Section 8: Initiatives Involving Stakeholders (Third Parties)

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Stakeholder Engagement  

The AGCO remains committed in its approach to engage all sector stakeholders to anticipate, understand and monitor trends and emerging risks, as well as to respond to their evolving and changing needs. This approach aims to help the AGCO deepen its understanding of its stakeholders, identify opportunities to improve its effectiveness and efficiency, and improve regulatory outcomes.

The AGCO strives to continuously enhance its engagement toolkit to connect with its diverse network of stakeholders, both within Ontario, as well as nationally and internationally, given the global dimensions of these regulated sectors. This includes expanding the utilization of its digital stakeholder engagement portal in the coming years, with all its regulated sectors, where appropriate. The AGCO Connect portal has proven to be an effective way to gather input, share information, and consider external viewpoints to make informed decisions and develop policies.  

The AGCO will also continue to explore new and innovative strategies to tailor its digital engagement activities to the unique needs and dynamics of each regulated sector. The ongoing integration and enhancement of its digital engagement tools aligns with improving digital delivery and customer-centricity.  

Collaborative Relationships and Partnerships

The AGCO continues to be committed to cultivating collaborative relationships and partnerships with the various levels of government within Canada, as well as internationally, primarily with other regulatory bodies.  

The AGCO has ongoing communication with law enforcement agencies across Ontario, including with members of the Ontario Provincial Police Bureau assigned to the AGCO who provide specialized educational seminars and materials on enforcement activities for front-line police officers, and continually share relevant information. The AGCO is a member of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Alcohol, Gaming, and Cannabis Committee. It is also a contributor to the Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario (CISO) which is a partnership between the Ontario government and the law enforcement community to identify and tackle organized crime across the province.  

The AGCO’s Investigative and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) continues to participate in an anti–human trafficking working group, collaborating with the Ontario Provincial Police Anti–Human Trafficking Unit, Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario and municipal partners to proactively focus on anti-human trafficking activities. The group created a list of anti-human trafficking police contacts from police jurisdictions across Ontario that house casinos and/or racetracks. The collaborative effort of this initiative allows investigators to quickly mobilize a multi-jurisdictional response to investigations. IEB members will continue to provide anti-human trafficking training to service providers at all casino locations across the province.

As part of the Last Drink Program, the AGCO continues to be actively engaged with regional and municipal police services to share information, including the name of the licensed establishment where an individual, charged with certain alcohol-related driving offences, had their last drink. An AGCO Inspector will visit the licensee to discuss their regulatory obligations and reiterate the importance and responsibility of complying with laws related to public safety concerns such as over-service, serving minors, and hours of operation.  

Representatives from the AGCO serve as board members on the Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Council, a non-profit organization which is committed to promoting excellence and high professional standards in the enforcement profession through quality training and education.  

The AGCO will continue to develop and strengthen its relationships with key Canadian and international regulators to share relevant information and best practices. The AGCO has standing meetings with Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to discuss compliance-related matters. Within Ontario, the AGCO regularly engages a group of provincial government stakeholders to discuss anti-money laundering matters.  

At the national level, the AGCO regularly participates in federal, provincial, and territorial forums related to cannabis retail and gaming, as well as federal legislation reviews that intersect with the sectors it regulates. The AGCO is affiliated with the Association of Liquor Licensing Authorities of Canada and the Canadian Association of Gaming Regulatory Agencies. Internationally, it continues to be an active partner in both the International Association of Gaming Regulators and the North American Gaming Regulators Association. Within the horse racing sector, the AGCO is a part of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, an umbrella organization that sets global standards for racing regulation, and it has regular touchpoints with the Canadian Pari Mutuel Agency.

The AGCO recognizes the value in maintaining and building strong relationships and will continue to leverage existing relationships and proactively establishing new ones with other regulators and organizations to promote collaboration, information exchange, and enhance due diligence processes including strengthening current memoranda of understanding and forging new agreements.