The Standards-Based Approach

Under the Gaming Control Act, 1992 (GCA) and Regulation 78/12, the Registrar is authorized to establish risk-based standards to regulate Ontario’s gaming sector. The objective of a standards-based regulatory model is to shift the focus from requiring registrants to comply with a specific set of rules or processes, which tend to be prescriptive in nature, towards the broader regulatory outcomes or objectives they are expected to achieve. These regulatory outcomes are reflected in the “Standards” established herein.

In most cases, these Standards are drafted at a high level of generality, with the aim being to capture the purpose behind the rule. This offers greater flexibility for regulated entities to determine the most efficient and effective way of meeting the outcomes required, which in turn helps reduce regulatory burden and support market innovation. Further, the flexibility inherent in a Standards-Based model allows the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to focus its resources on key risks and to deliver a modernized approach to gaming regulation in a rapidly evolving industry.

The Standards were developed based on a comprehensive risk assessment conducted in consultation with key stakeholders, including the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), and social responsibility groups. The resulting risk themes are outlined in the next section and the risk inventory is attached as Appendix A. Going forward, risk assessments will be conducted periodically to ensure that the Standards continue to be relevant, and that the highest standards of integrity for gaming in Ontario are maintained.