive Committee that reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and Registrar.

The Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) functions as an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) bureau assigned to the AGCO and is headed by a Chief Superintendent of the OPP. The IEB is responsible for regulatory and criminal investigations, as well as sharing its expertise and information with external law enforcement and other regulatory and industry stakeholder agencies.

Organizational Structure of the AGCO

Organizational Chart

Organizational Structure (Text Version)

Brief description of corporate structure and function of AGCO divisions

Operations Division

Through its Licensing and Registration Branch (L&R), the Operations Division is responsible for reviewing and processing all application types, including licences, permits, authorizations and registrations, across all the lines of business regulated by the AGCO. L&R also works with municipalities and First Nations overseeing the licensing of charitable lottery schemes.

The Division includes Compliance Services (CS), which consists of the Audit and Financial Investigations (AFI) Branch and the Regulatory Compliance Branch (RCB). These branches conduct regulatory compliance activities, including education, planning, and inspections, along with audits and financial investigations across all lines of business. Equipping frontline staff with the knowledge and skills to deliver services to all industries and sectors, CS deploys regional, cross-functional teams who take a comprehensive, risk- and outcomes-based approach to regulatory compliance.

Compliance Officials (COs) and Auditors respond to compliance concerns when and where they occur, taking a multi-sector approach and maintaining a focus on supporting desired regulatory outcomes. In addition, the Forensic Accountants of the AFI Branch conduct due diligence in support of L&R processes and financial investigations regarding allegations of fraud.

RCB also provides Racing Officials (Judges and Stewards), who supervise horse races conducted at Ontario’s licensed racetracks, as well as Veterinary Services, which oversee the health and welfare of horses during racing. Veterinary Services work with the Official Veterinarians, who are employed by the racetracks but supervised by the AGCO.

The Division’s Technical and Laboratory Services staff assess and approve electronic games, systems and equipment against Ontario Technical Standards and assess supplier and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) quality assurance and testing procedures.

The Regulatory Assurance Branch (RAB) leads the development and implementation of tools, strategies and frameworks that assess risk and drive the AGCO’s compliance-focused approach. The RAB also works with the province’s cannabis retail store operators and the Ontario Cannabis Store to ensure the accurate tracking of all cannabis.

Corporate Affairs, Strategic Policy and Planning Division

The Corporate Affairs, Strategic Policy and Planning Division provides a variety of strategic functions to support the delivery of the agency’s mandate, including regulatory policy, external stakeholder engagement, and corporate planning. It also serves as the primary liaison with government partners to support government initiatives and conduct issues management.

The Corporate Secretariat responsible for Board support resides within this division and assists the AGCO Board of Directors in fulfilling its governance responsibilities. This includes ensuring that key corporate accountability measures are completed within government timelines and monitoring compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the AGCO. A dedicated and independent unit also provides administrative support to the Horse Racing Appeal Panel.

Corporate Services Division

The Corporate Services Division provides advice and guidance on all aspects of the AGCO’s day-to-day administration and client services and plays a strategic role as proactive facilitator of the agency’s major change initiatives.

This Division is responsible for a number of functions and activities:

  • A new People and Culture Branch, responsible for AGCO’s Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DI&A) Framework, People Strategy, Workplace of the Future, and future organizational projects, ensures that foundational workforce pieces align with strategic priorities, human resource strategies and I&IT vision.
  • The Human Resources and Training Branch is responsible for supporting the People First strategic direction. This includes full-cycle human resources operational services, wellness, employee engagement, coaching, management/labour relations, talent management and succession planning, talent data analytics/reporting, and internal and external training. This branch ensures that the AGCO Development Program harmonizes staff training needs with professional career growth, mentoring, coaching and succession planning.
  • The Finance and Administration Branch provides the following services and resources: financial planning and reporting, accounting, payroll, procurement (including oversight of vendor management), facilities management, and mail and courier services.
  • The Risk Management and Internal Audit Branch undertakes internal audits, which provide reasonable assurance that the AGCO’s risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively. The Branch also supports the agency’s Enterprise Risk Management framework and coordinates the Emergency Management Enterprise System, which includes the Business Continuity Plan.”
  • The Project Management Office (PMO) continues to manage AGCO’s priority projects. It ensures major projects stay on track, outcomes are aligned to strategic goals and the right resources are in the right place based on corporate needs.
  • The Change Management Office (CMO) implements a change management framework for the agency by applying structured processes and tools to lead people through organizational change, and helps individuals transition by engaging, adopting and implementing change.

Information and Information Technology (I&IT) Division

The I&IT Division, in partnership with each business area, provides strategic advice and technology to support the AGCO’s strategic pillars of Digital First and Work of the Future. The Division oversees investment in information and information technology and makes it easier for people and businesses to interact and engage within the agency.

The Information Services division is responsible for the technology portfolio, which includes oversight of several branches:

  • The Regulatory Information and Intelligence Branch (RII) provides data analytics solutions to inform regulatory policy and operations. It optimizes service delivery and resource efficiencies to ensure alignment with the two strategic pillars of Data Analytics and Data Governance.
  • The Business Optimization Branch (BMO) continues to bring an enterprise-wide business lens to key optimization initiatives resulting in continuous process and business improvements across the organization. Built on a continuous innovation and improvement framework and digital transformation and automation mindset, this branch works with all lines of business to identify optimization opportunities and liaise with system and data teams.
  • A new Cybersecurity Branch will be established to focus on matters related to AGCO’s lines of business and corporate solutions such as iAGCO, the Data Analytic platform, Enterprise Document Management, and human resources and financial systems.
  • The Information Management Branch provides IT planning and roadmaps, innovative business solutions, robust technology platforms, enterprise architecture and design, AGCO system development and configuration, data management/governance and end-user solutions, and operates the help desk.

Communications and Service Experience Division

The Communications and Service Experience Division provides strategic communications advice and services, manages media relations and the AGCO’s public reputation, and oversees the development of internal and external communication materials and publications. It builds understanding and acceptance of organizational objectives and policy priorities through regular communication with staff and stakeholders.

The Service Strategy and Experience Branch delivers on the AGCO’s Service Excellence strategic objectives by working with partners across the organization to strengthen the organization’s service culture and competencies and ensuring customer needs are the “organizing principle” around which policy development, service design and delivery are planned and executed. The branch houses the AGCO’s Contact Centre, handling 100,000-plus customer transactions yearly, across a range of channels. It also provides oversight of the agency’s inquiries and complaints handling policy and practices, and ensures the customer experience is monitored, measured and managed.

Investigation and Enforcement Bureau

The OPP Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) assigned to the AGCO employs approximately 135 sworn and civilian members, fully integrated within the AGCO. The OPP Superintendent (Director) reports directly to the Chief Superintendent. The Bureau’s branches conduct investigations across all lines of business regulated by the AGCO. The Bureau also provides investigative expertise to, and shares information with, other law enforcement services and regulatory and industry stakeholder agencies to ensure integrity and public safety within these regulated industries and sectors.

Legal Services Division

The Legal Services Division provides legal advice and services to the AGCO. This includes providing advice on the application of legislation, regulations and standards administered by the AGCO, assistance in drafting legislation, contracts and policies, as well as providing advice and opinions on corporate issues and initiatives. It also provides legal advice on licensee and registrant compliance matters within the regulatory framework and represents the Registrar at hearings of appeals before the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT), the Horse Racing Appeal Panel (HRAP), the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal.

AGCO Licensees and Registrants (2020–2021)

Total Licensees and Registrants 81,651; Gaming and Lottery Registrants 36%, 29,305; Horse Racing Licensees 20%, 15,951; Cannabis 4%, 3,361; Alcohol Industry Licensees 40%, 33,034

Approximately 3,200 Special Occasion Permits (SOPs) were issued by the AGCO in 2020–2021.

Strategic direction

The AGCO is guided by a Strategic Plan that positions the agency to be an effective and modern regulator through an increasingly complex operating environment. Serving as a compass, the Plan helps the AGCO to strategically navigate the challenges and opportunities that exist within the liquor, gaming, horse racing and cannabis retail industries and sectors.

The Strategic Plan outlines the vision and strategic goals of the organization. The AGCO’s vision of being a world-class regulator that is innovative, proactive, inclusive and socially responsible will be achieved through its three strategic goals – Modern Regulator, Service Excellence, and People First. Characterized by a set of key commitments that drive AGCO’s culture and inform decision-making, these goals align with, and support the achievement of, government objectives to:

  • enhance accountability and efficiency in the delivery of public services
  • use evidence-based decision-making and policy development
  • reduce the administrative burden on businesses, and
  • increase consumer choice.

Strategic Plan, hyperlink to text version below.

Strategic Plan (Text Version)

During 2020–2021 the AGCO made significant progress towards achieving its strategic goals, with all divisions contributing to efforts to keep the agency moving forward, as a Modern Regulator, providing Service Excellence to all stakeholders, and striving to be an organization that puts People First. Here are some of the highlights.

1.Modern Regulator

The AGCO’s compliance functions were reorganized into one Compliance Services Team across all of the industries and sectors the AGCO regulates with the common goal of improving compliance across all lines of business. It is more flexible, agile and responsive than ever, and well-positioned to continue proactively evolving over an ever-changing regulatory landscape.

In a continued effort to modernize the regulation of horse racing in Ontario, the AGCO implemented a number of initiatives to promote human and equine health and safety. This included an expansion of the Concussion Protocol more broadly for jockeys and exercise riders at all Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racetracks as well as revised urging provisions, to limit urging in Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. Additionally, the AGCO undertook a series of consultation sessions with key industry stakeholders on several rule changes that were brought forward by the industry.

Significant work has been undertaken to develop and implement the igaming model following the government’s announcement that the AGCO will establish a subsidiary to conduct and manage the new competitive igaming market, independent of its role as regulator.

As part of the work to develop the new igaming framework, the AGCO launched an online portal to engage with industry stakeholders with an interest in igaming in Ontario. Over the next several months the AGCO will undertake a series of engagements on key technical components of the igaming framework, starting with the opportunity to provide input into regulatory standards, a responsible gambling program and other operational matters.

2.Service Excellence

The continued modernization of the AGCO service delivery model through the phased implementation of the iAGCO web-based portal included the implementation of its final phase in 2020:

  • Phase 4A launched in March 2020 and included services for horse racing.
  • Phase 4B launched in October 2020 and included services for charitable gaming and electronic gaming equipment.

Customers can now conduct all AGCO-related transactions online, anytime from anywhere.

As a result of the Service Experience 2020 initiative, the AGCO became one of the first government agencies to offer Web Chat services to customers. As well, the agency has a new policy and function for handling complaints and inquiries, allowing for greater oversight and consistency in practices across all departments and improved resolution for customers.

The AGCO launched a second call for proposals under the Education, Training and Awareness (ETA) Fund. This is an opportunity for industry stakeholders to apply for funding to deliver new education, training and awareness programs that are designed to improve compliance with provincial laws and/or enhance awareness of issues of public interest within the industries and sectors the AGCO regulates. For the 2020–2021 funding cycle, the total amount of funds available to support new ETA programs and initiatives is $350,000, with a maximum amount of $125,000 for any one program or initiative and a goal of funding projects of varied sizes.

In January 2020 the AGCO’s ETA team launched an eLearning course for private event alcohol Special Occasion Permit (SOP) holders to educate them about their legal responsibilities for hosting these types of events. Since the launch, over 550 participants have successfully completed the module and feedback hasbbeen extremely positive. The project was made possible through Order of Monetary Penalties, which provide funding for education, training and awareness projects.

As of January 1, 2021, AGCO’s website, including the iAGCO portal and Horse Racing Appeals Panel website, have been declared compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This ensures that people with disabilities can access the AGCO’s website content using screen-readers or other assistive technologies without any barriers.

The AGCO continued to maintain and build upon collaborative relationships with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, College of Veterinarians, Canada Border Services Agency, Regulatory Compliance & Enforcement Council, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, Canadian Pari- Mutuel Agency, and the Canadian American Law Enforcement Organization.

3.People First

In 2020–2021, the AGCO witnessed many changes pertaining to its organizational structure. The senior leadership team carefully planned and realigned the AGCO’s structure to meet the organization’s current and future needs. The following divisions were re-aligned:

  • Information and Information Technology Division (I&IT)
  • Corporate Services Division
  • Corporate Affairs, Strategic Policy and Planning Division
  • Communications and Service Experience Division.

The AGCO saw significant changes in its senior leadership team, as the Registrar and CEO, Jean Major, retired. The AGCO was pleased to welcome the new Registrar and CEO, Tom Mungham, former AGCO Chief Operating Officer. In addition to the CEO, the AGCO also welcomed five other new members to its executive team.

The AGCO is committed to addressing head-on and with honesty, the concerns and needs of our diverse workforce, increasing equity for all, including all racialized communities in Canada, Indigenous peoples, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, persons with disabilities, and women. See “The AGCO’s commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DI&A).”

The health and safety of our staff is always a top priority and that has never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic. See “AGCO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Future of Work initiative is identifying a new strategy and implementation plan that will guide the AGCO’s gradual return to its offices within a vision for the “next normal.” It will identify and address what the future of work looks like at the AGCO, including what it does, and how and where it does it, and embracing solutions that advance the Digital and People First mindsets. The goals will be to establish as flexible a workplace as possible, improve employee wellbeing and work-life balance, enhance the AGCO culture and reduce internal costs where we can. The strategy will explore all feasible options, stress flexibility and be informed by the feedback received from People Leaders and staff during the December 2020 Town Hall discussions, as well as an extensive analysis of best practices. As the strategy is implemented, staff will continue to be heavily engaged to help inform and validate specific approaches being taken and to refine them as required over time.

Continuing to put employees’ wellbeing at the top of our priorities, the AGCO is developing a Wellness Strategy that will outline the various ways we support, encourage and increase awareness in the area of health and wellbeing.