The AGCO is guided by a Strategic Plan that positions the agency to be an effective and modern regulator through an increasingly complex operating environment. Serving as a compass, the Plan helps the AGCO to strategically navigate the challenges and opportunities that exist within the liquor, gaming, horse racing and cannabis retail industries and sectors.

The Strategic Plan outlines the vision and strategic goals of the organization. The AGCO’s vision of being a world-class regulator that is innovative, proactive, inclusive and socially responsible will be achieved through its three strategic goals – Modern Regulator, Service Excellence, and People First. Characterized by a set of key commitments that drive AGCO’s culture and inform decision-making, these goals align with, and support the achievement of, government objectives to:

  • enhance accountability and efficiency in the delivery of public services
  • use evidence-based decision-making and policy development
  • reduce the administrative burden on businesses, and
  • increase consumer choice.

Strategic Plan, hyperlink to text version below.

Strategic Plan (Text Version)

During 2020–2021 the AGCO made significant progress towards achieving its strategic goals, with all divisions contributing to efforts to keep the agency moving forward, as a Modern Regulator, providing Service Excellence to all stakeholders, and striving to be an organization that puts People First. Here are some of the highlights.

1.Modern Regulator

The AGCO’s compliance functions were reorganized into one Compliance Services Team across all of the industries and sectors the AGCO regulates with the common goal of improving compliance across all lines of business. It is more flexible, agile and responsive than ever, and well-positioned to continue proactively evolving over an ever-changing regulatory landscape.

In a continued effort to modernize the regulation of horse racing in Ontario, the AGCO implemented a number of initiatives to promote human and equine health and safety. This included an expansion of the Concussion Protocol more broadly for jockeys and exercise riders at all Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racetracks as well as revised urging provisions, to limit urging in Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. Additionally, the AGCO undertook a series of consultation sessions with key industry stakeholders on several rule changes that were brought forward by the industry.

Significant work has been undertaken to develop and implement the igaming model following the government’s announcement that the AGCO will establish a subsidiary to conduct and manage the new competitive igaming market, independent of its role as regulator.

As part of the work to develop the new igaming framework, the AGCO launched an online portal to engage with industry stakeholders with an interest in igaming in Ontario. Over the next several months the AGCO will undertake a series of engagements on key technical components of the igaming framework, starting with the opportunity to provide input into regulatory standards, a responsible gambling program and other operational matters.

2.Service Excellence

The continued modernization of the AGCO service delivery model through the phased implementation of the iAGCO web-based portal included the implementation of its final phase in 2020:

  • Phase 4A launched in March 2020 and included services for horse racing.
  • Phase 4B launched in October 2020 and included services for charitable gaming and electronic gaming equipment.

Customers can now conduct all AGCO-related transactions online, anytime from anywhere.

As a result of the Service Experience 2020 initiative, the AGCO became one of the first government agencies to offer Web Chat services to customers. As well, the agency has a new policy and function for handling complaints and inquiries, allowing for greater oversight and consistency in practices across all departments and improved resolution for customers.

The AGCO launched a second call for proposals under the Education, Training and Awareness (ETA) Fund. This is an opportunity for industry stakeholders to apply for funding to deliver new education, training and awareness programs that are designed to improve compliance with provincial laws and/or enhance awareness of issues of public interest within the industries and sectors the AGCO regulates. For the 2020–2021 funding cycle, the total amount of funds available to support new ETA programs and initiatives is $350,000, with a maximum amount of $125,000 for any one program or initiative and a goal of funding projects of varied sizes.

In January 2020 the AGCO’s ETA team launched an eLearning course for private event alcohol Special Occasion Permit (SOP) holders to educate them about their legal responsibilities for hosting these types of events. Since the launch, over 550 participants have successfully completed the module and feedback hasbbeen extremely positive. The project was made possible through Order of Monetary Penalties, which provide funding for education, training and awareness projects.

As of January 1, 2021, AGCO’s website, including the iAGCO portal and Horse Racing Appeals Panel website, have been declared compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This ensures that people with disabilities can access the AGCO’s website content using screen-readers or other assistive technologies without any barriers.

The AGCO continued to maintain and build upon collaborative relationships with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, College of Veterinarians, Canada Border Services Agency, Regulatory Compliance & Enforcement Council, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, Canadian Pari- Mutuel Agency, and the Canadian American Law Enforcement Organization.

3.People First

In 2020–2021, the AGCO witnessed many changes pertaining to its organizational structure. The senior leadership team carefully planned and realigned the AGCO’s structure to meet the organization’s current and future needs. The following divisions were re-aligned:

  • Information and Information Technology Division (I&IT)
  • Corporate Services Division
  • Corporate Affairs, Strategic Policy and Planning Division
  • Communications and Service Experience Division.

The AGCO saw significant changes in its senior leadership team, as the Registrar and CEO, Jean Major, retired. The AGCO was pleased to welcome the new Registrar and CEO, Tom Mungham, former AGCO Chief Operating Officer. In addition to the CEO, the AGCO also welcomed five other new members to its executive team.

The AGCO is committed to addressing head-on and with honesty, the concerns and needs of our diverse workforce, increasing equity for all, including all racialized communities in Canada, Indigenous peoples, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, persons with disabilities, and women. See “The AGCO’s commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DI&A).”

The health and safety of our staff is always a top priority and that has never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic. See “AGCO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Future of Work initiative is identifying a new strategy and implementation plan that will guide the AGCO’s gradual return to its offices within a vision for the “next normal.” It will identify and address what the future of work looks like at the AGCO, including what it does, and how and where it does it, and embracing solutions that advance the Digital and People First mindsets. The goals will be to establish as flexible a workplace as possible, improve employee wellbeing and work-life balance, enhance the AGCO culture and reduce internal costs where we can. The strategy will explore all feasible options, stress flexibility and be informed by the feedback received from People Leaders and staff during the December 2020 Town Hall discussions, as well as an extensive analysis of best practices. As the strategy is implemented, staff will continue to be heavily engaged to help inform and validate specific approaches being taken and to refine them as required over time.

Continuing to put employees’ wellbeing at the top of our priorities, the AGCO is developing a Wellness Strategy that will outline the various ways we support, encourage and increase awareness in the area of health and wellbeing.