On August 8, 2019 the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision regarding a Notice of Appeal filed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) in the matter of the legality of the Got Skill game. In an unanimous decision, the panel overturned a lower court opinion the game did not constitute a game of chance or mixed skill and chance. The Court of Appeal found that the game was a game of mixed chance and skill.
As a consequence of the Court of Appeal’s finding, the game cannot be lawfully operated as it is currently offered in Ontario. 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. The 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.
With the Court of Appeal’s decision, the AGCO will now work with liquor licence holders and other businesses licensed or registered by the AGCO to ensure they are in compliance with the law. The AGCO will contact these licence holders directly on the timing of the removal of the machines from their premises and, as noted in previous Information Bulletins, will allow a reasonable period for licence holders to comply.
For more information, please contact Raymond Kahnert:
Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-522-2876