About the AGCO

Vision

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

 

Mandate

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

 

Governing Legislation

The AGCO is an arms-length regulatory agency of the provincial government, reporting to the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG). It was established on February 23, 1998, under the Alcohol, Cannabis and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996 (ACGRPPA). The AGCO continues as a corporation under a new corporate governance statute, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019 (AGCO Act).

The AGCO is responsible for the administration of:

  • Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019
  • Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019
  • Gaming Control Act, 1992
  • Order-in-Council 208/2024 (as amended)
  • Cannabis Licence Act, 2018
  • Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015

Corporate Structure

AGCO Org Chart

Organizational Structure (Text Version)
    1. Chair and Board of the AGCO
    2. Horse Racing Appeal Panel (HRAP)
    3. iGaming Ontario Board
  1. Chief Executive Officer and Registrar
    1. Communications and Service Experience Division
      1. Communications
      2. Service Strategy and Experience
    2. Corporate Services Division
      1. Finance and Administration
      2. Human Resources and Training
      3. Risk Management, Internal Audit
      4. Change Management
      5. Project Management Office
    3. Information & Information Technology Division
      1. Business Optimization and Insights
      2. Information Technology
      3. Cybersecurity
      4. Enterprise Data and Analytics Branch
    4. Investigation and Enforcement Bureau
      1. Investigations
      2. Intelligence and Investigative Support
    5. Legal Services Division
      1. Litigation Services
      2. Corporate Services
      3. Advisory Services and Legal Drafting
    6. Operations Division
      1. Compliance Services
      2. Audit & Financial Investigations
      3. Regulatory Compliance
      1. Licensing and Registration
      2. Regulatory Assurance
      3. Technology Regulation and igaming Compliance
      4. Anti-Money Laundering
    7. Corporate Affairs, Strategic Policy and Planning Division
      1. Corporate Affairs
      2. Board Governance and Relations
      3. HRAP Secretariat
      4. Strategic Policy and Planning
      5. Strategic Engagement

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 objective by working with partners across the organization to strengthen its service culture and competencies and ensuring customer needs are the “organizing principle” around policy development, service design and delivery. The branch includes the AGCO’s Contact Centre, which handles over 100,000 customer interactions 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.

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 a proactive facilitator of the agency’s major change initiatives.

The Human Resources and Training Branch is responsible for supporting the People First strategic goal. The strategic goal 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. The Human Resources and Training Branch oversees the DI&A framework.

The Finance and Administration Branch provides 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 manages the 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 implements a change management framework for the agency by applying structured processes and tools to lead people through organizational change and helping individuals transition by engaging, adopting and implementing change.

Information and Information Technology Division

In partnership with each business area, the Information and Information Technology (I&IT) Division provides strategic advice and technology to support the AGCO’s Digital First mindset and Future of Work project. This division oversees information and information technology investment and makes it easier for people and businesses to interact and engage within the agency.

The Enterprise Data and Analytics Branch 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 and Insights Branch brings an enterprise-wide business lens to key optimization initiatives resulting in continuous process and business improvements across the organization. Built on continuous innovation and a framework of improvement with a digital transformation and automation mindset, this branch works with all regulated sectors to identify optimization opportunities and liaise with system and data teams.

The Cybersecurity Branch focuses on matters related to the AGCO’s regulated sectors and corporate solutions such as iAGCO, the Data Analytic platform, Enterprise Document Management and human resources and financial systems.

The IT 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.

Investigation and Enforcement Bureau

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB or Bureau) is assigned to the AGCO. It employs approximately 135 sworn and civilian members, fully integrated within the AGCO. The Chief Superintendent reports to an OPP Deputy Commissioner. The Bureau’s branches conduct investigations across all sectors 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, advice and assistance in developing and drafting legislation, contracts and policies strategic direction as well as providing advice and opinions on corporate issues and initiatives. It also provides legal advice on licensee and registrant eligibility and compliance matters within the regulatory mandate and represents the Registrar at hearings of appeals before the Licence Appeal Tribunal, the Horse Racing Appeal Panel, the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal.

Operations Division

The Operations Division has a broad mandate covering the AGCO’s daily and strategic operational activities.

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

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

Inspectors and Auditors within CS respond to and proactively address compliance concerns when and where they occur, taking a multi-sector approach to reach desired regulatory outcomes. In addition, the financial investigations team in AFI conduct due diligence in support of L&R processes and financial investigations regarding allegations of fraud.

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

The Equine Drug Unit (EDU) is composed of inspectors from RCB and OPP investigators from IEB, who work together to conduct inspections and investigations into violations related to equine medication control. Their primary focus is to reduce the use and distribution of performance enhancing drugs within the sport through a combination of inspections and investigative techniques.

The Technology Regulation and iGaming Compliance Branch assesses, tests and approves electronic games, systems and equipment against Ontario Minimum Technical Standards, while maintaining independently confirmed accreditation against ISO 17025:2017, the general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. Please note that with the launch of an open competitive market in internet gaming anticipated for April 2022, all testing in internet gaming will be conducted by AGCO registered Independent Testing Laboratories under the oversight of the TRC branch.

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 reporting of recreational cannabis inventory and sales activity.

The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Unit is committed to maintaining an effective anti–money laundering program designed to mitigate money laundering risks in AGCO regulated sectors. The team implements a risk- and evidence-based approach to AML. This approach includes conducting targeted oversight activities that assess the degree to which gaming sites not only concern themselves with transactional accountability and reporting outcomes but also focus on the risk mitigation, prevention, disruption and deterrence of suspected money laundering activities. The team maintains and fosters strong relationships with AGCO partners and stakeholders, including OLG, iGO, the OPP and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

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. The Strategic Policy and Planning Branch leads strategic regulatory policy across each sector, in addition to strategic and corporate planning. The Office of Strategic Engagement supports projects and ongoing work by leading external and internal stakeholder engagement, including management of memoranda of understanding with other regulators. The division also serves as the primary liaison with government partners to support government initiatives and conduct issues management.

The Corporate Affairs and Governance Branch is responsible for Board support and assists the Board in fulfilling its governance responsibilities. This includes ensuring 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.