November 1, 2023
Following the completion of industry-wide consultations, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has updated the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector (the Standards).
The updates address requirements related to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG) planned launch in early 2024 of lottery self-serve terminals (SSTs) in select new and existing retail lottery locations. The changes outlined in this Information Bulletin support the new SST technology and are applicable only to OLG and those lottery retailers that will have SSTs. The Standards as a whole continue to apply to OLG and to all Operators of lottery schemes conducted in Ontario.
The new and amended Standards outlined below are effective as of today, November 1, 2023.
In addition to the changes to the Standards, the Electronic Lottery Systems Minimum Technical Standards were also updated to mitigate risks specific to the introduction of SST technology.
What is changing?
Updates to the Standards are detailed below:
Standard 3.2.2 - Operators of a gaming site with a self-serve lottery terminal and Sellers working in a gaming site with a self-serve lottery terminal shall not permit individuals described in 3.2 to play a lottery scheme.
Requirements – At a minimum:
- The Operator shall ensure that the self-serve lottery terminal is installed within a direct line of sight of the Sellers and Sellers’ employees of the premises.
- The Operator shall develop responsible gambling policies, procedures and training, including about prohibiting access to designated groups.
- The Operator shall ensure that its responsible gambling policies, procedures, and training in Requirement 2 are available to a Seller and a Seller’s employees, kept up to date and relevant, and that a Seller complies with them.
- A Seller with a self-serve lottery terminal shall effectively monitor, in-person, all player activity and transactions.
- The Operator shall ensure that a self-serve lottery terminal is equipped with a disablement mechanism.
- The Seller shall use the disablement mechanism where an ineligible person attempts to access the self-service lottery terminal.
Standard 4.3.2 - The Operator may only offer Draw-Based games and Instant games through a Self-Serve Terminal.
Guidance: Permissible games do not include:
- sport and event betting
- card games,
- table games
- slots, or
- any game that offers real-time play, except instant games.
Standard 4.13 - Games shall pay out accurately, completely and within a reasonable time of winning, subject to checks and verifications.
Requirement - At a minimum:
- The Operator shall have mechanisms in place to ensure that prizes are paid to the rightful person and only to eligible individuals.
Lottery-Specific Requirements – At a minimum, the Operator shall:
- Ensure that additional verifications take place to determine the rightful owner and/or eligibility for:
- all major prize claims (over a threshold as approved by the Registrar)
- irregular or suspicious claims
- claims by insiders or other designated persons.
- Have mechanisms in place at Seller locations to ensure that prizes are paid out to the proper person, including:
- a maximum level of prize redemption permitted at Seller locations
- a clear indication of the prize validation outcome provided
- winning number information made available to members of the public.
- Have in place an escalation process for prize claim issue resolution.
- Not allow players to redeem or claim any prizes or portion of a prize through the self-serve lottery terminal, except a prize or the portion of the prize that is in the form of one or more lottery tickets valued at $300 or less.
- Not allow players to purchase more than $300 of lottery products per transaction on an SST.
Standard 5.12 - The Seller shall immediately take action to prevent, whether by remote disablement or other means, suspected tampering or similar misuse of a self-serve terminal.
Under the Gaming Control Act (GCA), 1992, the Registrar of the AGCO is authorized to establish Standards to regulate Ontario’s gaming sector, including registered lottery retailers selling OLG lottery products.
The AGCO’s lottery regulatory framework is in place to protect players, minimize gaming related risks, and ensure that the highest standards of integrity of lottery products in Ontario are maintained.
The OLG and their new SST product will be held to the same high standards as other lottery products, including specific standards developed for responsible gambling and prohibiting access to designated groups. The AGCO will continue to monitor OLG’s rollout of these terminals and, as with all gaming, will ensure that SST-based gaming is conducted with honesty, integrity and in the public interest.
The AGCO continuously monitors the sectors it regulates to identify new or emerging risks to Ontarians and adjusts regulatory standards accordingly to address them.
Contact the AGCO for More Information
AGCO Customer Service can be reached via the iAGCO online portal, or by phone at 1-800-522-2876, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.