8. Initiatives Involving Third Parties

The AGCO remains committed to developing new partnerships with third parties nationally and internationally and will continue to foster existing relationships through available channels. Within Ontario, the AGCO continues to partner and engage across the alcohol, cannabis, gaming and horse racing sectors.

In January 2018, the AGCO successfully launched the second phase of its electronic service delivery channel, iAGCO. As such, all alcohol-related licensing transactions by the AGCO are now available online through the iAGCO web-based portal. In April 2018, the AGCO successfully ended the transition period for paper-based applications impacted by Phase 1 iAGCO roll out. The AGCO has worked closely with the LCBO to provide continual service for applicants during the transition phase. The AGCO continues to meet with the LCBO on a regular basis to ensure continued quality service experiences for licensees and authorization holders.  

The AGCO continues to organize and execute significant stakeholder engagement activities across all sectors it regulates. One example is through working groups with membership from a range of third-party representatives including the horse racing, liquor, gaming, cannabis and social responsibility sectors. Regular meetings and communication with these groups has helped the AGCO to maximize its ability to be responsive to stakeholder needs, feedback and public interests. Other examples of stakeholder engagement activities planned for the upcoming year include the continual implementation of the municipal engagement strategy that has provided an opportunity for the AGCO to build its relationship with and engage more regularly in a coordinated manner with its stakeholders at the municipal government level.

In addition to leading its own stakeholder engagement activities, the AGCO continues to actively participate in stakeholder and industry association meetings and conferences in an effort to promote a two-way dialogue with the sectors that it regulates. Some of the conferences the AGCO has participated in include but are not limited to the Ontario Craft Brewers Conference, Canadian Restaurant and Bar Show, the 2018 Municipal Licensing and Law Enforcement Forum, and the Canadian Gaming Summit.  The AGCO anticipates participating in these events again in the upcoming year.    

The AGCO will remain committed to building and maintaining partnerships with law enforcement agencies across Ontario. Whether through regular contact with members of the OPP Bureau assigned to the AGCO, specialized educational seminars and materials on liquor and cannabis enforcement for front-line police officers, or information sharing on liquor, cannabis, gaming and horse racing investigations, the AGCO values their partnerships with law enforcement agencies.

Internationally, the AGCO continues to be a well-respected member organization of both the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) and the North American Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA). In addition, the AGCO often receives requests from international delegations to learn about the organization and the AGCO’s regulatory approach.  For example, this year the AGCO hosted the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore and the Government of Japan.

Nationally, the AGCO is a member organization of the Association of Liquor Licensing Authorities of Canada (ALAC), the Canadian Partnership for Responsible Gambling (CPRG), the Canadian Association of Gaming Regulatory Agencies (CAGRA) and other regulatory associations. The AGCO is looking at ways to engage with provincial and international colleagues in the cannabis regulation sphere. The AGCO is committed to engaging with other regulators in Ontario and abroad on pursuing additional MOUs and formal agreements of cooperation where opportunities exist to support greater collaboration or support the regulatory outcomes of each party.

The AGCO has committed to engaging with its diverse stakeholder network to ensure the implementation of iAGCO, and the new regulatory framework for retailing recreational cannabis meets the needs and interests of those being regulated as well as the AGCO’s own requirements from a regulatory perspective.