4. Environmental Scans and Risks

The liquor, gaming, horse racing, and cannabis sectors in Ontario have become increasingly complex, global and dynamic. This reality challenges the AGCO to adapt its regulatory approach while maintaining a high degree of public confidence in fulfilling its regulatory mandate in these sectors. In particular, these sectors operate within a multifaceted social and economic context where business considerations need to be balanced with public safety and public health issues related to liquor, cannabis, gambling and horse racing. The AGCO aims to balance the views and interests of industry, social responsibility stakeholders and government when considering and recommending changes to legislation, regulations or policy and when establishing programs and strategies for regulating these sectors.

As with other public sector organizations, the AGCO faces the challenge of managing an expanding mandate, often without a corresponding expansion of resources. In the last few years, the AGCO has taken on new industries, assuming responsibility for the regulatory responsibilities of the horse racing industry and private cannabis retailers, as well as new programs, including the ongoing expansion of beer, wine, and cider sales in grocery stores.  At the same time, public expectations and the AGCO’s visibility continue to rise, making it even more imperative that the AGCO regulate effectively. These new challenges underline the importance of focusing regulatory attention on higher-risk areas, so that the AGCO is better equipped to navigate a changing environment.