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The AGCO promotes compliance with relevant legislation, regulations, and Registrar’s Standards to protect the public interest in alignment with government and ministry priorities. The following core activities enable the AGCO to fulfill its mandate effectively.

Licences and Registrants for the 2020/2021 Fiscal Year

The charts below outline some of the AGCO’s licensing and registration activities, including the number of active licences and registrations in the fiscal year (FY) 2020-2021 and the number of special occasion permits issued during that time.



Licences and Registrants for the 2020/2021 Fiscal Year % #
Gaming and Lottery Registrants 36% 29,305
Horse Racing Licensees 20% 15,951
Alcohol and Industry Licensees 40% 33,034
Total Licensees and Registrants 100% 81,651


The AGCO licenses and regulates establishments that sell, serve or deliver liquor. In addition to establishments, the AGCO also licenses and regulates alcohol manufacturers, including by-the-glass, retail store, delivery, and temporary extension endorsements. The AGCO also administers the Special Occasion Permit (SOP) program, allowing for the sale and service of liquor on special occasions. In terms of compliance activities, the AGCO inspects, monitors, and educates licensed establishments to ensure compliance with the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 and regulations.

SOPs issued in FY2020-2021



Special Occasion Permits #
Private Event 2,888
Public Event 272
Industry Promotional Event 33
Tailgate Event 1
Total Licensees and Registrants 3,194

Lottery and Gaming

Licensing and Registration activities for lottery, gaming, and internet gaming sectors include registering operators, suppliers, retailers/sellers, and gaming assistants. In partnership with licensing authorities of municipal and First Nations with an IOC, the AGCO administers the regulatory framework governing the issuance of charitable lottery licences (e.g., bingo, raffle, and break open ticket events). The AGCO also approves rules of play or changes to rules of play for games of chance conducted and managed by the OLG and licenses games of chance at fairs and exhibitions. In addition, the AGCO works to ensure excluded persons (i.e., youth and self-excluded individuals) do not access gaming premises in Ontario pursuant to the Gaming Control Act, 1992.

Compliance activities for the lottery and gaming sector include, inspecting and monitoring casinos, internet gaming, charitable gaming events/facilities, and retail locations where OLG lottery products are sold for compliance with the Gaming Control Act, 1992 and its regulation, any licence/registration requirements as well as the standards and requirements established by the Registrar of the AGCO. The AGCO ensures the safe, responsible and lawful operation of the expanded igaming market consistent with the Gaming Control Act, 1992. The AGCO also conducts ongoing regulatory assurance activities, including regular audits, testing, and site visits, to assess compliance with the Gaming Control Act, 1992 and the standards and requirements established by the Registrar. The agency also arbitrates lottery disputes.

The AGCO also tests, approves, and monitors slot machines and gaming and lottery management systems. In terms of internet gaming, the AGCO conducts technical assessments, including analysis of an internet gaming site’s random number generator software design; analysis of game design and verification of software functionality through mathematical analysis, simulation, emulation of the rules of play; and thorough assessment of a platform’s security and testing for vulnerabilities.

Horse Racing

The AGCO regulates the conduct of horse racing at Ontario’s licensed racetracks through the Rules of Racing for Thoroughbred, Standardbred, and Quarter Horse breeds, exercising authority for the overall governance of horse racing in Ontario. The AGCO also licenses and regulates individuals and businesses involved in the horse racing industry, including processing applications from racing participants and for racetracks and teletheatre locations and conducting due diligence reviews and investigations of applicants. Lastly, the agency promotes safety and consistency for horse racing participants and equine athletes.

The AGCO ensures compliance with the Rules of Racing by investigating alleged rule infractions and having Race Officials present to officiate races. The AGCO supports the health and welfare of horses and horse racing participants by monitoring and enforcing the Equine Medication and Drug Control Program. This program identifies and investigates people and businesses involved directly and indirectly with illegal equine medication and drugs, investigates racehorse deaths, and identifies new and unknown drugs and medication used in horse racing. The AGCO also ensures an Official Veterinarian is in attendance to supervise live racing and confirm that horses are healthy and fit to race. Lastly, the agency administers and oversees the Human Alcohol and Drug Program designed to detect and deter substance abuse and offer programs of intervention, rehabilitation, and support to those in the horse racing sector who are identified as having substance abuse problems.

The Horse Racing Appeal Panel, an independent adjudicative tribunal, the members of which are appointed by the AGCO Board, hears appeals of rulings made by Judges, Stewards, and Racing Officials under the Rules of Racing.


The AGCO licenses and regulates Cannabis Retail Store Operators and Managers, authorizing Cannabis Retail Stores, approving Cannabis retail employee training programs, and regulating the sale of recreational cannabis through privately run stores. Cannabis compliance activities include a range of activities related to authorized cannabis retail stores to ensure their compliance with the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018, its regulation, and the Registrar’s Standards.

Educational Activities in FY2020-2021

The AGCO proactively provides education to all sectors and those who are regulated to increase their understanding of regulatory obligations and improve overall compliance. The chart below outlines the number of educational activities conducted by the AGCO during the 2020-21 fiscal year.



Educational Activities #
Liquor 2,284
Cannabis Licensing 1,617
Gaming Registration 71
Horse Racing 18
Lottery Licence 4
Other 15
Total 4,009

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