February 25, 2019
In May 2018 the Superior Court of Ontario heard an application on the status of the Got Skill game under the Criminal Code of Canada. The application asked the Court to resolve questions about the status of the game under the Code, which would determine whether licensees could allow the game in their liquor licensed establishments. Ontario Regulation 719, subsection 45(1) of the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) states that a liquor licence holder must not permit unlawful gambling to occur on the premises.
In the application, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) took the position that Got Skill is a game of chance, or mixed skill and chance, and therefore is unlawful gambling for the purposes of the LLA. The distributor of the game, Play For Fun Studios Inc., took the position that the game does not constitute unlawful gambling.
On September 4, 2018, the Court released its findings, noting that in its opinion the game did not constitute a game of chance or mixed skill and chance.
The AGCO filed a Notice of Appeal of this decision with the Ontario Court of Appeal. The appeal will be heard June 18, 2019.
If the final decision is that the games cannot be legally hosted and played in a licensed establishment, the AGCO will direct liquor licence holders to remove the machines from their premises.
If the final decision is that the hosting and playing of the game is not contrary to the Criminal Code and/or Liquor Licence Act requirements, the AGCO will allow liquor licence holders to host the game, if there are no other unrelated regulatory issues.
For more information, please contact Raymond Kahnert:
Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-522-2876