ACGO Fines BetMGM Canada and PointsBet Canada for Alleged Advertising Infractions

ACGO Fines BetMGM Canada and PointsBet Canada for Alleged Advertising Infractions
By Mark Keast

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has fined two operators for alleged infractions of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, relating to Ontario sports betting advertising and inducements.

BetMGM Canada was fined $48,000 for its alleged failure to comply with Standards 2.04 and 2.05, while PointsBet Canada was fined $30,000 for its alleged failure to comply with Standard 2.05.

“The AGCO holds all registered operators to high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity, and monitors their activities to ensure they are meeting their obligations under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standard,” AGCO CEO and Registrar Tom Mungham said in a statement:

Ontario, which launched the competitive and regulated market on April 4, is one of the few jurisdictions in the world to prohibit broad public advertising of bonuses and other gambling inducements.

 
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What Promotions Were the Issue?

The issue surrounding BetMGM Canada had to do with tweets with alleged gambling inducements, including a “$250K Launch Party” advertisement with a contest offer where the first-place winner gets $100,000 in casino bonus. It was posted on April 4 and April 11. 

PointsBet Canada advertised alleged gambling inducements via posters on GO trains and GO stations with an inducement to play for free.

“On behalf of PointsBet Canada, I personally apologize for our error made in the interpretation of the standards set forth by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) leading to this outcome,” PointsBet Canada CEO Scott Vanderwel said in a statement. “I am appreciative of the considerable efforts made by our local team and close partners to remediate the issue once we were notified. As I have stated in the past, we pride ourselves on our reputation as a compliant operator and believe in working collaboratively with regulators inside the legal framework.

“We are advocates for the legalization and legitimization of this industry and believe in the importance of creating a level playing field in which all operators contribute to safe, responsible play.”

OntarioBets has also reached out to BetMGM Canada for comment.

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Contributors

Mark Keast

Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.