We’re here to help
This Internet Gaming Operator Application Guide contains detailed information to assist internet gaming operators in applying for registration. We strongly encourage you to visit and keep checking the AGCO website for up-to-date additional helpful resources.
We are looking forward to working with you on your application. Subject matter experts are available to respond to your eligibility and compliance related inquiries including registration questions. A process is also in place to coordinate and connect applicants with iGaming Ontario staff as required. Please direct your inquiries about applying for registration as an internet gaming site operator to AGCO Customer Service through one of the following:
- Anytime via the iAGCO online portal
- By phone at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876, Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
Once you have submitted your application, dedicated contacts (including those within our Licensing and Registration Branch and Technology Regulation and iGaming Compliance Branch) will work with you throughout the process and liaise with other team members where applicable.
As you complete your application, please take note of the following:
- The Guide does not include all details of your legal responsibilities as a registrant. Please ensure that you are fully aware of those responsibilities including those set out in the Gaming Control Act, 1992 and its regulations. The Gaming Control Act, 1992 is available online at e-Laws or by contacting Publications Ontario at 416-326-5300 or toll-free at 1-800-668-9938.
- Registrants must comply with the relevant Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming.
- Each statement made in your application is subject to verification.
- Do not misrepresent or omit any material fact(s). Each statement made in your application is subject to verification.
- It is a serious offence to knowingly provide false information on the forms and on any attachments.
- The provision of false, incomplete, or misleading information or the omission of information on the forms or in the documents submitted with your application, or the failure to notify the Registrar of any material changes to this information which occur after this application is filed, may also result in the refusal, suspension or revocation of your Registration.
- Operators seeking to participate in the Ontario regulated igaming scheme will also have to enter into a commercial agreement with Ontario’s Conduct and Manage entity, iGaming Ontario. For more information regarding iGaming Ontario, please visit: http://www.igamingontario.ca
1. Who needs to register as an Internet Gaming Operator?
Registration as an Internet Gaming Operator is required for entities that operate an internet gaming site within Ontario.
Given the wide range of potential variations in company organization and structure, there is not a definitive list of activities that illustrates what it means to “operate a gaming site.” In general, for igaming, operating a gaming site means having an ongoing responsibility for the gaming site as a whole, including:
- Key decision-making activities,
- Meeting compliance obligations for the gaming site, and
- Having authority to retain suppliers in relation to the gaming site, such as choosing whether Gaming Related Suppliers (GRSs) are used and which GRSs are used.
Another useful way to look at the role of an operator is comparing it to the role of a GRS. GRSs are goods or service suppliers, not operators, including those that manufacture, provide, install, test, maintain or repair gaming equipment or who provide consulting or similar services directly related to the playing of a lottery scheme or the operation of a gaming site. Unlike operators, they do not have any measure of control or role in relation to operating the gaming site as a whole.
Rather, they provide specific goods or services that are directly related to the gaming site or the playing of a lottery scheme. Some examples of GRSs include third-party internet gaming platform providers and independent testing laboratories (ITLs).
An operator may engage in the same activities as a GRS but will need only apply as an Internet Gaming Operator (and, therefore, submit one application and one fee as such). In contrast, a GRS is not permitted to operate a gaming site.
Note: If you intend to operate more than one distinct online gaming site, you are required to submit a separate application for each site. Please refer to Section 2 in this Guide, What constitutes a distinct internet gaming site?, for additional guidance.
The AGCO will look at applications on a case-by-case basis and will work with you to confirm the details of your application and ensure that the operator designation is appropriate for your organization.
In the Gaming Control Act, 1992, a gaming site is defined as a “premises or an electronic channel maintained for the purpose of playing or operating a lottery scheme.”
The AGCO will consider the following factors when determining whether you are proposing to operate a single internet gaming site or multiple internet gaming sites. Note that a proposed offering does not need to meet all the factors to be assessed as a single gaming site.
a) Uniform account credentials
Uniform account credentials link a player’s access to the gaming site, related websites or domain names, mobile app(s), and the various styles of game offerings seamlessly. A distinct login through a portal to a particular game or group of games is required. However, upon login and any other required verification, the patron would gain access across the entire spectrum of operator game offerings seamlessly. They could then login to other offerings like mobile apps or related websites or domain names of the operator without creating new account credentials.
Note: It is not enough for a patron to simply opt to register and sign-in with the same username and password across all gaming sites.
- Single gaming site: A single gaming site requires one login and a single set of account credentials which provides access to all games, websites or domain names and mobile apps.
- Multiple gaming sites: A patron is required to use two different account credentials in order to login and access certain games, websites or domain names and mobile apps. This is indicative of the existence of two separate gaming sites.
b) Common e-wallet (digital account)
An e-wallet, also referred to as a digital account, that is integrated into a single platform to enable a patron to have access to their funds across all related websites or domain names, mobile app(s) and the various styles of game offerings. A common e-wallet may be a distinguishing characteristic that would indicate a single electronic gaming site.
- Single gaming site: A patron can manage their digital account (i.e. deposit funds) in one part of the gaming site and be able to access those funds within a different game offering on the related websites or domain names and mobile app(s).
- Multiple gaming sites: A patron is required to manage a separate digital account on each website, game offering or mobile app(s) to access funds.
Operators may have different game offerings, related websites or domain names and mobile app(s) operating under different site brand names. A site brand is the combination of properties (i.e. colour, logo, theme, etc.) within a site(s) that gives it an identity and makes it distinct from other sites. An individual site brand may be a distinguishing characteristic that would indicate a separate electronic gaming site.
d) Different operators
The persons operating gaming sites, even those closely associated through branding, may be different. These operators, even where those form part of the same over-arching corporate structure, may be an indicator that different sites are being operated. Each operator would require separate registration.
- Single gaming site: A single operator operates the gaming site and all its related websites or domain names, game offerings and mobile app(s).
- Multiple gaming site: One operator operates the gaming site and another operator operates the mobile app(s).
Note: Additional information may be requested by the Registrar to complete the determination as to whether a single or multiple game sites are being applied for.
3. What regulatory fees will be charged at registration?
An operator of an internet gaming site is required to pay a regulatory fee of $100,000 annually per gaming site. This regulatory fee must be submitted with the application. Gaming registrants can select a one or two-year term option, with fees payable to match the length of the term. The AGCO’s Gaming Registration Fee Schedule page lists all types of regulatory fees.
Note the following with respect to making this payment:
- When using online services, all payments or applicable fees under $30,000 must be made by Visa, MasterCard, Interac Online, Visa Debit or MasterCard Debit.
- Payments of $30,000 or more must be made by money wire transfer or electronic funds transfer. Please note that cheques and cash are not accepted as forms of payment when using iAGCO online services. For more information, please refer to the Money Wire Transfer and Electronic Funds Transfer page on the AGCO website.
- This regulatory fee must be received by the AGCO before an application will be processed.
All regulatory fees are non-refundable.
Also please note that additional regulatory costs will apply to registered Operators.
In addition to the $100,000 per gaming site regulatory fee noted above:
- Any applicant may be required to pay the reasonable costs of an investigation prior to processing of their application. These costs would be levied on an as-required basis, depending on whether additional investigative activities are needed and the intensity and cost of those activities.
- The AGCO aims to offset the overall cost of regulating internet gaming. Each operator should anticipate possible additional payments to recover these costs. The specific amount per operator is yet to be determined. However, the amount could be significantly greater than the above-mentioned regulatory fee of $100,000 per gaming site along with investigative charges.
4. What are the requirements related to exiting the unregulated Ontario market?
- The AGCO has developed a regulatory framework to ensure honesty and integrity for igaming in Ontario and to protect Ontario consumers while, at the same time, facilitating a business-like transition from unregulated to regulated igaming scheme that is fair for registrants.
- As part of this transition, the AGCO is committed to taking strong action to address any remaining unregulated Ontario market activity in partnership with law enforcement. The following three requirements will help inform operators of necessary actions while also providing a foundation for subsequent enforcement activities if actions are not taken:
- All igaming applicants (operators and gaming-related suppliers) who apply prior to the date of the launch of the regulated Ontario igaming scheme, must cease unregulated market operations within Ontario once they are issued a registration from the AGCO.
- All igaming applicants who apply prior to the date of the launch of the regulated Ontario market must terminate any association they may have with another company that operates in the unregulated market in Ontario once they are issued a registration from the AGCO.
- An entity that has not applied for registration by the date of the launch of the regulated Ontario igaming scheme and either continues to operate in the unregulated market in Ontario, and/or continues to have associations with other entities that continue to do so, risks not having their application for registration approved.
In establishing these requirements, we want to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to the regulated igaming scheme for operators. To help facilitate this:
- We will be as practical and pragmatic as possible, consistent with our regulatory mandate, when engaging with applicants.
- The AGCO will coordinate the timing of registration issuance with iGaming Ontario’s commercial contract signing. This includes confirmation of data exchange so that these three events coincide and the transition to the regulated igaming scheme is as seamless as possible — with the goal of having no “blackout” period.
More information and direction about the process and requirements for transitioning players to the regulated igaming scheme will be provided by iGaming Ontario.
5. Submitting information through iAGCO
Applicants conduct all their AGCO registration-related transactions online through the iAGCO web-based portal. By creating an iAGCO account, you will be able to apply for and manage your AGCO-issued licences, permits, authorizations and registrations, anytime and from anywhere.
- Once approved, you will receive your registration certificate by email (also available for download via your iAGCO account).
- You can also view the real-time status of your applications and reuse your information once it has been saved, for all your future applications, amendments and renewals. You only need to update that information when changes occur.
6. Information to be Submitted
To allow the AGCO to begin processing your application, your submission should include the following:
- Operator Application
- Registrar’s Standards Gap Analysis
- Personal Disclosure for individuals identified below
- Entity Disclosure
- Regulatory fee
- Any requested investigation fee
- Supporting documents (as applicable)
For your Operator Application, supporting documents may include:
- Business Name Registration
- Constituting Document(s)
- Certificate or Articles of Incorporation
- Partnership Agreement
- Limited Partnership Agreement
- Limited Partnership Declaration
- Shareholder’s Agreement
- Trust Agreement
- Any other constituting documentation relevant to the entity
- Details of Shares
- Extra-Provincial Power of Attorney (for Limited Partnerships)
- Financial Statements
- Government-Issued Identification
- Personal History – Gaming
- Schematic Diagram
- Partnership & Limited Partnership: showing the relationship between the partners, any affiliates or subsidiary entities, and any individual or entity that has a 5% or greater interest in the partnership.
- Corporation: showing the relationship between the applicant and all shareholders (including parent or holding corporations) owning 5% or more of any shares of the applicant corporation, and any affiliated or subsidiary corporations.
- Joint Venture: showing the relationship between the joint venture partners, any affiliates or subsidiary entities, and any individual or entity that has a 5% or greater interest in the joint venture.
- Association: showing the relationship between the applicant and any entities forming the association, any affiliates or subsidiary entities, and any individual or entity that has a 5% or greater interest in the association.
- Signature of Applicant or Partner(s) as applicable
- Tax Return and Tax Assessment
- Criminal Background Check (if Canada is not the primary residence of an individual)
- List of Suppliers
- Gaming Site Diagram
- Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming Gap Analysis
7. Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming Gap Analysis
Your submission must also include a compliance gap analysis against the AGCO Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming.
The purpose of this analysis is to demonstrate that each applicant is aware of the content of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, that you have done substantive analysis to identify any gaps relative to your current controls, processes, technology, etc., and that you have developed a plan to address those gaps.
As such, your Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming Gap Analysis must include:
- Confirmation of the Standards with which the entity would be in compliance if it were currently operating in a regulated Ontario igaming scheme.
- Identification of any Standards with which the entity would not be in compliance if it were currently operating in a regulated Ontario igaming scheme.
- A plan which outlines how and when full compliance with the Standards will be achieved.
8. Entity Disclosure
Entity Disclosure must be completed by the following entities:
- An applicant that is a corporation (whether profit or not-for-profit) or a trust;
- A corporate shareholder (including any parent or holding corporation) holding 5% or more of any shares of an applicant corporation; and
- A corporation or a trust with an interest in an applicant entity (e.g. through a partnership, joint venture or association).
Note: Do not complete Entity Disclosure for corporations affiliated to the applicant through common ownership and/or subsidiaries of the applicant corporation unless requested by the Registrar.
For more information, please refer to the Personal and Entity Disclosure Requirements Guide.
9. Personal Disclosure
Personal Disclosure* must be completed by the following individuals associated with an applicant entity:
- A sole proprietor (in the case of an applicant who is a sole proprietor);
- A partner (in the case of an applicant that is a partnership);
- An officer or director of an applicant corporation and/or any parent or holding corporations;
- A shareholder holding 5% or more of any shares of an applicant corporation;
- A trustee and beneficiary of any trusts that hold any shares or interest in an applicant and/or its parent or holding corporations; and
- A principal employee of an applicant.
For those individuals for whom Canada is not the primary place of residence, a recent (within the last 12 months) criminal background check, must be submitted with the disclosure.
Note: Employees of internet gaming operators are not required to be registered as Gaming Assistants.
* For more information, please refer to the Personal and Entity Disclosure Requirements Guide.
The declaration must be completed by an individual who has signing authority (i.e. authority to bind) on behalf of the business entity (applicant) named in the application.
11. Control Activity Matrix Submission
All registered internet gaming operators will be required to submit an independently audited assessment of the processes and controls that they have in place to meet the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming. The AGCO typically refers to these processes and controls as a Control Activity Matrix (CAM).
The independently audited CAM will be required to include all controls related to the gaming site, including where the operator works with third-party suppliers, including platform providers. More information about CAM submission requirements will be provided in the near future.
There are two scenarios for submitting this information:
- Operators that are assessed during the AGCO’s Eligibility review as potentially posing elevated risk may be required to submit the independently audited CAM before they launch in the regulated Ontario igaming scheme.
- Operators not assessed in this manner will be required to submit the CAM within three months of launch.
During the Eligibility Review process, operator applicants will be notified of which scenario applies to them and will be contacted by the Technology Regulation and iGaming Compliance Branch to discuss next steps and requirements.
Thank you — and don’t forget, we’re here to help
We’re excited you are considering becoming part of the open and competitive regulated igaming scheme in Ontario. As we noted at the beginning of this guide, we are looking forward to working with you on your application. Our subject matter experts are ready to respond to your eligibility and compliance-related inquiries.
We will also coordinate and connect applicants with iGaming Ontario staff as required. Please direct your inquiries about applying for registration as an internet gaming site operator to AGCO Customer Service through one of the following:
- Anytime via the iAGCO online portal
- By phone at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876, Monday–Friday 8:30am–5:00pm
Once you have submitted your application, dedicated contacts (including those within the AGCO’s Licensing and Registration Branch and Technology Regulation and iGaming Compliance Branch) will work with you throughout the process and liaise with other team members where applicable.